The May, 2015 Alabama Jury Verdict Reporter is out. There were 11 car accident cases in this edition. Six of those were defense verdicts. Of the five plaintiff verdicts, the total amount of all five verdicts equaled $140,702.00 or an average of $28,120.00 for the plaintiff verdicts and a total average for all 11 verdicts of $12,790.00. If you remove two of the verdicts which totaled a little over $91,000, the average car accident verdict was approximately $4,400.00.
This hardly reflects a crazy jury system. The minimum coverage for Alabama drivers is $25,000. So, the public is paying premiums on $25,000 policies when the average verdict has been well less than $25,000.00. Who are the winners? The insurance companies of course.
What most people don’t understand is that our tort system is a cost shifting mechanism designed to shift costs to the person or company who or which caused injuries to another. If someone runs into the rear of your vehicle and you have to go to a doctor or hospital or therapy and use your BlueCross BlueShield policy, shouldn’t the insurance carrier for the person at fault reimburse you for your co-pays and reimburse BlueCross BlueShield for its costs of your care? What if it’s Medicare or Medicaid and not BlueCross BlueShield? At that point, we the taxpayers are paying for the injured person’s care. Consequently, if the defendant wins the case, we pay for the injured party’s care, and the insurance company for the person who caused the wreck doesn’t foot the bill.
What are your thoughts on these issues?