Ohio Personal Injury, Nursing Home, & Wrongful Death Law Blog
Monday, September 29, 2014
I have a client who doesn’t pay me despite the fact that I spend much of each day fighting to get it paid. This client sends me threatening letters and emails. It threatens to sue my other clients, the ones I care for, if I don’t do a good job getting it paid. I get no thank yous; only scorn. No “good jobs”; only rude silence after I send it money. Although I fight to get this client paid, I hate the thought of this client and what it does to others. My malpractice and ethical exposure increases and now half of my life is dedicated to a client who uses me to take advantage of others. I can’t successfully serve the Little Guy if I am but a slave to The Man’s bidding. But someone has to keep fighting for the Little Guy, right?
You see, I represent the insurance industry. I don’t have a contract and I use the term “client” facetiously, but the fact remains that I work for the insurance industry as a consequence for my work for my personal injury and wrongful death clients. It’s more like an indentured servitude set forth by The Man. The Man enslaves me by virtue of my cherished relationships with my actual injured clients and I have a forced duty to ensure that my role in the Tort Deform Machine is preserved. There is no recourse as The Machine gets more powerful and the Little Guy is all but out of legal ammunition to fight.
The Man isn’t so much a governmental entity as it is the byproduct of the growing and misguided American ideal that paints victims of personal injury as malingerers, and their lawyers, ambulance chasers. The Man was born when the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution was forgotten by the American public. Because of The Man, one’s right to a civil jury trial, once hailed as a “sacred” right by our Founders, is now a distant third behind the financial interests of the insurance industry and the government.
Because of The Man, money in personal injury claims is many times not passed to the aggrieved, but from one insurance company to another by virtue of what is called “subrogation”. Subrogation is the process where the Little Guy is legally required to pay back his first party benefits (you know, the benefits he paid premiums on) for money the health or first party car insurer paid out on medical bills. The Little Guy can now theoretically get in an accident, suffer terrible injuries, and have all of the available money go to pay back his health insurance company. There are no longer equitable (consideration of fairness) remedies for this. The Man has determined that these insurers can place just about anything they want in insurance contracts, and if the Little Guy agrees (which they have little to no choice if they are to be insured), well, they are out of luck. A meeting of the minds and the unfair bargaining position the of Little Guy is in now means nothing.
So then it becomes my job to make sure the subrogation “rights” of the health insurance (and first party car insurance through what is called MedPay) companies are protected. The duty I have to my real client is compounded, and if I don’t comply with The Man’s bidding, I could get in trouble and the Little Guy I represent can lose his benefits, be sued, or both. I am forced to file more lawsuits in order to address subrogation and get the Little Guy compensated something. And when I file more lawsuits, The Man accuses me of filing “frivolous” lawsuits and the Tort Deform machine builds more power. The calculated dehumanization of the injury victims and their lawyers by the Tort Deformers who are pulling The Man’s strings contributes to the billion dollar profits of the insurance industry.
One day, the Little Guy will again stand in a legal position to be reasonably compensated without The Man bringing him down. Today is not that day. If I have to continue to serve as an indentured servant to the insurance industry in order to assist the Little Guy, then I will. But if there is to be subrogation, then there needs to be fairness to those to who suffer.
Ohio voters need to stand up to The Man. Don’t fall victim to the propaganda being spread by the Tort Deformers. Educate yourself on tort deform.
You can start by getting the real facts about the McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCkL9UlmCOE
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I have to post the most recent testimonial the office received about the work of Attorney Matthew Loesch, who handles the firm's domestic and criminal law cases. When a client goes out of their way to write a detailed positive and enlightening testimonial of their experience, it proves that lawyers are a necessary element to achieving justice.
Rules prevent us from promising or guaranteeing present and future clients any specific results. These rules are designed to prevent lawyers from advertising fantastic results while implying that the same fantastic result will happen in every case to lure in new clients. We are not allowed to say, "We get millions of dollars for our clients" or "We've had verdicts of such-and-such amounts (and imply that such amounts are typical results)". If lawyers were allowed to say things like this, potential clients may logically assume they would get "millions of dollars".
Even if these rules didn't exist, it would be unfair for us to accurately attempt to predict a positive outcome in every case. Each case is different and has its own set of separate and distinct facts. All we can do is present options and explain risks. When a client asks us "what will happen?" we use the word "depends" a lot. The reason being is that nothing is black and white or cut and dry when it comes to most legal disputes. There is a big difference between an "educated prediction" and a flat-out guarantee.
While we sometimes get callers who say, "I have a slam dunk case worth such-and-such amount of money" or "I guarantee I will win my case." We lawyers do not (or shouldn't) deal in absolutes. For example, for those accused of a felony and have been indicted - - the mere presence of an indictment suggests that the State feels they have something that will allow them to win. In personal injury cases in Ohio and Kentucky, there are laws and insurance company procedures that sometimes automatically place an injured victim in a place of disadvantage. Simply put, people call lawyers because there is a dispute - - and with dispute, comes the risk of losing.
