If you have a personal injury claim in Franklin, here are some things you should know.
Hopefully, you will never have a personal injury claim in Franklin, or anywhere else. But if you do, you need legal advice and all the information possible to make the best decisions concerning your rights. Let’s discuss some important concepts to keep in mind when dealing with a personal injury matter.
Huge Verdicts Aren’t Common
Despite what movies and television shows portray and what the tort reformers might want you to think, large verdicts in favor of the plaintiff are rare. Even in cases where someone makes a horrible mistake that causes a severe injury, a plaintiff might only get $100,000 or even less.
In the majority of cases, a plaintiff who wins a multi-million-dollar verdict probably deserves it because their life has completely changed forever. For instance, they became paralyzed, and that ended their booming professional baseball player. Or maybe the defendant acted with extreme negligence, like an airline pilot being drunk on alcohol, high on drugs and falling asleep while crashing a plane. These egregious and horrible cases are what result in a substantial verdict for the plaintiff.
To put it another way: if you sustain an injury and you’re hoping to become a millionaire due to your injuries, it’s time to temper your expectations. If your injuries are so severe that a jury or judge is willing to give you that much money, you will wish you never got hurt in the first place.
Most Cases Settle
A civil case going to trial is relatively rare. In most lawsuits, the case settles before trial. Sometimes they settle very early in the case; other times, they settle the day of trial. There are many reasons cases settle instead of going to trial. The two biggest reasons are to avoid risk and reduce costs.
For example, even if a plaintiff believes they have the perfect case, they might agree to settle to avoid the uncertainty of trial. In a jury case, anything is possible. So even if a plaintiff could potentially win $100,000 from a jury, they might settle the case before trial for only $50,000 to avoid the chance of getting nothing. In this example, the plaintiff prefers a sure $50,000 rather than a possible $100,000. And the defendant likes this outcome because it only has to pay $50,000 and not potentially pay $100,000.
It’s All About the Insurance Companies
When it comes to personal injury payments, whether from a jury verdict or settlement, it’s the insurance companies that write the checks. Even when the defendant is an individual, a plaintiff won’t sue the individual defendant unless the individual could pay a settlement amount or jury award. And this ability usually comes from the insurance company.
Not only do insurance companies pay for any damages, but they also end up directing how a case goes. This is because it’s the insurance companies that sometimes provide the attorney for the defendant. This is particularly true in car accident cases. When a defendant driver goes to court, the insurance company provides an attorney to defend the driver. The attorney should do what’s in the driver’s best interest, but it’s the insurance company that pays the attorney. So there is always a slight conflict of interest, in that the insurance company wants to spend as little as possible.