Report: Attorney Representation Rates, Liability Litigation Rates Rising

May 31, 2024

Litigation conditions in the industry continue to evolve with representation rates, litigation rates and litigation costs increasing, according to a new report from Sedgwick.

The report portrays a challenging and evolving legal landscape in 2024.

Among the key findings in the Sedgwick report is that attorney representation has been rising the last five years, with attorney representation rates for general liability bodily injury claims increasing from 14.1% in 2022 to 17.2% in 2023. Rates for auto liability bodily injury claims increased to 47.7% in 2023, up 2% from 2022, according to the report.

The report attributes this to “aggressive multi-platform advertising” by the plaintiffs’ bar, citing a recent study by the Insurance Research Council that shows consumers are seeing more attorney advertising.

Other findings in the report include:

  • It has been a year since the passage of HB 837 in Florida, which extends limits on one-way attorney fees, assignments of benefits, and other provisions to most types of insurance claims, and impacts of the legislation are expected to continue through 2024. There was a rush to the courthouse to avoid the impact of HB 837 in March 2023, which broke the previous monthly record for lawsuits set in May 2021. Statewide, 280,122 new cases were filed in March 2023, a 127% increase over the prior record.
  • A U.S. Government Accountability Office report shows the current practice of third-party litigation funding gained a stronger foothold in 2010 and has grown quickly due to lack of regulation. This is likely to change as TPLF comes under more scrutiny by the judicial system and state legislatures over concerns surrounding national security threats and ethical implications.
  • A well-organized plaintiff’s bar is evolving its strategies aimed at inflaming juries to maximize results. They have created podcasts, webinars, seminars and even developed university-like training institutes.

Sedgwick is a global provider of claims management, loss adjusting and technology-enabled business services.