Legal For Rhode Island personal injury lawyers, Metropolitan Property and Casualty v. Barry, 892 A. 2d 915 (RI 2006) is an important case concerning Rhode Island uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM) insurance policy provisions. The Barry case changed and harmonized prejudgment interest awards for UM insurance claims, as governed by R.I. Gen. Laws 9-21-10. This case is significant is holding that an arbitrator must award prejudgment interest to their awards in compliance with G.L. 9-21-10, unless the injured policy holder and their insurer specifically agree otherwise. For RI car accident lawyers, this scenario often arises in the context of an RI car accident case. This decision allows car accident attorneys to secure a fair amount of monetary interest owed to personal injury car accident victims following arbitration with your insurance carrier. The Barry decision is important since there was significant confusion about how much interest could be claimed by an RI car accident lawyer on behalf of his personal injury client. Due to this confusion, RI car accident attorneys had to litigate arbitration awards to secure prejudgment interest awards. This need for additional litigation sometimes delayed full compensation of the insured, defeated the purpose of arbitration, increased the courts workload, and led to conflicting court decisions. Having decided that prejudgment interest was mandatory, the Barry court determined it needed to create a uniform formula to calculate prejudgment interest. The Court felt this was necessary, since a number of previous cases attempting to balance the interests of all parties (the injured party, one or more UMs, and the insurance carrier) created confusing and conflicting standards.The Barry court specifically considered four case standards: -Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Tanasio, 703 A.2d 1102 (R.I.1997)(Creating a three-step process for calculating prejudment interest for arbitration awards) -Merrill v. Trenn, 706 A.2d 1305, 1314 (R.I.1998)(Expanding Tanasio for claims where there are multiple defendants) -Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Tavarez, 797 A.2d 480 (R.I.2002)(Following the Trenn method for partial payments, but starting prejudment interest when an insurer denied a claim, contrary to Trenn) -Geremia v. Allstate Insurance Co., 798 A.2d 939, 939-40 (R.I.2002)(Requiring application of the Trenn method, but expanding Tavarez prejudgment interest calculation for when the insurer does not pay a claim within a reasonable period after notice of the claim) After reviewing the conflict between Trenn, Tavarez, and Geremia, The Barry Court concluded: [P]rejudgment interest shall accrue on the total damages fixed by the arbitrator(s), computed from the date of injury to the date of any partial payment; at which point the partial payment shall be deducted from the first calculation and prejudgment interest shall accrue on the reduced amount from the date of the partial payment to the date that the judgment is satisfied. Id. at 924. The Barry court determined that Rhode Island personal injury victims have a right to prejudgment interest begins at the date of the automobile collision. Groups representing insurance agency interests argued against RI car accident lawyers seeking to limit the accrual calculations to when the policy claim was denied, or when the actual amount of the claim was determined by a judge or arbitrator. The Barry court rejected these arguments, finding the point when the insurance provider is required to pay for all injuries the claimant is legally entitled to collect as provided by G.L. 9-21-10 and 27-7-2.1(a).This decision rejected Tavarez and Geremia, since they were found to limit the objectives of encouraging a quick settlement of insurance claims and fully compensating an injured party for an insurance companys payment delays. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: