Over the last twenty-five years we have seen a myriad of methodologies and techniques in subrogating across the country. Large insurance companies and small self-insureds alike have changed, modified and evolved their subrogation programs over the years. Subrogation efforts on all levels have had more faces than the balance of the industry as a whole, including changes and modifications from local subrogation efforts to national recovery centers, from intrastate to interstate underwriting to a global insurance economy, and from being the "red-haired stepchild" of the industry to instituting incentives for successful subrogation performance.
As subrogation managers struggle to deal with recovery efforts in a republic with more than 51 independent bodies of subrogation law, it is frightening to think about how difficult it is to be competent in the many nuances of subrogation and recovery efforts in even one jurisdiction, let alone dozens. The retention of national subrogation counsel has become an increasingly common necessity for numerous insurance companies. National subrogation counsel provide innumerable benefits and services to anyone facing recovery challenges in a predominantly multi-state 21st century setting.
Evaluating and Monitoring Local Counsel
In the post-tort reform era, when plaintiffs' attorneys, insureds, and claimants are scraping to put together settlements which will compensate them adequately, subrogated interests are often put on the chopping block as "expendable". On an almost daily basis, case and statutory law across our country is developed with an eye toward streamlining recoveries and shedding these pesky subrogation interests before they can be an impediments to resolving the "real claims".
Instant Access to Individual State Subrogation Law
As laws facilitating or debilitating subrogation efforts continue to change, national subrogation counsel keeps its thumb on the pulse of these changes through local counsel who are hand-selected as having subrogation experience and have the demographic make-up within their firm which allows them to act as effective subrogation counsel.
Experience has shown that many large defense firms do not or will not function as subrogation counsel unless the payout of larger defense files accompanies the subrogation work. National subrogation counsel hand picks local counsel with the qualities and demographics necessary to effectively subrogate and maximize your recovery in a particular venue. Local counsel in remote, rural areas are especially difficult to obtain, and national subrogation counsel utilizes its network of subrogation counsel in accomplishing this.
It is difficult enough to stay on top of, monitor, evaluate, and aggressively motivate one or two sets of subrogation counsel, let alone a hundred. National subrogation counsel garrisons local counsel, in appropriate venues, evaluates and monitors their activity and cost effectiveness, and relieves them of responsibilities if they should ever fail to show the sort of unique dedication and techniques which will be necessary to subrogate effectively in the 21st century. National subrogation counsel takes on the burden of obtaining current status on subrogation matters and forwarding that relevant and necessary information onto the client.
National subrogation counsel also serves to police spending of subrogation counsel, review and inspect local counsel invoices for fees, and/or costs and expenses, and serves as a liaison with the client in seeing to it that only the necessary expenses are incurred, and subsequently paid. National subrogation counsel also takes it upon themselves to consistently and repeatedly evaluate each claim for cost effectiveness, and alert the client should any potential problems be looming on the horizon. After all, you cannot spin yourself into a successful subrogation program, because the only successful subrogation result is one which is obtained cost-effectively.
Providing instant answers to subrogation issues, subrogation counsel subrogates and litigates in all fifty states. This garrisons an immeasurable amount of subrogation information and access to subrogation answers in one convenient location. National subrogation counsel is available to provide the client with answers to difficult subrogation questions on a national basis. Where the answers are not immediately known, research or conferring with local counsel can provide the answer almost instantaneously.
Simplicity of Communication
Telephone tag, numerous unreturned phone calls and unresponded to letters are the hallmarks of attempting to communicate with subrogation counsel. Use of national subrogation counsel enables you to contact one counsel to get answers and status on subrogation matters pending anywhere within North America. There are as many reporting and status update techniques and methodologies as there are subrogation counsel.
Use of national subrogation counsel enables you to efficiently obtain only that information which you feel is germane to reporting in your subrogation file from the date the file is opened until recovery is had. Use of national subrogation counsel is the hallmark of subrogation in the 21st century and in the face of a global economy.
Interstate subrogation becomes increasingly more complicated every year. Unless your counsel exclusively practices in the area of subrogation, it is often quite difficult to keep up with not only the many nuances of subrogation law, but be current on the techniques to avoid efforts to distinguish or diminish your subrogation interest.
*article courtesy of Gary Wickert.