April 2018 Subrogation Newsletter
If a plaintiff or defendant in an auto accident lawsuit can be shown to have been using a cell phone or other hand-held devices at or near the time of the accident, and the state in which the accident occurred has a law prohibiting such activity, the action might constitute “negligence per se.” Knowing when and whether a technical violation of a cell phone law has occurred can be critical to the result obtained in adjusting losses, pressing a subrogation claim, or trying a lawsuit. Familiarity with the technical aspect of such laws, and whether they exist in the state in which an accident occurs, has become a necessity of claims handling.
The concept of experience ratings shouldn’t be a mystery. Experience ratings reward insureds who have a favorable loss history and penalize insureds who do not. So, how does subrogation fit into all of this? In theory, subrogation recoveries serve as a debit to actual loss totals and primary losses, thereby directly affecting the experience modifier. In short, one or two subrogation recoveries can mean the difference between a debt modifier and a credit modifier. Controlling experience modifiers becomes the key for insureds interested in holding their premiums to a minimum under the experience rating process.
E-cigarettes are advertised and sold as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. The jury is still out on it, but its becoming increasingly clear that these products come with some unanticipated risks. Specifically, the need for more power in smaller packaged batteries, which can lead to battery cell explosions. Injuries from e-cigarette battery explosions can be heinous and the property damage resulting from their explosions can be extensive. Holding e-cigarette battery manufacturers accountable for the resulting injuries and property damage has several obstacles.
Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. is growing! We would like to announce the joinder of three new attorneys to our firm—one in California (Charlene Busch), one in New Orleans (Sara Huffman), and one in our Wisconsin office (Lee Wickert). On behalf of everyone here at MWL, we would like to welcome them all to our firm.