A new study from the American Transportation Research Institute quantifies the impact of small trial verdicts and settlements on trucking.
The new report takes a closer look at how verdicts and settlements under $1 million impact the industry.
An important revelation is that settlement payments are approximately 37.7% larger than verdict awards, and are 393% more likely to occur in incidents that involve a fatality.
In addition, ATRI’s study found that incidents involving a severe injury were 217% more likely to settle and 199% more likely to result in payments to plaintiffs of more than $600,000.
“This analysis proves a theory that I have always had; there are two markets as to the value of cases – the settlement market and the trial market,” said Doug Marcello, an attorney with the law firm of Marcello & Kivisto. “There should be one market and that is what a case is objectively worth.”
ATRI says that, in addition to an overview of the small litigation landscape in the trucking industry, the report also provides useful descriptions of strategies that can help carriers and attorneys to prevent more costly litigation outcomes.
During the institute’s earlier research into highly expensive “nuclear” verdicts, the researchers had determined that a different plaintiff litigation model is impacting the industry in smaller cases.
The newer research examined a unique dataset consisting of more than 600 cases that resulted in either a monetary settlement or verdict award of less than $1 million.
“The report provides rich insight into key crash characteristics and litigation factors that contribute to substantial payments to plaintiffs,” ATRI says.