Atlanta - Each year, thousands of vehicle crashes on Georgia highways damage or destroy State property - signs, guardrail and the like. The Georgia Department of Transportation is responsible not only for repair and replacement, but also for recovering the cost of damages from the party responsible for a crash.
From a couple hundred dollars for dislodging a small roadside sign to several hundred thousand for fracturing an interstate highway bridge column, the total adds up quickly - often to more than $10 million a year. Claims collection is not a Georgia DOT core business function, however. So the Department has turned to one of the nation's leading insurance subrogation firms - Claims Management Resources, Inc., (CMR) - to manage this important task. And terms of the three-year contract guarantee no cost to the Department and Georgia taxpayers.
Oklahoma-based CMR will act as Georgia DOT's agent in damages recovery negotiations with responsible parties and their insurance carriers. It also will assist the Department and the State Attorney General's Office in claims litigation. Georgia DOT will determine the cost of damages from a crash; CMR adjusters will collect that amount for the Department. The company also will collect a subrogation fee from the responsible party.
"This is an excellent arrangement for the Department and for the state's taxpayers," Georgia DOT Chief Engineer Russell McMurry commented. "CMR has an excellent reputation. The company is doing this same work for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation; results in that state have been very positive. We are confident CMR's Lean Six Sigma approach is going to result in greater and faster recovery of damages here as well. It will allow our staff to focus on its core-mission priorities and, with our financial resources stretched thin, each dollar recovered will provide a vital reinvestment for growing and maintaining our transportation system."
"The Georgia Department of Transportation has a progressive approach and realizes there is much to be gained by implementing nontraditional approaches to increase revenue," CMR Managing Partner Bill Haaland said. "CMR's sole focus is to work with self-insured entities to bring expertise to an often overlooked process and add meaningful dollars to stressed budgets."
CMR will begin work on the project immediately. As Georgia's statute of limitations is four years. CMR will focus on older damages along with any new damages to Department assets going forward.
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