Image Resources Inc. had the privilege this past week of attending the 52nd Annual Indiana Trial Lawyers Association Institute, or ITLA, as both exhibitors and the videographers of the program. In having the opportunity to sit in and listen to the guest speakers, we were inspired by the topics discussed – including Persuasion in the 21stCentury, Maximizing Your Case Value with Focus Groups, Patchett vs. Lee, among others. Hearing the words of both the young, enthusiastic attorneys as well as the more seasoned lawyers, we were reminded why it is that we do what we do at Image Resources Inc. We play a small part in the big picture of a client’s case. We team up with some of the best folks in law who carry high integrity and are equally dedicated to maximizing the justice for these individuals and their families as us.
Patchett vs. Lee
One topic in particular stood out as an important subject to be mindful of in our work with personal-injury cases. Joe Williams of Riley, Williams & Platt spoke on Patchett vs. Lee and the shift in the way Indianalaw determines medical specials damages. A summary of the case, as provided by The Indiana Lawyer, is as follows:
“Ms. Lee was injured in an admitted-fault accident in 2012. Her medical specials were billed at $87,706.36. She was insured under Healthy Indiana Plan, a state-funded insurance program. HIP paid $12,051.48 as full satisfaction of Ms. Lee’s medical bills to her providers. Patchett sought to introduce the paid amount as evidence of the reasonable value of her medical specials. The trial court declined Patchett’s request to introduce this evidence, holding that the paid amount did not reflect the reasonable value of her medical services. The final ruling held that government reimbursement rates were not a true reflection of the value of health care services and were thus inadmissible as evidence of the reasonable value of medical services in personal-injury cases (http://www.theindianalawyer.com/column-does-patchett-v-lee-make-patchwork-of-medical-specials/PARAMS/article/39088).”
Williams used this opportunity in his presentation to address his colleagues on how each and every client is important despite their level of income and insurance coverage status. He pointed out that a separation of class is not okay when it comes to seeking justice for a client. In considering two people of different social or economic status who have identical injuries, one should not obtain higher medical specials damages than the other. Ultimately, when it comes to seeking justice for a client, Williams charged that clients who are immigrants, poor, on Medicaid, or otherwise are no less important than those in another situation.
This was just one of the many topics that our friends at ITLA passionately discussed over the course of the two day conference that continues the legal education of its members (as well as our own team). We at Image Resources Inc. are honored to be involved with an organization like ITLA.
Assistant Communications Director
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