Musings From an Old Subro Dog


Somehow, 30 some years have now gone by handling Subrogation matters for so many wonderful clients.  From losses at the mall, the big league stadium, local waterslide park, pig farm, high rise buildings, industrial and power plants, commercial buildings, residences, motorhomes and mansions, and many other places, they have all had their unique twist on what it means to be a Subrogation Professional.

From all of it, a few thoughts and musings:

  • There Are Very Few “Slam Dunks” in the Subrogation World.

One of my first losses as a subrogation attorney resulted in a quick settlement.  All it took was a phone call, sending over some supports, and then a settlement check appeared!  That didn’t happen again for quite a long time. Don’t take it for granted that a loss is airtight and will be promptly paid back by the responsible party. Assume there will be some issue that will create a problem and work hard to figure out what that problem might be and be prepared to address it.

  • Don’t Assume the Loss Is Not Worth Having an Attorney Review.

On the other end of the spectrum, it doesn’t cost anything to have an attorney take a look at a loss to ensure there is not a recovery opportunity. Take advantage of that service offered by a firm such as Cozen O’Connor, there might be some money hidden somewhere in that file.

  • Use Your Experts Wisely.

Even when an expert concludes that a case is a slam dunk, or is a closer, make sure to ask all the important questions. Beware of experts that start with the phrase “based on my years of experience,” since experience doesn’t prove the case – facts and evidence do. Make sure he or she has covered all the bases, talked to the right witnesses, collected the relevant evidence, and considered alternative theories. The more you ask, the better equipped you are to truly evaluate the loss.

  • Be Wary of Insisting on Getting the Last Dollar.

Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered. It has happened more than once where a final counteroffer to squeeze for that very last dollar ends up with the offer getting pulled, and off you go to trial on a questionable case. Just be forewarned that once in a while, the offer might get pulled.

  • Listen to What Your Attorney Is Telling You.

If you are using legal counsel on a matter, use their experience, feel for the case, and sense of where they think the case should resolve. Certainly, ask questions if you feel you and the attorney are not on the same page, but if you are receiving satisfactory answers to the questions, take the counsel of the attorney.

  • Remember the Insured Has Suffered a Loss.

Sometimes we get caught up in the recovery battle and forget the insured has suffered a personal loss and likely endured a traumatic event. Treat the insured with respect and empathy. Having said that, sometimes the insured’s account of events may need some probing to make sure it is accurate and supported by the physical evidence.

  • Enjoy the Job and the People You Work With and Do the Job Well.

Focus on relationships, excellence, and results. Enjoy and grow the relationships you have with your colleagues in the office and with those you interact with in your position. Be exceptional. Stay sharp.  Challenge yourself and challenge others to excel at the trade.

Get the results. If you do relationships and excellence well, you will be successful, and the results will follow.

Kevin Bush, who recently retired from Cozen O’Connor after thirty years as a Subrogation attorney, authored this blog post. If you want to connect with Kevin, don’t hesitate to contact Kris Cherevas at

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