That brings me back to what we are allowed to tell potential clients and clients. While we are not permitted to promise a specific result, the rules do not prohibit us from simply saying that we will do our best and that we will strive to always treat our clients like people. That is a promise and a guarantee with our office. We feel that this promise, though not guaranteeing a specific outcome, transcends into our results.
This most recent account from a client of Attorney Matthew Loesch highlights the promises we can make:
"Without the Law Office of Jeremy M. Burnside, LLC, I wouldn't have even known where to start. The Burnside law firm was patient, kind, understanding, and professional throughout the entire process.
Attorney Matthew Loesch fought for not only what I wanted, but what my family needed. A voice. Mr. Loesch is nothing short of a godsend. He cares for his clients and to a mother (me), that means everything. I have already recommended this law firm to everyone and everyone I talked to. I have also hired them again on a separate issue since my first experience with them was a success!”
- Due to the circumstances of her very complex and important case, we cannot reveal this individual’s name. On our Facebook page, we do give names of many clients (not full), when listing names does not jeopardize any potential future proceedings (and obviously with their permission).
Thursday, January 2, 2014
The Law Office of Jeremy M. Burnside, LLC is proud to announce that Attorney Jeremy M. Burnside has been named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers®. This announcement was made in the 2014 edition of Ohio and Kentucky Super Lawyers Magazine, Cleveland Magazine, Columbus Monthly, Inside Business, and Cincinnati Magazine.
The multi-phase selection process for inclusion in Rising Stars includes the initial requirement that the attorney be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. All nominated attorneys first go through the Super Lawyers selection process, which includes, but is not limited to, peer review, independent research, peer evaluations and professional recognition and achievement.
No more than 2.5 percent of Ohio attorneys are named to the Rising Stars list.
More information about how Attorney Burnside was selected as a "Rising Star" can be found at: http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html
Friday, October 4, 2013
When I moved from Cleveland to Portsmouth, Ohio, on my birthday in 2009, I had hoped that I would have opportunities here to help people on a personal level that would be more difficult to do in the big city. I never thought that I would open my own firm, settle several high-dollar cases, try high-level cases including aggravated murder, much less meet my wife, get married, and prepare to have a baby. I was named #1 lawyer in my new home last week and continue to be proud of my firm's efforts in protecting the ravaged civil justice system in this community.
Although I can't help to be proud of my own personal accomplishments, I am overly proud of my clients who have to overcome significant tribulations. Shortly after someone is injured, I enjoy helping them get peace of mind while they treat and try to turn their lives back around. Going for therapy 3-4 times a week, being scanned for over 30 minutes multiple times while enclosed for MRIs, constantly wondering if they will ever be well again . . . enduring this for so long and eventually overcoming their struggles is what motivates me. While my clients fight to get their health and life back after suffering terrible injuries, they inspire me to work that much harder in the fight against the insurance companies who just tell them to walk it off and encourage them to take their low-ball offers.
People who are faced with hopelessness, fear, and depression are many times susceptible to the goals of an insurance adjuster, who many times plug in codes into a computer system to process an amount of money aimed to save the insurance companies money for their incessant commercials and media fight to paint all injured victims as money-hungry malingerers. The resilience my clients show gives me hope that one day soon, they will be treated like people and not hurdles in the way of the insurance industry's multi-billion-dollar profit strategies.
Being voted #1 lawyer in my new home only has meaning when the people I fight for receive justice above insult.
- Jeremy Burnside
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Portsmouth, OH – Personal injury attorney Jeremy Burnside announced today that he will be hosting a cookout to recognize the struggles of his injured clients who have been affected by negligence on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at his office, located at 611 Court Street in Portsmouth, Ohio. The cookout will be catered by the famed Scioto Ribber and is set to begin at 5:30 pm and conclude at 7:30 pm.. The featured speaker is Kody Kennard, the victim of a tragic motorcycle accident that claimed the use of his legs. Kody will discuss not only his experience with the claims process, but how he overcame the serious injuries that have changed his life. Kody will share his story at approximately 6:15 pm..
With regards to the purpose of the annual event, Attorney Burnside said, “Many of my present clients have feelings of hopelessness. They wonder, ‘Will I ever get better?’ ‘When will this nightmare end?’ and ‘How long is this case going to take?’ I am bringing in past clients to share their experiences to provide hope to my current clients.”
Attorney Burnside plans to also update these negligence victims of past and present tort reform measures that have significantly affected victims’ Seventh Amendment rights to a civil jury trial. One measure that has affected many of these victims is the noneconomic damages cap contained in Ohio Revised Code 2315.18. Attorney Burnside said, “A determination as to how much pain and suffering a rape victim should be entitled to, for example, should not be made by a cold statute - - that’s why we have juries.”
Law Offices of Jeremy Burnside has offices in Scioto County, OH and Lawrence County, OH. We serve clients throughout Ohio and Kentucky in the following areas:
Ohio Cities: Portsmouth, Lucasville, Ironton, Wheelersburg, Piketon, Gallipolis, South Point, Chillicothe, Cleveland, Columbus and Elyria.
Kentucky Counties: Lewis County, Boyd County, Pike County, Greenup County, Fleming County, Martin County and Carter County.