Bodily injury liability filings and verdicts are lower than any time in the last decade, but No-Fault filings and awards are higher than ever. Our carriers are deluged with No-Fault claims which often are worth several thousand dollars before the carrier gets its first notice, which exceed the $10,000 arbitration jurisdictional limit at filing, and have grown to $12,000 to $15,000 by the time of arbitration. The reality is: No-Fault claims pose a far greater threat than the third-party liability claims they finance. They are the gateway to underinsured and uninsured motorist claims against the first-party insurer which already is their victim. Why, then, do we treat them as a lost cause, throw our least experienced lawyers in to defend them, lie down and let the plaintiff’s bar run all over us? Can we afford to keep this up? Can our carriers afford to let us keep this up? I don’t think so.
I’ve arbitrated hundreds of No-Fault claims over the last five years. I have gotten significant reductions on nearly 60% of my cases and I have 21 defense verdicts. These results came from both “plaintiff” and “defendant” arbitrators. It’s not just luck. Here are some suggestions based on my experience.
Read the full article which appeared in Minnesota Defense magazine.