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According to a reform strategy proposed in an article in the Columbia Business Law Review, it may behoove businesses facing personal injury lawsuits to promptly pay injured parties for out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages. In doing so, companies can presumably avoid lengthy litigation in which high legal fees may be incurred and even pain and suffering damages.

Jeffrey O’Connell, the Samuel H. McCoy II professor of law at the University of Virginia, and Patricia Born of California State University, Northridge, provided the basis for the article. The duo arrived at these insights after analyzing the court settlements of personal injury cases, including those product-related, between 1988 and 2004 in Texas and Florida. Their study entailed testing an “early offers” system, under which businesses would compensate injured parties their essential losses, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses and wage losses, in short order.

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