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The Cost of an Attorney

Takeaways from a recent sponsored Tech Talk webinar, "How Does Attorney Involvement Impact Workers’ Compensation Claims?”

June 22, 2022 Photo

CLM recently held a sponsored “Tech Talk” webinar entitled, “How Does Attorney Involvement Impact Workers’ Compensation Claims?” which discussed a tech-driven analysis of how plaintiffs’ attorneys’ involvement affects the duration and cost of lost-time claims. Below are a few takeaways from the presentation.

12:00:00 p.m.

Michael Paczolt, FCAS, MAAA, Principal and Consulting Actuary, Milliman

12:00:47 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“We know attorneys impact claims, but it’s not always clear exactly how much. And the reason for that really is that, typically, data is not accurately captured on attorney involvement.”

12:01:35 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“We did a case study and focused specifically on plaintiffs’ attorneys and how they would impact the duration and cost of claims.”

12:03:28 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“Our technology allows us to look at text data on claims and identify those that had an attorney, and really not only if they had an attorney, but at what point did they have an attorney [join the claim].”

12:05:37 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“In terms of the overall percentage of lost-time claims that have a plaintiff’s attorney, we found 36% of claims had attorney involvement at some point…so essentially one-third of all lost-time claims have an attorney.”

12:06:02 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“Since lost-time claims are really our most expensive types of claims, driving most of the cost, this is…very enlightening to know that this large of a chunk of our lost-time claims have some sort of attorney involvement.”

12:06:35 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“We found that the average case length for a lost-time claim with an attorney was more than double. So, [attorney involvement has] a significant impact on how long those cases are staying open.”

12:07:10 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“[How] does that translate into dollars? What we saw was that lost-time cases with attorney involvement cost over two times that of cases without an attorney. So, not only are the cases staying open a lot longer, but they are also ultimately costing a lot more, as well.”

12:07:47 p.m.

Michael Paczolt

“If we were able to slice that a little bit more and look specifically at indemnity benefits or wage benefits, then we see that’s really where there is the largest impact: When there is an attorney on a case, that indemnity generally costs 3.5 times more than those cases without.”


About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is senior managing editor for CLM Magazine and Construction Claims magazine.  phil.gusman@theclm.org

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