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Michigan Supreme Court ruling could lead to less auto accident litigation

Car accident lawyer tells Crain’s Detroit Business that the insurance industry’s threats to raise auto rates are false – and that the sky is not falling because of the new auto law

Crain’s Detroit Business reports on McCormick v. Carrier, an August 2010 Supreme Court ruling that relaxed the injury standard for recovering pain and suffering damages in auto injury cases.

Steve Gursten, car accident lawyer and partner of Michigan Auto Law, tells the magazine that although the insurance industry claims the new auto law will lead to more auto negligence litigation and higher auto insurance rates, there might actually be less litigation.

“(McCormick) is essentially returning us all to the standard of the law that insurers actually helped to write in the 1990s, when they saw the opportunity to amend No-Fault through a Republican governor and the Legislature.

He estimated that his law firm may have as many as 100 potential auto accident lawsuits awaiting the outcome of McCormick, and other firms across Michigan would have pent-up claims. But this could lead to less litigation.

“I used to be able to resolve one-third or more of my claims at the adjuster stage, pre-lawsuit. But Kreiner took that level to nearly zero,” Gursten said. “You might see an initial spike in litigation, but those cases I used to be able to settle without lawsuits, I’ll be able to settle again. I think a year or so from now (the number of lawsuits) might net out to about the same level as today, or even a little below.”

You can read the full Crain’s Detroit Business story here: Ruling may spur auto injury cases

August 8, 2010

Related information:

Why the insurance industry in Michigan thinks we’re really dumb

When is it too late to file a car accident claim in Michigan?

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