January 2, 2018
A lot of times, personal injury cases do settle. The settlements are based on the insurance company’s assessment of what will happen if a case is going to trial. Presenting the case to insurance company for evaluation, you need to say that you will be advocating for your clients in court. You need to highlight all the good aspects of the case, and downplay or rebut the bad aspects.
The insurance companies know what they’re likely to see in any given jurisdiction based on different facts. So what you need to do is present facts in such fashion that when they evaluate the facts, it brings out the higher valuation for the jurisdiction. It is important for you to be able to clearly articulate what happened.
Why does your client have a particularly high volume of medical bills? How are all the medical bills justified? Why has your client lost wages, and how much time was lost from work?
These are justifiable questions in light of the injuries.
There’s also a big issue with lost wages. Lost wages is something which needs to be coherent and precise. A lot of times, you don’t have the support. It’s easy to present a lost wages claim for somebody who is a traditional W-2 employee, because then you can show how many days and hours they missed, and how much they would have made if they did not work.
But then what if the person runs a business?
Then it’s rather difficult to show the lost wages. You need to really look at the income, revenue, and show what they were making before, what they were making after, and then show the loss.
The same goes for an Uber driver. You first need to evaluate how much they were driving before the accident, how long they couldn’t drive, how much they were making from that, and how much they had to spend on gas to drive Uber. This can become a complicated evaluation.
A poorly-presented lost wages claim can really mess up a case beyond not just losing on lost wages, but it might spill into the other aspects of the case.
If you have a lost wages case and you don’t have supporting evidence, then your client’s credibility might be ruined or compromised as a result of it. Now you don’t have a good case, because all of a sudden everything that comes out of your client’s mouth is taken with a grain of salt by both the insurance adjusters (if it’s in a settlement proceeding) and the judge or the jury, or whoever is trying the fact. This is something to be on the lookout for.