Why should you care about subrogation?
There are many reasons why the active personal injury lawyer should be interested and up-to-date on subrogation issues.
- The growing complexity of the field could result in your facing a malpractice claim if you handle the issue improperly.
- One Seattle law firm prosecuting subrogation claims was routinely filing bar complaints about personal injury lawyers who did not comply with their request.
- What you know in one area of subrogation may not apply in another. Certainly the differences in ERISA subrogation law compared to Washington common law provide a stark contrast in how subrogation may differ from case to case.
- The implications and practical applications of the Tobin decision to subrogation in the Labor and Industries setting alone require that you keep up with the latest developments.
- Demands being made by liability insurers because of the potential of a Medicare subrogation claim are difficult to deal with, because most insurers are not properly applying the law. If you don’t know the law, they will take advantage of you and your client.
- If you properly know and understand Medicare set-aside requirements, then you should be teaching the rest of us. Talk about a mine field!
- While subrogation may involve the insurer stepping into the shoes of its insured, some insurers so aggressively take this action that one is reminded of a professional basketball player trying to force his feet into the delicate shoes of a ballerina. Taking the metaphor one step further, you need to learn to defend those Red Shoes or you will turn into the Black Swan from failing to preserve your client’s personal injury recovery.
Now, if I’ve properly scared you into worrying that you may not know or understand all there is to know in this field, then please dig through this website/blog; contact me to get a copy of my Subrogation publication; and don’t ever allow yourself to be complacent about this area of the law.
and the Subrogation booklet
Paul’s recent publication, Subrogation, and this website springs out of his desire to educate, inspire, and motivate other plaintiff personal injury trial lawyers to serve as strong advocates for their clients in fighting subrogation issues.
- He created this website and blog for the same reason he wrote Subrogation: He forever wants to educate, inspire, and motivate other plaintiff personal injury lawyers to serve as strong advocates for their clients in fighting subrogation issues.
About Paul L. Stritmatter
Paul Stritmatter, a senior partner at the premier law firm, Stritmatter Kessler Whelan (SKW) is considered one of the top attorneys in the Pacific Northwest and in the country.
He is known best for his numerous successes with high profile personal injury and wrongful death cases, including Smith, et. al. v. Behr Process Corporation, (a $67.5 million class action verdict; the initial case grew to national status, and in an October 2002 settlement, Behr agreed to compensate consumers more than $107 million) and Pattison v. City of Chelan ($4,500,000 settlement in 2008 for a spinal cord injury which resulted in the client being a tetraplegic.
The topic of subrogation has interested Paul since he tried his first plaintiff personal injury case in 1970. That interest developed out of his puzzlement and anger that—after a hard fought case—another insurance company had attempted to take some of his client’s recovery.
He didn’t want insurance companies to get away with this.
This led Paul to grow active in the field of subrogation. He tried three subrogation cases to successful judgment, pursued several other subrogation lawsuits through summary judgment and appeals, and aggressively negotiated subrogation claims that would impact the bottom line of his clients’ recoveries.