Value Factors in Massachusetts Personal Injury Cases

download-2-4-300x127The value of a personal injury claim is an important topic to clients and attorneys alike.  The client wants to know how much they can put in their pocket to compensate them for their accident while the attorney wants to make sure that they are maximizing value for their client in settlement negotiations or at trial.

Most personal injury cases in our state our concluded through negotiation directly with the insurance company.  Adjusters are trained to evaluate cases and offer settlements in line with the specific circumstances of the case.  In Massachusetts, insurance companies have a legal duty to act in good faith in an effort to resolve insurance disputes regarding their insured.

What Is My Case Worth?

The first thing to keep in mind is that every accident has unique circumstances.  However there are some factors that insurance companies consider universally in evaluating an accident claim, for instance

  • Nature of Injuries: Insurance companies are more likely to assign a higher value to “hard injury” cases, such as nerve damage, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, head injuries such as concussions and permanent disfigurement, including scarring. Hard injuries have a serious impact on the health and quality of life of the victim  In contrast, “soft tissue” injuries, such as sprains, muscle strains, and whiplash type injuries tend to draw lower settlement offers.  In these cases, medical treatment is normally of shorter duration and the injuries tend to resolve themselves over a shorter period of time when compared to hard injuries.
  • The Nature of the Accident:  Insurance companies will evaluate how the accident occurred.  For example, an accident involving a hit and run or OUI driver may bring a higher offer due to the potential that a jury at trial will punish a careless driver for especially reckless actions.
  • Where the Accident Occurred:  Certain communities are known for higher jury verdicts than others.  An insurance adjuster must consider the likelihood of a high or low potential award at trial as a factor in negotiations.
  • Available Evidence: The insurance company will consider all available evidence, including witness statements, police reports and photographs in order to evaluate the relative strength or weakness of the case
  • Comparative Fault: Massachusetts follows a system of comparative negligence.  If the driver caused their own injuries in some way, this will be considered to reduce the value of a personal injury claim.
  • Victim’s Medical History: In some accidents, the victim will have a pre-existing medical history similar to injuries sustained in the accident.  The adjuster may believe that some of the injuries were present prior to the crash.

Boston Car Accident Attorneys

These are just some of several considerations involved in assessing the value of a personal injury claim.  An experienced attorney will ensure that your claim is valued properly and that you receive the money you deserve.  At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, our attorneys are dedicated to each and every case we take on.

For your free consultation, call us today at 617-367-2900.

 

Note for readers: Information provided in this post is gathered from secondary sources and not independently confirmed for accuracy. Please bring to our attention any inaccuracies that may be included so they may be corrected, or information removed as requested.

DISCLAIMER: Information provided in this post is not intended to be used as legal or medical advice, nor disrespect the victims or families in any way.  We are providing this post for general information on everyday tragedies and presented in a manner to protect and honor the victims and their families. Minor differences can change the outcome of cases, based on jurisdictional laws.  The information provided in this post should not be relied upon as legal or medical advice. We suggest seeking assistance from legal or medical professionals for your personal circumstance, when necessary.