When you think of a personal injury claim, you may have visions of serious courtroom drama. There may be charts and other exhibits along with vehement arguments asserted and expert witnesses being cross-examined. The reality is, however, that most personal injury claims are settled out of court. A demand letter detailing a person’s injuries along with the details of the crash and the harm suffered by the victim is sent to the insurance company and negotiations will usually then ensue. As previously stated, the claim is usually settled prior to the need to go to trial. There are, however, several circumstances where a personal injury claim may be more likely to go to trial.
Will My Personal Injury Claim Go to Trial?
While most personal injury claims do not go to trial as a settlement agreement is reached prior to the need for litigation, some claims do proceed in going to trial. This is nearly always because the insurance company refuses to pay a fair amount on the claim. When the insurance company will not budge and refuses to increase an otherwise too low settlement offer, then a claim may go to trial.
An insurance company may refuse to pay out on a claim or offer an unfairly low settlement amount if there are complex liability issues. If there is a gray area regarding liability, an insurance company will almost certainly work to exploit it. An insurance company will refuse to pay out on a claim or make a low settlement offer because there are issues as to who was actually at fault for causing the accident that led to injuries. They may gamble on the fact that a jury would side with them and that is why they have little incentive to pay out on the claim before going to trial.
It is also more likely for a personal injury claim to go to trial if the injury victim has preexisting conditions, especially if those preexisting conditions have similar symptoms as the injuries claimed to have developed as a result of the accident. In these types of cases, it is more than likely that an insurance company will assert that the injuries are not known, but are preexisting conditions or injuries that the accident victim already suffered from. Based on this assertion, the insurance company may deny the claim in full or in part.
A trial may also be necessary for accidents involving catastrophic injuries. This is because the damage award stands to be a substantial amount. When there is more money on the line, you can be sure that the insurance company will likely put up a fight to get out of paying. They will throw vast amounts of resources in trying to devalue the claim as much as possible. Because of this, it is more likely in catastrophic injury cases and those cases involving potentially large damage awards for trial to be needed.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
The tenacious personal injury attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy do not back down from a fight with insurance companies. We stand up and fight for our clients to help make sure that they are properly compensated for the harm they have suffered. Contact us today.