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Workers Comp Attorney Involvement 400% Variation Between States


Workers Comp Attorney Involvement Varies Widely Between 18 States – WCRI

The Workers Comp Attorney involvement rates vary wildly between the states that WCRI studied in a recently released report.

This topic wowed the press and audience at the recent WCRI Annual Conference just this last March.   The press at the conference began feverishly typing when this data was presented by WCRI.

Two Workers Comp Attorney Involvement presenting
Wikimedia Commons – Cecil Stoughton

My live blogging of this session from the  March WCRI Annual Conference can be found here.

WCRI is the Workers Compensation Research Institute out of Boston, Mass.  Andy and the Institute represent a great think tank for Workers Compensation.   When I need good fresh WC data, I turn to them.   The rating bureaus such as NCCI and WCIRB provide good data also.

If you underwrite, adjust, or have anything to do with the Workers Comp rating process, this is one study you should download.   The data astounded me.

The chart in this article shows the striking differences between the 18 states in reference to attorney involvement.

According to WCRI

According to the study, the percentage of claims with worker attorneys ranged from 13–14 percent in Wisconsin and Texas to 49–52 percent in New Jersey and Illinois, for 2013 claims with more than seven days of lost time and experience through March 2016. The median of the 18 states was at nearly 30 percent.

Percentage Workers Comp Attorney Involvement Vector
Wikimedia Commons – Wilinckx

The question that I ponder covers three points – why

  1. Such a huge variation
  2. Do over 50% of files in either Illinois or New Jersey require an attorney? – astounding
  3. Is the median of all states at 30%?

WCRI postulates an answer for all three:

The study, Worker Attorney Involvement: A New Measure, indicates system features may be responsible for at least some of the interstate variation. The report focuses on the two states among the lowest on this measure (Wisconsin and Texas) and the two states among the highest (Illinois and New Jersey), and discusses the system features that may be contributing to these states’ results based on findings from WCRI’s CompScope™ Benchmarks studies.

The 18 states included in this study are Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These states were selected because they are geographically diverse, represent a range of system features, and represent the range of states that are higher, near the middle, and lower on costs per claim.

The data structure analyzed  for Workers Comp Attorney involvement by WCRI was enormous –

Female Workers Comp Attorney Involvement Addressing Jury

The analysis in this report uses data from 24 data sources, including national and regional insurers, claims administration organizations, state funds, and self-insured employers. The data are collected in the WCRI Detailed Benchmark/Evaluation (DBE) database, which includes about 7.5 million claims that are reasonably representative of the entire system in each of the 18 states, including all market segments: self-insurance, residual market, voluntary insurance, and state funds.

To download this study on Workers Comp attorney involvement, visit https://www.wcrinet.org/reports/wcri-flashreport-worker-attorney-involvement-a-new-measure . The authors of this study are Rebecca (Rui) Yang, Karen Rothkin, and Roman Dolinschi.

BTW, WCRI does not pay J&L Risk Management Consultants or myself any advertising revenue.   My opinions on their studies are written of my own volition.   They do provide me a copy of certain studies gratis if I request them.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
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