By John Kennealy – Vice President of Claims
It’s the news that turns any good day bad. One of your insureds calls to report one of their drivers has been in an accident and other motorists are hurt. Perhaps someone’s fallen at a construction site and has been badly injured. You call in the claim to PLM. A claims professional begins an investigation and speaks with your client’s safety director or company representative for information. Things seem under control – and they are – but some time passes, and your client has received a lawsuit. Now what?
While this may be a new and concerning experience for many of our insureds, it’s an everyday occurrence at PLM. We’re here to protect the assets and interests of your clients and guide them safely through the process. The very best way for PLM to accomplish this is to partner directly with people at your client’s company who are best positioned to assist our efforts. They should also know what the process will look like, starting with representation.
One of the first things PLM will do after a client has received a lawsuit is engage a law firm to represent them. PLM uses many of the best defense firms in the country who have the experience and expertise to know the wood business. These firms have critical experience that will be needed, but they cannot act alone.
Our insureds play a vital role in achieving the best litigation outcome. As keepers of the information PLM will use to properly defend them, it’s critical that they cooperate fully with counsel and that they act swiftly to support the law firm. Counsel may need to speak to or meet with many different employees to piece together the facts surrounding the accident. Similarly, counsel may need to review your insured’s safety plan and discuss it with those responsible for implementing it. Through cooperation and collaboration, PLM, counsel, and your client will be able to take all this information and from it, begin to craft a defense to the injured party’s case. Throughout a legal process called “discovery” there will be many occasions for the insured to work closely with counsel to explain company policy and procedure, provide information and craft responses to questions.
Perhaps the most important role your insured might play in the outcome of the case is during settlement discussions. This opportunity typically comes into play in higher-severity cases where their attendance and input signals to the other side that they invested in the process of ensuring fair compensation for injuries resulting from company negligence. Conversely, in cases where liability and damages are in dispute, the insured’s participation in trial preparation and attendance at trial signals to the other side that they are fully prepared to see matters through. Either way, the more your client participates in the process, the better chance for successful resolution.
Producer Update: Issue 5 – 2021
IN THIS ISSUE:
- President’s Letter
- Plumb Safety: How to Predict a Fire – Using Thermal Imaging to Detect Hotspots
- Coverage Toolbox: Understanding the Value in EPLI Protection
- Restructuring of the Operations and Customer Service Departments
- The Dovetail: Partnering In Litigation and Optimizing Outcomes
- Spotlight On: Retirement News – Christopher Crucitt
- Spotlight On: 5 Percent Dividend For NEMEON Dividend Plan
- Broker Commissions Go Direct