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Starting in the 1990s, auto insurance companies started denying motor vehicle claims with small amounts of visible vehicle damage and pushing lawyers to take them to trial. Some insurers refer to these as “minor impact” or “Minor Impact Soft Tissue” (“MIST”) cases. As you can read in From "Good Hands" to Boxing Gloves, insurers started spending more to defend these cases than the case was worth, simply in order to disincentivize lawyers to accept the cases. Over time insurers have been successful in getting many lawyers to reject these cases rather than try them, dramatically reducing the number of tort claims filed and causing auto claim values to plummet. To establish your willingness to go to trial on tough cases, resulting in higher settlement offers on your other cases, you need to try these cases or work with trial counsel.
There are a number of issues that become more important in these cases than a normal auto case, including the impact of Direct Referral Program agreements between the insurers and auto body shops that artificially decrease vehicle damage, negligent vehicle damage repairs that undervalue vehicle damage and fail to detect frame damage, peak acceleration of the client versus mean acceleration of the vehicle, motions to exclude junk science offered by defense biomechanists and accident reconstructionists, the lack of correlation between vehicle damage and occupant damage, medical literature on chronic pain after spinal trauma, and much more.
Top 10 "Minor Impact" Resources for Lawyers
The list below focuses on specific skills, knowledge and methods that will help you win "minor impact" motor vehicle cases. To see all products sold by Trial Guides that relate to handling "minor impact" motor vehicle cases, please click the button at the bottom of the page.