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DRI STATEMENT OF PURPOSE The purpose or purposes for which said corporation is organized shall be to promote improvements in the administration of justice and enhance the service of the legal profession to the public; to support and work for the improvement of the adversary system of juris prudence in the operation of the courts; to encourage the prompt, fair and just disposition of tort caims; to enhance the knowledge and improve the skills of defense lawyers; to advance the cquitable and expeditious handling of disputes arising under all forms of insurance and surety contracts; to work for the elimination of court congestion and delays in civil litigation; to cooperate with programs of public education directed toward highway safety and the reduce tion of losses and costs resulting from highway and other casualtics; and to carry on other related and similar activities in the public interest.
©THE DEFENSE RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC. 1969
Additional copies of this pamphlet may be obtained at cost from:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233.
TN OUR civilized society, we recognize posed to absolve the careless motorist of I the right of each individual to seek any responsibility to the person he injures redress in a court of law, and according to and to require all to protect themselves the mores of his society, for the wrongs from this type of loss through the purchase done to his person or property. This proc. of limited protection insurance. ess has been thoughtfully and carefully
While it must be admitted that some developed for the common good and to
problems do exist in the operation of the serve the best interests of each individual.
present auto accident reparations system, The end of our system of jurisprudence it is clear that the no-fault plans that is justice, as complete and tailored to the have been proposed do not seek to meet rights of each litigant and the needs of and correct them so that our system of each lawsuit as can be developed by man. justice will be improved and preserved. The greatness of our system lies in the fact Rather, they attempt only to create limited that the results of each case determine funding schemes on the theory that it is whether justice was truly done. While all too expensive to provide full and just commen are entitled to equal justice under the pensation for the innocent victims of auto law, it is recognized that the facts and cir. accidents. These plans do not seek to do cumstances of particular cases differ so justice but set up the equivalent of boards greatly that no abstract rule can be estab of adjustment to fix allotments for injury Iished which will automatically provide and damage by formula and percentage justice in every case and for each litigant. with no concern for the determination of
responsibility for the loss or adequate comHowever, society has created general
pensation. rules of conduct so that, based upon the circumstances of a particular situation, it
It is said that the needs of those who can be determined whether someone's
recover nothing from the present system rights were transgressed. We believe that due to an absence of provable fault are not men who enter into a legal contract should
met by our present system of justice. But be bound to carry out its terms. We oblige
this argument confuses justice with the a man who damages property to compen.
concern that all men have for their unsate its owner. We believe that one who is
fortunate neighbors. There is serious quesinjured through the carelessness of another
tion as to whether this problem is as great should be compensated by the person who
as claimed. But if it is, the solution should was responsible for causing the injury. All
lie outside the framework of the law, the of these concepts and many more stem end of which is justice and not charity. If from society's deep concern with individual justice is destroyed in the name of charity, responsibility. The principle that the rights all men will eventually be the losers. of citizenship carry corresponding respon- The Defense Research Institute is fully sibilities is securely woven into the fabric committed to the preservation of individ. of our society.
ual responsibility and to the preservation Of late there have been claims by some
of the right of the innocent victim of an. that these principles of individual respon.
other's carelessness to recover just compensibility, at least as they relate to reparations
sation from the person who caused that for injuries sustained in auto accidents,
loss. For this reason this Special Report are archaic and no longer have a valid was prepared analyzing the no-fault auto place in our society. Concern is expressed
compensation plan offered for study and for persons who are injured in auto acci
comment by the American Insurance Asdents and receive no compensation from
sociation and entitled "The Complete Perthe auto reparations system because their
sonal Protection Automobile Insurance injuries are not traceable to the careless
Plan.” We believe it necessary to give the ness of any third person. Plans are pro See Davitt, The Elements of Law, at 243 (1959) public, Congress, state legislatures, the to under our present system of justice. DRI bench, the bar, the media and all others is opposed to all plans that provide for concerned with this subject a detailed the settlement of disputes between individanalysis of the plan so that they may place uals on a no-fault basis since they are not it in its proper perspective. Most of the in the public interest. Nevertheless, DRI noted shortcomings in the plan are similar is mindful of the fact that the AIA study to those found in other no-fault proposals. may be helpful in the development of proTheir concern is to provide some limited posals that can better serve the public compensation to all who are injured in without impairing the basic concept of auto accidents, even the careless and reck fault. less driver, and to do so at the lowest possible cost. To do so they deprive the innocent victims of these accidents of the full Defense Research Institute measure of compensation they are entitled February 1, 1969
Synopsis Of The Critique
TN THE following pages the plan offered for study and comment by the American 1 Insurance Association, entitled "The Complete Personal Protection Automobile Insurance Plan," as set forth in its Report Of Special Committee To Study And Evaluate The Keeton-O'Connell Basic Protection Plan And Automobile Accident Reparations, dated October 21, 1968 is analyzed. Despite the apparent good motives of AIA in of. fering the plan it is concluded that, for the following reasons, the plan should not be adopted:
Page 1. The entire fabric of the tort system is constructed around the principle that
one who causes injury to another should fairly and adequately compensate him for the injury. The plan eliminates this responsibility and treats the
careless motorist as the equal of the person injured by his careless conduct ---- 6 2. The plan would force motorists to purchase insurance to protect themselves
against loss caused by the careless conduct of others. For many this new
coverage would unnecessarily duplicate existing coverages 3. The plan would sacrifice basic legal principles in the interest of a
competitive advantage in the market place -----4. The plan's limitation on recovery for work loss clearly discriminates against
30% of the population --------5. The plan would eliminate recovery for impairment of earning capacity
which can be a substantial loss to many injured workers -------6. The plan would eliminate all recovery for pain, suffering and inconvenience
suffered by innocent victims of traffic accidents caused by careless drivers -------7. The plan provides only limited benefits for disability and disfigurement
based upon an arbitrary formula, not the nature and extent of the injury 8. The plan would force owners of vehicles to pay the cost of repairing
automobile damage caused by carelessness of others 9. The promised reduction in insurance costs under the plan is dubious and
may not materialize 10. The rating structure of the plan may result in higher premiums for careful
drivers and lower rates for those who cause accidents -11. The areas of potential controversy between the insurer and insured are
greatly increased and are likely to cause increased litigation. In addition,
other civil litigation may increase if the plan were enacted 12. Once enacted, the plan is likely to be found unconstitutional, based on
violation of the due process and equal protection clauses 13. The plan is far from being a "complete" or "personal" protection plan . .20