Figuring out what car accident claims are worth is more of an art than a science. The best way to do it is to read as much as you can about other case outcomes and see which one is most similar to yours. Some simple cases can be evaluated pretty closely though.
The average chiropractic car accident case in Georgia where the treatment is an ER visit for around $1,400 and $6,000 worth of chiropractic care will settle for $9,500 if there is substantial damage to the vehicles. Most lawyers that deal with these cases will then do a three-way split for the client with the client, lawyer, and doctor all getting $3,000. These kinds of cases are not taken seriously by insurance companies so be wary if your lawyer seems to be sending you to chiropractic care. It won’t end well.
For other kinds, of cases, the best thing is to read other case results. In this section, we will discuss real case outcomes from around the State. Feel free to draw your own conclusions about the value of your case but remember that each case and each injury is different.
A woman who was rear-ended claimed she needed shoulder surgery as a result of $41,000 in surgical bills. The at-fault driver’s insurance rolled over on the $25,000 (because they could not risk an excess verdict) and the case went to trial against the plaintiff’s underinsured motorist insurance, Progressive. The problem with the case was there was not much damage to the car, so the jury did not believe the crash caused the injury and surgery.
The Athens Clarke County jury returned a defense verdict in August 2014. It’s likely that the fact the crash was in 2007 also played a role.
In September 2014, a boy was crossing the street outside of the crosswalk when he was struck by a car and broke his arm. An eyewitness supported the defendant driver’s statement that the boy was outside of the crosswalk and there was nothing he could do. State Farm refused to make an offer and the jury returned a defense verdict.
John Doe. v ABC Company
A confidential settlement was reached in a case in November 2014. It all started with a minor rear-end impact with a commercial vehicle. The plaintiff had solid immediate treatment with epidurals and physical therapy over the ensuing months, progressing to cervical disc fusion. The defense tried to argue that because the surgery was 2 years later, it was unrelated. This case stands for the proposition that with a commercial defendant and legitimate medical care followed by a discectomy, even though the impact might not look that bad, the case has a value several times the medical bills of $75,000. The case settled for $350,000.
Robins v. Mull
A drunk driver with a .26 blood alcohol level crashed into another car causing wrist and spinal injuries. The Plaintiff incurred $5,148 for past medical expenses and around $25,000 in future medical expenses.
One of the key value drivers was the fact that the drunk driver had a prior DUI collision over 10 years before. It is unclear if it was Progressive or Allstate but regardless they paid $112,500 to settle the case.
Davis v. Cruz
Our good friend Josh Branch had an excellent result against Cowsert and Avery in a case with $16,000 in medical bills stemming from a high-impact rear-end collision. The Plaintiff had suffered a serious prior disabling injury but was active. The Defense tried to argue that all of the treatment was related to the old injury. One thing played in the Plaintiff’s hands and that is the defendant Latino driver was uninsured so State Farm as an uninsured motorist carrier pretended to be their insurance. The jury awarded all of the medicals plus $25,000 for pain and suffering for a $41,000 verdict. State Farm’s last offer had been $20,000. Well done Josh!
Clark v. Jackson
This is an ugly case that illustrates how hard Athens juries can be on pedestrians. A 15-year-old was jogging on the grassy shoulder of a roadway when she was hit by the mirror of a passing truck in broad daylight and suffered a serious shoulder injury and underwent surgery and physical therapy.
The jury almost split the baby and found 51% liability on the defendant driver and 49% on the plaintiff. That is just brutal. She received a net award of $36,000, but still.