Dog bite matter involving a 6yo girl bitten on her nose by her aunt’s dog, who had no prior instances of aggressive behavior. The bite resulted in a laceration to her right nostril (near tip of nose).
Outcome: Assisted in obtaining “cosmetic” medical care not covered by client’s insurance, the result of which will ensure that she won’t have residual scarring, and resolved the claim with the insurer of the dog owner via a “structured settlement”; wherein all medical bills are paid, the client will receive payouts ranging from 45k to 100k, at certain ages, totaling $380,000.00, and set up a 25k “medical fund” to pay for any future additional medical treatment she elects to receive, the balance of which becomes hers when she turns 18. And resolved the matter without litigation (no suit against client’s aunt, or her dog lol).
By properly planning and setting up a structured settlement (in this case an annuity), the possibility that her family mismanages or misappropriates her money is negated. She, nor her family has to worry about investing the proceeds, as the payment plan is guaranteed. And her family need not be concerned about the client doing something immature with her settlement at age 18. Instead, they know she will receive specific amounts of money at specific ages.
For example, she is going to receive 75k at age 25. The logic is that at that age she will likely be interested in purchasing a home. The process of setting up a structured settlement can be difficult, and there is no direct benefit to the attorney in doing the same. We do it because it is such a dramatic benefit to the client.
$420K Claim Resolved
Client operates an unincorporated and uninsured auto repair business and was involved in an accident as an occupant of a car being taken for a test drive after he had performed engine work on it. The driver of the car client was occupying caused the accident but was not the “titled” owner of the vehicle. Following the accident, both drivers involved decided not to involve the police.
As a result of the above circumstances, it was unclear what insurance company would provide client’s statutory No-Fault benefits, and client could not even prove an accident had occurred. Client was given my contact info from a friend who we had represented previously but elected to retain a well-known law firm, that saturates local TV with its commercials depicting the advantage of their caring, client-oriented, nature.
Unfortunately, it did not work out that way for the client, and after 3 months, and no developments whatsoever, he received correspondence from the law firm indicating that they were dropping his case. Client came to us after, and during my interview, he was surprised to be talking with a lawyer. Indicating that during the months the “big name” firm represented him, he never once spoke with a lawyer? He also informed me that after being notified they were dropping his case, he had called that firm to ask them why? According to the client, he spoke with a paralegal from that law firm, who told him that she did not believe he was entitled to receive MI no-fault benefits, and that any potential pain and suffering claim he has, would be dramatically impacted by his pre-existing conditions?
So, in short, client was told that it was going to be difficult for the firm to obtain no-fault benefits for him and that since the dollar value of his pain & suffering claim was going too low, it literally was not worth the hassle of representing him?
I find that appalling! We got right to work, and within 72 hours we had him the claim necessary claim information for his medical providers to render treatment. Ultimately, we resolved his claims for a total of $420,000.00, including a pain and suffering claim for over $170,000.00! Considering the fact that the big-name firm dropped the case because it did not believe it was worth it to take!!
We had a client who was involved in MVA while operating his own tractor trailer, sustaining injuries to his neck and shoulder primarily.
Normally a work-related injury is exclusively Work Compensation, but we managed to procure him Michigan No-Fault benefits including payment for essential services (attendant care and replacement services) performed by his wife, as well as 85% of his lost wages. The client’s income was in excess of the statutory maximum amount payable and managed to obtain that difference (between what he earned and the amount paid by the no-fault insurer) from the at-fault driver.
The insurer fought paying lost wages saying that his neck and shoulder injury would not prevent him from his job duties. But as any truck driver will inform you, driving a semi is physically demanding. Accordingly, we recorded a “day in the life of…”, demonstrating the demanding nature of the client’s job duties, from turning the truck to unloading. Even climbing into and out of a semi truck is difficult.
Based on the video evidence we presented, the insurer agreed to pay client’s lost wages. Some law firms provide very little help assisting their clients with obtaining their no-fault benefits. Preferring to instead just file a lawsuit, entitling that firm to a percentage of the total recovery (including medical bill payments).
However, immediately filing suit is not usually in the best interests of the client. Lawsuits take a long time, usually more than a year, sometimes more than 2 years. During that entire time, the client has no money coming in!
Now if the insurance company were to honor the claim, the client would be receiving money on a monthly basis, for lost wages, reimbursement for essential services rendered, etc.., and a lawsuit is not even needed. Although that is beneficial to their client, the law firm makes less money. As a result, many firms just file a lawsuit right away and lead the client to believe that doing so is in their best interest. All the above, was a good result, but the interesting part of this case was that the client left the United States for medical care.
See, my client was born in India and his religion is Seik. And he held beliefs regarding medical care, than those held by many in this country. Our entire system is influenced by this “big medicine” machine, pushing its own doctrine. I am not weighing in on the legitimacy of same, as obviously everyone’s injury or issue is unique, but my client did not want to undergo surgery.
Instead, he traveled to India and stayed a medical facility where he underwent 3 weeks of what we came to call a “culturally traditional, wholistic approach” to his injuries. Same, involving a lot of oil massages and stretching, in an environment that focused on relaxation. I would say that clients care focused not just on his injury, but on his whole body and its ability to respond and compensate for the injury.
Long story short, we were able to recoup all his expenses for that treatment, (air fare, lodging, etc..), as well as the dollar costs associated with surgical intervention (that did not occur). By the end of our representation, a client had received benefits and settlements amounting to over $650,000.00 and ultimately was able to return to work.