Today, all insurance companies use a computer program called Colossus, to determine value. It plugs in the injuries, bills and loss of earnings, and spits out an amount the adjuster can offer. Believe it or not, I have received hundreds of calls asking the question over the phone of what determines the value of a car Accident case.
I know it sounds silly, but people who have been in an accident, will call right after the accident and ask that question. One interpretation used by the defense, is that the party is in it for the money only, and not interested in getting medical help or even needing it.
I was taught to look at the Liability and Damages and try to compute a ball park figure. For instance, after you are rear ended, I would look at the likelihood of proving Liability …with 90% being the highest. There is a 10% chance of losing the best slam dunk case. Thus, we might have a 90% chance of proving liability, and we then look at damages. What is the percentage (likelihood) that we would be able to settle/get a verdict of X dollars, with 90% being the highest percentage. Then we meld the two together.
Common sense would dictate that a lawyer needs to know how bad the injuries were, and how long a victim has treated with medical providers. Some medical providers have greater importance than others, and some medical bills are more important than others.
For instance $10,000 in Ortho and Neuro treatment bills are worth more than $10k of MRI and XRAYs etc. Many years ago, the insurance company on a soft tissue case, would just multiply the medical bills by 3 or 4 and offer that amount to settle. Then they realized a bill of $5,000 for MRI or X-rays etc. was not worth as much as $5,000 of physical therapy.
Because of this program, it is more important than ever before, that you hire a lawyer who focuses on accident cases… to guide you and your medical providers. An accident victim needs a doctor, who specializes in Treating AND Writing a Medical Legal Report. Though it does not seem right, there is a difference between a doctor who says there is a 50% chance of a full recovery, and saying a 50% chance the patient will not make a full recovery. For many years, I lectured to the International College of Surgeons at their annual medical seminar, teaching them How to Write a Medical/Legal Report.
A patient needs a doctor who does not say, “go home and soak in a hot bath and call in a month …and to take aspirins if there is any pain.” When you call in a month, it takes another 2-3 weeks to get a doctor’s appointment. Thus after a few months, there is very little in medical bills. Thus Colossus and the insurance company argue that if the patient was really injured they would have treated on a regular basis. That is why a good lawyer assists clients in finding the right doctor.
When a client comes into the office, I explain that a lawyer can no more tell you what your case is worth when s/he meets you, than a doctor can diagnose you without treatment and tests etc. A good PI lawyer will not even attempt to evaluate your case until your treatment has concluded and we know not only what the total amount of the bills are, but also are advised what your med condition had been in the past and what it will be like in the future. Even then it is not a precise formula or process as we have to look at whether our client was partially at fault.
You are an individual and your injuries are as unique and as individual as are you. We can only assure you that our office will obtain the maximum amount of settlement possible given the individual facts of your personal situation.
Attorney at Law
Representing the Injured and Criminally Accused
“TOP LAWYER” Palm Springs Life (Every year)
“TOP LAWYER” Inland Empire Magazine
AV Martindale Hubbell
73-061 El Paseo, Suite 220
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Office – 760-837-7500
Fax – 760 837-7502
DRINKING AND TEXTING BOTH CAUSE ARRESTS AND ACCIDENTS, OR MAKE A DRIVER LESS LIKELY TO AVOID A DUI INDUCED ARREST OR ACCIDENT… THAT WOULD NOT BE THEIR FAULT.
BEING INTOXICATED, IS JUST AS SERIOUS AS BEING INTEXTICATED.
A DRIVER MUST DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO AVOID AN AT FAULT ACCIDENT.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE OR TEXT, AND GET A DUI OR ACCIDENT… CALL A TAXI, LYFT OR UBER….THEY ARE A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME”.