Texans Overwhelmingly Support Common-Sense Reform
The Texas Legislature last year overwhelmingly passed a common-sense lawsuit reform to keep storm-chasing lawyers from hijacking property insurance claims and making insurance coverage more expensive for us all. The TLR-inspired legislation passed with active support by Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
More than a year later, polling shows that Texans overwhelmingly support the Legislature’s actions.
A whopping 65 percent of Texans statewide favored requiring attorneys who represent policyholders to give insurance companies notice of a disputed claim and 60 days to resolve the dispute before a lawsuit is filed. Support was strong across the board, regardless of political affiliation. Of those surveyed, Democrats supporting the measure clocked in at 66 percent, Republicans at 65 percent and Independents at 62 percent.
Why such strong support? Because it’s common sense.
As one attorney noted in a recent article, providing a 60-day notice coupled with allowing the insurance company to inspect the damaged property helps get disputes resolved.
“The inspection allows any missed damages to be adjusted and paid if covered. Lawsuits can be avoided. Consumers and carriers both win. Only lawyers—from both sides—lose out on fees.”
That bears repeating: consumers and carriers both win, only the lawyers lose out on fees.
So it seems the only reason storm-chasing lawyers and their allies continue fighting these reforms is out of pure self-interest. They’ve lost their cash cow and they’re mad about it.
This is most apparent in recent attempts by Texas Watch—a self-styled consumer group that aligns with personal injury trial lawyers—to mislead Texans about hurricane recovery. Using alternative facts to prop up their talking points, Texas Watch has stooped so low as to use Hurricane Harvey victims to push their trial-lawyer backed agenda.
Luckily, Texans aren’t fooled that easily.
Lawsuit reform is about providing balance to the legal process and protecting Texans from bad actors on both sides—in this case from storm-chasing lawyers and from insurance companies that act unfairly. The number of weather-related lawsuits filed in Texas has nearly returned to its historical average, a clear sign that last year’s reforms are working. We’ll talk more about that in an upcoming blog post.
Time and again, Texans have overwhelmingly supported measures to cut down on abusive lawsuits. Weather-related litigation reform is no different.