The Bassett Firm
Toll Free : (800)310-9769
Main Phone Number : (214)219-9900
Fax Number : (214)219-9456

March 2013 Archives

Easy ways to lower your litigation cost: Part 3

Even when you're a professional claims handler, it's often easy to discount the value of social media research. In a word: Don't. Especially as sites like Facebook constantly update their security settings, important information on plaintiffs, third parties, and even your own client can be left public and exposed. Time and time again we see social media research making an impact in the courtroom and at the negotiation table. In this third part of our five part series on easy ways to lower your litigation costs, we look at three simple tasks commonly delegated to a law firm unnecessarily. Make sure you check back next week for three more tips on how to lower your litigation costs.

Freight Broker Liability: The Plaintiff attorneys' new prey

The rise of intermediaries in the post-deregulation trucking world has led to more efficient matchmaking between shippers and motor carriers. However, these intermediaries--colloquially known as "freight brokers"--have increasingly found themselves the target of litigation. Under common law respondeat superior (the doctrine of an employer's liability for the actions of their employees), only the motor carrier would be liable to the public for injuries sustained by their employee's operation of the truck.

Is your Independent Contractor Really an Employee?

Last month, the Dallas Court of Appeals renewed the general rule of how to determine whether or not your independent contractor is really an employee. The general rule is a test of "control." Poynor v. BMW of N. Am., LLC, No. 05-10-00724-CV, 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 1743 (Tex. App.-Dallas Feb. 21, 2013).

What Every Adjuster Should Know: The Stowers Doctrine

Most claims professionals have heard of a Stowers demand, or received a Stowers letter. The Stowers doctrine is a widely mentioned, but commonly misapplied, tool in a Plaintiff attorney's arsenal to force settlement. It is crucial for an adjuster to fully understand the doctrine, and the obligations derived from it.

Easy ways to lower your litigation cost: Part 2

A claims handler can significantly curtail pre-litigation costs by performing basic document retrieval herself. Building the case file beyond what is provided by the insured requires diligent requests to law enforcement and state agencies. While time-consuming, such requests do not require legal expertise and can be handled by an adjuster. In this second part of our five part series on easy ways to lower your litigation costs, we look at three simple tasks commonly and unnecessarily delegated to a law firm. Make sure you check back next week for three more tips on how to lower your litigation costs.

Look Before You Leap (or Cross): The Law in Mississippi Assumes You Will!

Railroad Crossing.jpgIn May 2008 John Brown drove his garbage truck across a railroad crossing in Copiah County, Mississippi, and was struck by an Amtrak train operated on tracks owned by Illinois Central Railroad Company ("Illinois Central"). An advance warning sign stood 22 feet from the tracks and another warning sign stood 15 feet from the tracks. Mr. Brown's view of the oncoming train was unobstructed, but he never stopped before entering the crossing even though the train blew its horn. It was undisputed that, at a distance of 25 feet from the crossing, Mr. Brown could see 2000 feet down the tracks.

Easy ways to lower your litigation cost: Part 1

It's not an easy time to be an insurance claims professional. Increased claims and a slow economy have brought added pressure to lower litigation costs. Many claims professionals find themselves braving the fine line between handling tasks that are appropriate for an adjuster, and those that require a law license. Time and time again, we see claims professionals delegating simple ministerial tasks to a law firm--tasks that could easily be handled in-house-raising their litigation costs unnecessarily.

The Bassett Firm

3838 Oak Lawn Avenue
Suite 1300
Dallas, TX 75219

Toll Free: 800-310-9769
Phone: 214-219-9900
Fax: 214-219-9456
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