Our clients frequently ask us what they can expect to receive, in either a settlement or at trial, as compensation injuries sustained in an auto accident. This can be a very difficult question to answer, as each case is different. However, an experienced attorney is able to determine a range of compensation, based on a number of factors.
Your attorney will examine the specific facts of your case, including: the nature and severity of your injuries, your medical records, how easily or difficult it will be to prove liability (fault), the connection between your injuries and the accident, the witnesses’ statements regarding the accident itself; the extent of insurance coverage and where the accident occurred as well as where the other driver resides. All of these factors are extremely important and must be taken into account when determining whether or not to accept an offer. The insurance company takes all of the same factors into account when deciding how much money to offer on the claim. These days, many insurance companies use computer programs to decide the offer. The adjuster inputs all of the information about you, about where the accident occurred and the type of injury you suffered and the programs gives that adjuster a “range’ of settlement amounts. The attorneys here at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz have many years of experience dealing with auto accident cases just like yours. The insurance companies know which attorneys settle all of their cases and which ones will go to bat for their clients in court. These companies know that our attorneys will not hesitate to reject their “low-ball” offers and file suit for their clients.
If a case cannot settle, and a lawsuit must be filed, it is important to decide whether to file suit in a District Court or in the Circuit Court. In the District Court, verdicts vary widely, depending on which judge decides the case and in which jurisdiction the case is being tried. The attorneys at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz understand this, and are very familiar with the judges in Maryland Courts. Experience allows us to predict, within a fairly narrow range, the amount of money a particular judge will award as compensation.
If the case will be tried by a jury, it is more difficult to predict. Jurors in certain areas are more generous than others. In general, jurors in our western counties, and on the eastern shore, are much more conservative and less likely to award large sums of money, than jurors in places such as Baltimore city and Prince George’s County.
In most instances, you will be compensated for your medical bills and lost wages. The other part of compensation is for “pain and suffering.” This award can vary widely, depending on the type of injury. This type of award is much more difficult to predict, especially when the jury, which is comprised of six individuals from the local community, is making the decision. As I discussed above, a juror in Cumberland is likely to award much less than a juror in Baltimore city.
It is important to retain a competent, experienced attorney after you have been in an automobile accident. The lawyers at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz will work to protect your interests and negotiate the best possible outcome for you.