January 2019 E-Bulletin for TRS

This month's E-Bulletin topics include:

  1. What’s Ahead for TRS in 2019
  2. Adopt a “Best Case” Approach When Filing or Responding in TRS
  3. Enhancements Coming to TRS in February
  4. Three-Person Panel and Personal Appearance Requests
  5. Filing Status Check?
  6. Effective Evidence Linking
  7. Direct Filing Coming to TRS in April

What’s Ahead for TRS in 2019

Image of a light bulb with a thread that spells out 2019
Our objective is to ensure member adoption of the upgraded technology platform for automobile subrogation arbitration cases by October 1, 2019, and to make our members’ transition as straightforward and easy as possible.

AF remains committed to providing the improvements we promised to members:
  • Reduced cycle times
  • Reduced filing and decision errors
  • Improved decision quality
Changes and improvements to the TRS® technology platform will continue into 2019 and 2020. Upcoming upgrades in 2019 include:
  • Eliminating the dollar threshold
  • Adding collaborative hearings
  • Enabling direct filing in TRS
  • Deferments
  • Providing reports that correspond to this functionality
Our members have asked if AF is considering changes to extensions and revisits. Yes, we are. Extensions and revisits are one of many topics we will continue to work with the membership and our Board of Directors to evaluate throughout 2019. We anticipate completing the evaluation with our members and Board to determine the best solution for extensions and revisits at the beginning of Q4 2019. These changes, and others, will be based on the needs of the membership as a whole and the long-term benefits our members expect from the TRS technology platform.

AF will continue working with our members and Board to evaluate ongoing feedback to ensure we provide member-driven solutions that will continue benefiting the entire membership. Any changes will be timed in a way that maximizes the long-term benefits to the industry.
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Adopt a “Best Case” Approach When Filing or Responding in TRS

Image of an hour glass on a desk next to a calendarOne of the key benefits TRS® delivers for our membership is significantly reduced cycle times. To achieve this result, specific time constraints are built into the process, from the time the case is filed through hearing. For example, when the filing and response(s) are complete, the case is immediately placed in a “Ready to Hear” queue instead of waiting for a specified hearing date.

Revisits/rebuttals are allowed under certain circumstances, depending on the specific revisit option(s) the recovering party selected. A recovering party can request to revisit the case if the adverse party raises policy limits, disputes damages, files a counterclaim, or asserts a jurisdictional exclusion.

It is important to understand that if a case is in revisit status, the recovering party has the option to address the specific revisit issue(s) only — liability arguments cannot be amended, and no new evidence can be attached to the case. To clarify, evidence can be uploaded to the Evidence Manager at the occurrence level during a revisit but not attached at the case level. The only purpose for uploading new evidence to the Evidence Manager during a revisit is to make it readily available for future cases related to the occurrence.

When working in TRS, a “best case” approach will serve you well, whether you’re filing or responding. Include complete liability and/or damages arguments and attach the essential evidence the arbitrator needs to support those arguments.
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Enhancements Coming to TRS in February

Image of a hand with a ribbon wrapped around a fingerAs a reminder, AF will be implementing enhancements to the TRS® technology platform on February 17, 2019. These improvements will expand TRS filing usage and increase system functionality:
  1. Eliminate dollar threshold – AF will eliminate the current dollar threshold in TRS® to enable members to file features up to the compulsory limit of $100,000.
  2. Three-person panel and personal appearance requests – This will allow TRS® users to request a panel of three (Rule 3-3) or to personally appear via a telephonic hearing (Rule 3-7).
  3. Corresponding reports – Current reports will be enhanced and/or new reports created to support the expanded functionality of this release.
Contact our member support team for more information.
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Three-Person Panel and Personal Appearance Requests

The functionality to request a panel of three or personal appearance will be available in TRS® on February 17.

If neither is desired, you may simply proceed past the Filing Options & Billing step and submit your filing or response.
Screenshot of the filing options panel

NOTE: The panel-of-three option is available only if a feature’s total company-paid damages equal $7,500 and above. In addition, the requesting party is assessed a panel-of-three fee.

For personal appearance, the required information must be completed for all individuals who will appear during the telephonic hearing. Notice of the hearing’s date and time will be sent only to the member representative. It will be the member representative’s responsibility to notify any other attendees, e.g., witness, expert. Please refer to Rule 3-7 for information on personal appearances.
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Filing Status Check?

You submitted your filing, and the responding party has 30 days to respond, unless it extends its response time. How do you see the status of the filing?

The Worklist default view shows your filing was submitted.
Screenshot of the status on the My Cases panel

Expanding the view to “View Features from all Parties” reveals the responding party’s status. In the example below, the responding party has not submitted its response, and the deadline to do so is shown. NOTE: This date is subject to change if the responder extends its response time.
Screenshot of the status showing the View Features from all Parties
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Effective Evidence Linking

Arbitration filers and responders are aware of the concept of linking evidence. This is where a party directs the arbitrator to specific evidence that supports an allegation. See the example below.
Image of the liability arguments panel

The “Insert Evidence Attachment” option in TRS® offers additional flexibility for a party to embed a link to an evidence item. Embedding the link will require the arbitrator to comment on that specific evidence item. NOTE: The arbitrator will always provide his or her decision justification, commenting on the evidence that was influential to his or her decision, even if the “Insert Evidence Attachment” option is not used. As such, the “Insert Evidence Attachment” functionality should be used as needed. For example, if arbitrators routinely comment on police reports or driver statements, you may not need to use the “Insert Evidence Attachment” for these evidence types.
Image of the liability arguments panel with evidence embedded
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Direct Filing Coming to TRS in April

Image of a hand holding a card that reads coming soonCurrently, members that file in the TRS® technology platform must initiate their cases in E-Subro Hub®. Beginning April 29, 2019, members will have the option to file directly from TRS without pushing demands from E-Subro Hub.

We are excited to make the upgraded platform available to even more members! We anticipate this, along with the ability to request a three-person panel and/or personal appearance and the elimination of the current dollar filing threshold that is coming in February, will significantly increase the number of TRS-eligible cases and TRS usage.
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