Shawn Steel & John Tawlian




Mercury Insurance contested damages in a simple rear-end case. Erin Hirsh was hit by Thea Miller on a LA freeway in stop and go traffic.


Hirsh admitted a pre-existing back condition but was aggravated. Hirsh claimed the accident caused an annular tear.


Hirsh presented chiropractic testimony that explained to the jury the following:


“Between the vertebrae of the spinal column rest discs made of cartilage, which cushion bones and facilitate movement. Surrounding each intervertebral disc, a tough, shock-absorbing layer known as the annulus protects the disc’s vulnerable interior. An annular tear occurs when this hard-outer layer cracks or becomes ripped open. If the annulus is damaged, the soft liquid-like inner material of the disc can leak out and cause a variety of problems, such as painful nerve compression.”


No surgery or epidurals were indicated. But future problems are clearly likely.


Mercury offered $7,500. Plaintiff demanded $34,000 before trial. The jury gave more.


·     $14,000 past economic damage

·     $4,000 future damages

·     $12,000 past pain

·     $15,000 future pain

Grand Total of $45,000 + Mercury has to pay all litigation costs.


Hirsh v Miller BC 612 926 Hon. Judge Stanley Blumenfeld, Los Angeles Superior Court, February 9, 2018


An elderly PI client with a long list of pre-existing conditions was involved in a severe MVA and suffered a moderate back injury. Her treating chiropractor realized the severity of the injury and sent the patient out for a neuro-surgical consult from a DC-friendly MD. Dr. Neuro recommended diagnostic injections to pinpoint the source of the pain and additional DC treatment. After an initial round of injections, the patient was convinced the only way forward was surgery.


Following the results of the injections, both the DC and MD recommended RFTC (radiofrequency thermocoagulation) and TFESI (transforaminal epidural steroid injection) which they believed could provide the patient with at least six months or more of pain relief. These procedures saved our client from the risks associated with invasive neurosurgery.


You are the manager of your patient’s care. A thoughtful and skillfully-placed recommendation can be the difference between a good case and a mediocre one but more importantly, it can be the difference between unnecessary surgery and not.


For any questions feel free to email me:

What Honest PI Attorneys Really Want from the Treating Doctor

Dr. Lewkovich presented this subject at our annual SSLF Advanced PI Seminar.


Key points:

·     Fewer frustrations.

·     Less work for the attorney?!

·     Make more money, seems obvious.

·     Make clients reasonably satisfied.

·     Maintain special relationships with exceptional doctors.


Lewkovich offers an outline on What PI Attorneys Really Want from DC’s.


For a copy email: johntawlian@shawnsteel.com


ANSWERS Shawn Steel PI Survey


What do you want from your PI Email Alert?


Hot PI cases by doctors who testified -- what are PI cases really worth? - 28%


New creative PI Forms - 24%


Helpful tools to get better values for PI cases - 48%



Death in Rehab - $7 million Award - Riverside County


When Shaun Reyna bled to death at A Better Tomorrow’s treatment center in Murrieta. He was alone and unattended. Staff noted he was so agitated he should have gone to a hospital. State law requires that detox clients be observed every 30 minutes. American Addiction Centers --- which acquired A Better Tomorrow claimed they did nothing wrong. They argued Reyna’s suicide was his own decision.


American Addiction Center is one of America’s largest addiction firms. California is one of the few states that permit addiction centers to treat life threatening = withdrawal in non-medical facilities.


Typically, sober living homes or treatment centers are quite expensive, $15,000 a month or more. Federal mandates require insurance to pay.


According to the law suit, 5 addicts were admitted with serious medical or psychiatric issues and died shortly afterward.


Opioid addiction has soared. Unscrupulous rehab operators have rushed to take advantage of mandatory mental health treatment required by Obama Care. Even a broke and homeless heroin addict can be worth hundreds of thousands.


The Southern California News Group investigation discovered that many addicts are bought, sold and exploited in an underworld rife with kickbacks, drug use and fraud that can end in death.




CCA Districts

Sacramento District (2hrs mandated CE)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


North Bay District (2hrs mandated CE)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Shawn Steel & Sam Collins Mini 2 Hr. Seminar

San Fernando Valley - Wed. May 16, 2018


All doctors welcome to join us.


For questions email johntawlian@shawnsteel.com.



Phone: (800) 626-0003

Email: ShawnSteel@ShawnSteel.com

Website: Shawnsteel.com

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Shawn Steel Law Firm, California's Pro Chiropractic Law Firm | 3010 Old Ranch PKWY, Suite 260, Seal Beach, CA 90740