With the increase in the manipulation of data across all disciplines, it is no surprise that this has come into the legal space. Information gained from data is valuable, and it can be used to predict trends and behaviors in any given industry. Being able to predict such cases can save companies money if they can simply pay cases that will gain large judgment awards while avoiding the litigation process.
There are many ways insurers can collect information. For instance, data on drivers may be able to predict which ones will likely get into accidents that will lead to the insurer having to pay a claim. They can then charge higher premiums to customers who meet the profile. One way auto insurers have started to collect data is through devices that can be inserted into the car. Insurers also have access to other data about an individual, like credit reports. They can dig deeper than the usual assumptions about what makes a profitable personal injury case.
What is the result of the collection of such information on the personal injury process? The first issue may be that settlement offers will be less predictable, especially to personal injury plaintiff’s attorneys. Such attorneys will not have access to all of the potential data available to an insurer and thus will not be able to predict why some cases will receive higher settlement offers than others. I predict personal injury plaintiff’s attorneys will eventually have access to such modeling data or procedures in order to assess which cases are better for their firms to take. Ironically, this may lead to more litigation with the initial unpredictability of the settlement offers. I predict this will subside as such information becomes more widely available in the legal space. There will continue to be privacy concerns with how information is being used and how much access companies will have to such information. This can also be a source of litigation as courts must balance the usefulness of such information with the right of an individual to maintain privacy. States will have different laws which will continue to add to the confusion over the initial conclusions insurance companies can make from the information they can possess. No doubt this area will continue to be closely watched for the future.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.