In 2017 there were about 450,000 police-reported accidents involving trucks (Source: FMCSA)
. While everyone would love to see that number decrease, the fact of the matter is that accidents happen. That's why trucking companies are required to have substantial insurance policies to cover the possibly extensive damages that can occur. However, the rising cost of these insurance policies is a huge burden on trucking companies. And on top of the rising cost, in some places trucking companies are having trouble even finding an insurance company that will cover them.
So what is the cause of the heightened insurance costs? If you think it's because trucks are causing more accidents these days, think again. 2016 actually had 475,000 police-reported accidents involving trucks (Source: FMCSA). If it's not that trucks are causing more accidents, what is making insurance costs sky rocket?
Well a court case in Atlanta involving a slip-and-fall injury case may have shed some light on the trucking insurance problem.
You see, the lawyers working on this slip-and-fall injury case unexpectedly learned that in addition to the lawyers and doctors involved in this case, there was also a litigation finance company poking its nose in.
Litigation finance companies help fund the lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses while a case is in the courts, receiving this money back and more when the case has been closed. Sometimes, the litigation finance companies will even bring on investors to help fund the process for cases where money is tight but will likely have a good payout.
The lawyers in the slip-and-fall injury case found that the clinic and litigation finance company were working together to make the injury cost appear to be more than it was. The clinic was charging 2.5 to 3.5 times more than average market costs for their medical procedures. They were also choosing which patients they were going to take on based on how likely the patients were to win their injury case. These methods are effective in getting the most amount of money in a winning lawsuit.
The discoveries from this slip-and-fall injury case have made it clear that it's not the amount of accidents increasing insurance payouts. It's actually inflated claims that are taking all the insurance money.
Litigation finance companies know that trucking companies have high insurance coverage. Litigation finance companies working with doctors can make injury claims much more expensive than they actually are because they know that the truck's insurance can cover the large bill.
Understanding this connection can help during a court case. One strategy is to reveal the plaintiff's connection to a litigation finance firm to help a jury see how the doctors, lawyers, and litigation finance company are working together to get more money from this accident.
Spread this new knowledge with your trucking associates to help them not be victims of an inflated accident court case. If you want to understand more about inflated accident claims and what your company can do to avoid them, email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
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