It may be stating the obvious, but insurance companies routinely exploit non-catastrophically injured people by making it too expensive to try cases.
“Orthopods” (orthopaedic surgeons) charge about $7k daily when serving as expert witnesses. Deep pocketed insurance companies exploit this reality to secure settlements most advantageous to them by trying to force middle class clients to risk money to go to trial. The insurance company knows the claimant will need to get an expert to counter the insurance company’s expert, and since experts are expensive, the risk of losing and still having to pay the expert may be too high for some consumers (and their lawyers) to bear.
For example, an $18k award might be reduced approx. as follows: 33.3% attorney fees, $4k to the ER and treating doctor, $1.5k in costs (filing fee, deposition reporter costs, trial exhibits) and say $6,000 on the lower end for an ortho for one day at trial – not to mention some pretrial expert consulting costs, e.g. $2,500. This scenario shows costs of about $20k against a “win” of $18k leaving nothing but more expense for the plaintiff thus making trial too risky in many smaller but still legitimate injury cases requiring expert witnesses. This reality is definitely exploited by the carriers to the disadvantage of people who were injured, but not catastrophically.
Read this LA Times article, “Los Angeles County Tries to Expedite Justice with Fast-Paced Trials“, for a possible solution.