People often ask me my opinion regarding what makes a “good” personal injury case in Tampa Bay. Based upon my experience, the two most important factors insurance companies evaluate to determine the strengths, weaknesses and dollar value of a case are liability and damages.
I’ve spent over ten years litigating cases involving personal injury claims. I’ve learned that it is impossible for a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney to exactly determine the amount a particular claim will settle for, or if it will settle prior to trial. This is because every case is different. The insurance policy coverages and limits are different. The adjuster is different from case to case. The insurance company guidelines, policies and procedures for resolution of claims also vary from case to case. Some insurance companies fight claims. Other companies are quicker to work towards a settlement rather than a trial.
Unfortunately, I have yet to uncover the magic formula that tells me exactly what an insurance company will do in a particular case. However, I have learned that insurance companies evaluate liability and damages in every case. What make a case a “good liability” case? What makes a case a “good damages” case?
Liability means “fault.” If an injured person has a “good liability” case, this means that the insurance company believes that there is no fault on the part of the injured person. In other words, 100% of the fault for the cause of the accident is attributable to the adverse party. In some cases, an injured person may still recover damages if an insurance company adjuster, police officer, or insurance defense attorney determines that they have some liability.
Damages means “losses.” To have a “good damages” case, it means that the insurance company believes that the injured person sustained substantial losses. This may include, but is not limited to the following types of damages: a permanent injury, loss of an important bodily function, scarring, death, disfigurement, lost wages in the past, lost wages in the future, lost earning capacity, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. In wrongful death cases, damages may include loss of society and companionship, among other damages.
If you were recently injured in an accident, seek guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney on the strength and weaknesses of the liability and damages in your case. If you are insured by or were injured by a vehicle with State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, Allstate, USAA, Direct General, Esurance, Liberty Mutual, or another car insurance company Contact Marielis Law- Injury Attorney to request a free consultation.