Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
January 20, 1998
House State Affairs
Will Meyer (866-4976)
TITLE: CONCERNING MANDATORY ARBITRATION OF BODILY INJURY CLAIMS THAT ARISE OUT OF THE OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE.
Summary of Assessment
The provisions of this bill would require an attorney who files suit on behalf of a person injured in a motor vehicle accident to make a good-faith certification as to whether the amount of damages sought for bodily injury is more than, equal to, or less than $25,000. It would require claims for bodily injury of $25,000 or less be sent to mandatory binding arbitration. The bill would become effective July 1, 1998 and would apply to claims for damages for bodily injury caused by a motor vehicle accident filed on or after that date.
Although this may increase the number of cases using arbitration, it is assumed that the bill would not impact the Judicial Branch for the following reasons: (1) attorneys may simply certify their cases in excess of $25,000 if they want to avoid arbitration; (2) 98% of current cases settle before going to trial, and mandatory arbitration would not significantly decrease current trial rates; and (3) any decrease in current workload would be offset by the need to track compliance with the mandatory arbitration order. The provisions of this bill would not affect any other agency of the state, or unit of local government. Therefore, this bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact.
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