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A National Counsel Model for Vehicle Fleet Accident Cases

April 2019 - Law360
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An area that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to the efficient operation of a vehicle fleet is accident investigation and the defense of claims and lawsuits. After years of seeing steady declines in the annual number of fatal accidents on U.S. roadways, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently reported that the number of fatal crashes and deaths increased in 2017. And these numbers do not include the non-fatal accidents.

It is clear that managing claims and lawsuits arising from accidents is becoming an increasingly important function for commercial fleets. Companies can achieve considerable efficiencies and economies of scale by consolidating their defense of claims and lawsuits into a national counsel model, in which a specific team of in-house and outside lawyers manage and execute the defense of all motor vehicle accident claims and lawsuits.

Using a designated team of personnel — as opposed to different lawyers in each city or state — can provide for more consistent application of defense strategies, improve communication between the company and its outside counsel, reduce the amount of time spent searching for and collecting relevant information in each case, and reduce the amount of time spent educating outside counsel about the company’s fleet policies and procedures. In turn, this can reduce and create greater predictability of defense costs.

Read the article here.

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