In almost every case, settlements are paid by an insurance company. In decades of practice, we have sought personal assets fewer than 10 times.
Unfortunately, even when law enforcement issues a citation to a reckless driver, victims are sometimes unjustly blamed. In some instances, certain laws, like those in Washington, prevent the collision report from being used as evidence, and the plaintiff cannot mention that the bad driver was intoxicated or distracted while driving.
We prefer to settle cases once all necessary treatments are completed and all available modalities are explored. This allows us to assess the case accurately, taking into account your total medical bills and your level of recovery.
The bad driver’s insurance typically does not cover your medical bills as they accrue. Victims usually rely on their own insurance or may face credit score issues if they can’t cover outstanding clinic balances.
While most cases are resolved without going to trial, occasionally, a case must proceed to trial. Defense attorneys working for insurance companies are paid by the hour, while plaintiff’s lawyers receive a portion of the settlement (typically 33% or 40%). This often creates an incentive for the defense to prolong the dispute. Additionally, insurers retain control of the settlement funds until an outcome is reached.
Trial represents a one-time solution. Once a case is settled or goes to trial, there’s no revisiting it if your condition worsens or requires additional care in the future. This is why we make every effort to create a future care budget for medical expenses related to the collision.
There is no fixed formula for determining the fair value of a case. In cases where minor injuries resolve quickly, a multiplier of 3 times the medical expenses may be too high, while cases involving lifelong pain or limitations clearly warrant more than 6 times the medical and wage loss.
When insurers evade responsibility, it results in financial consequences for various parties, including the victim’s insurance company, medical clinics with outstanding balances, and government insurers like L&I, Medicaid, and Medicare. Ultimately, the costs are shifted to society in the form of higher insurance premiums, increased taxes, and unresolved wage and work productivity losses.
When insurers avoid their responsibilities, it sets off a chain of financial consequences affecting multiple parties. This encompasses the victim’s insurance company, medical clinics grappling with unpaid bills, as well as government insurers like L&I, Medicaid, and Medicare. Moreover, these repercussions extend to society at large, as our tax dollars and insurance premiums fund resources such as health insurance and L&I. Consequently, these collective expenses get shifted onto society, resulting in escalated insurance premiums, heightened tax burdens, and prolonged losses in wages and work productivity. We all benefit when a jury verdict fully holds the wrongdoers financially accountable.