Personal injury lawsuits are often the subject of scathing news reports about outlandish jury awards to undeserving plaintiffs. What the news story often does not cover, however, is the amount of damage that a person suffered in order to deserve the large monetary amount awarded by a panel of their fellow citizens. The news stories also fail to mention the weeks, months, and years that it took for an injured person to obtain the relief they deserve and their need to return to their pre-accident livelihoods. For many, life will never be the same after an accident, especially one that has taken the life of a loved one.
Many people believe that personal injury lawyers go to work every day and work on the same cases, as if each case follows the same pattern and pays a set amount of money. The truth of the matter is that each and every car accident case is very different, both legally and factually. It is true that they have to follow the same court procedures, however. An attorney is often tasked with recreating a past moment that is at the same time painful and highly fact specific.
For example, in a “standard” two-car rear-end accident, there could be hundreds of possible fact patterns that lead to a very similar result. Questions that must be answered include the state of the roadway, traffic patterns, weather at the time of the accident, time of day the accident occurred, and speed of the two cars involved as well as surrounding traffic, not to mention any potential mechanical failures by either or both of the cars.
Some individuals believe that the laws governing personal injury car accident cases also contain a magic formula that lawyers and courts can use to determine how much a case is “worth.” The truth is, no such formula exists; if one did, you can guarantee that it would be cited and used on a daily basis by insurance companies nationwide. What many may not realize is that insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Therefore, if one of their insured parties is at fault for an accident, the insurance company will typically calculate whether defending a lawsuit is “worth it” from a monetary standpoint.
Victims with lower-level claims (i.e., those with minimal damages and no casualties) will often receive very timely settlement offers from the at-fault party’s insurance company, as it makes the most business sense to close the case quickly. However, victims with higher costs, as in cases involving serious injury or death, often experience serious delays when trying to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company. It may make more financial sense for the insurance company to pass the case on to their litigation department. It may sit for some time as they conduct an internal investigation and an analysis of how much financial liability the company is facing.
Personal injury attorneys work hard to ensure that insurance companies don’t mistreated their clients and often strive to obtain the best possible outcome in the least amount of time. The Arizona professionals at the Thompson Law Firm understand the nuances of car accident cases, as well as when it is best to negotiate versus filing a lawsuit to recover damages.
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