San Diego Union Tribune Takes on Progressive’s Property Damage Division

March 13, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

In an article printed in today’s newspaper, the San Diego Union Tribune takes on Progressive Insurance’s property damage program.

According to the article, critics argue that Progressive’s program violates California’s anti-steering laws by allowing its adjusters to write their own property damage estimates and direct their insureds to pre-approved body shops for the work. In addition–and wait until you hear about this–critics claim that Progressive’s program seeks to reduce repair costs by cutting corners! Shocker!

Sarcasm aside, this seems to be the usual modus operandi for insurance companies. Why replace when cosmetic patching will do? Why use new parts when refurbished products can be found? And don’t get me started on the repeated failure of insurance adjusters to ignore alignment and other structural issues in favor of concentrating on cosmetic damages. Too many of our office’s auto accident clients have complained that their car just doesn’t drive the same afterwards for it to be a coincidence.

The public shouldn’t be so gullible to believe the commercials–the insurance companies are not out there to act in your best interests. They make money by collecting premiums and paying out less than the premiums they collect. If they have to actually use quality labor and parts, it just makes it that much harder.

New Surgical Checklist May Reduce San Diego Medical Deaths and Complications

February 12, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

San Diego patients may benefit from new safety checklists.

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 500,000 surgical deaths and complications occur worldwide every year due to inexcusable medical malpractice. Too many times patients have signed incorrect surgical consent forms allowing medical staff to incorrectly label them for a planned procedure. Nurses have documented patient safety measures that never actually occurred. Doctors have injected medications that were not labeled on the surgical field. The list goes on.

In order to address this issue, the World Health Organization, along with the Harvard School of Public Health, has launched its first “Safe Surgery Saves Lives” campaign. The study is based on the theory that a one-page surgery checklist developed by several world surgical experts will greatly reduce errors and omissions in the Operating Room.

The study, conducted with the participation of 3,955 patients in eight different cities, demonstrated that this low-cost and low-tech tool significantly reduced surgical mortality and morbidity rates.

The annual savings from the prevention of major complications in the Operating Room can be anywhere from $15 billion to $25 billion. Encouraged by this thought, the Institute for Healthcare Improvements and the World Health Organization have initiated the “Sprint” challenge: to have every hospital in the country utilize the surgical safety list with at least one surgical team by April 1, 2009.

Contingency Fees Preferred by Clients, Study Finds

February 6, 2018 Injury Lawyer San Diego 0

The Manhattan Institute is a conservative think tank that pushes a tort-reform agenda as it attacks plaintiffs’ attorneys for numerous evils, both real and perceived. One of the primary gripes tort-reformers have against plaintiffs’ attorneys is that the contingency fee agreements used so prevalently in litigation–a legal fee agreement where the client pays a percentage of any recovery to the attorney for his services–unjustly exploit clients who cannot afford hourly attorneys’ fees and thereby unjustly enrich attorneys at their expense.

So, it’s ironic that The Manhattan Institute’s PointofLaw website recently published a story describing the findings of a legal fees study performed by Israeli behavioral economists Eyal Zamir and Ilana Ritov. The study, titled, “Neither Saints nor Devils: A Behavioral Analysis of Attorneys’ Contingent Fees” found that–contrary to the beliefs of tort-reformers–the vast majority of litigation clients prefer contingency fee agreements to the traditional billable hour fee agreement.

The study reaches a number of conclusions, but the key conclusion is that clients are risk-averse. They prefer a fee arrangement where the attorney shares the risk of litigation with them, even if that means the client ends up paying more in attorneys fees for that service. The attractiveness of the contingency fee agreement is that if the client wins, he will recover monetary damages, and, if he does not win, he does not owe any money in attorneys fees (“heads I win, tails let’s call it even).

Think about the utility and value of the contingency fee agreement the next time you hear some tort-reform argument, or, worse yet, a tort-reform initiative seeking to ban the contingency fee agreement.