Auto Accidents Report Has Interesting Side Statistics
The NCCI report on Auto accidents. NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) is the largest rating bureau in the nation. Their statistics cover 21 or more states. One of most dangerous places to work is in your automobile according to their report.
Surprisingly, the number of auto accidents that result in injury has been reduced by 37% since 1966 while the number of miles driven has tripled. This was likely due to safety enhancements over the past 35 years.
One interesting area of the report is subrogation. Subrogation is basically pursuing a third party that may be responsible for all or part of an accident.
According to NCCI, at 60 months after date of injury, about 1% of all claims involve subrogation. For motor vehicle claims, the percentage involving subrogation is almost 25%. The 25% figure is not an unexpected amount. Unless the accident involved a single car, there would be an element of subrogation to the accident.
The astounding figure is the average amount of subrogation is over 20% lower for motor vehicle claims than for all claims at 60 months ($8,570 for motor vehicle claims vs. $10,871 for all claims). There was no direct explanation as to why auto accidents are not more expensive.
One reason is that if a claim is subrogated for other than an auto accident, the injuries sustained must have been more severe. Another reason could be auto insurers are much more aggressive and knowledgeable on pursuing third parties than Workers Comp insurers.
If the auto adjuster pursues another party for an injury, Workers Comp insurers can subrogate their claim and “go along for the ride.”
This indirectly proves Workers Comp claims adjusters are rarely, if ever, trained in spotting third parties that may be responsible for an injury. For instance, if a machine in a lumber yard malfunctions and causes an injury, subrogation opportunities are being passed over quite often.
The basis of the subrogation claim should always be the recorded statement taken by the Workers Comp adjuster. The adjusters gloss over the malfunctioning machine in the example. This can leave big Workers Comp $$ behind.
Many years ago, I was trained on subrogation very heavily. However, I was an all-lines adjuster. I was not specifically a Workers comp adjuster.
Should more than 1% of all non-auto claims be subrogated against another party? I would have to say definitely yes.
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