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O'Connell, a Pioneer of Insurance Law, Retires from Law School

Car insurance looked very different when University of Virginia law professor Jeffrey O'Connell first began studying it in the 1960s. It was expensive for policyholders, and 45 percent of seriously hurt accident victims weren't compensated at all. The cost of car accidents — auto damage, medical expenses, income loss — amounted to $5 billion annually, but auto insurers only paid out about 15 percent of that. Insurance companies focused on fighting claims in courts.