As most lawyers will answer in this scenario, I will answer this important question with: “it depends on the totality of the circumstances.” Every case, injury, or car crash is its own entity and carries a value independent of any other case. And the value of your personal injury case depends on several factors that are looked at to determine the “whole picture” from the insurance company’s standpoint. One of the questions that really should be asked is ‘how long will my medical treatment last?’ The law firm cannot begin to negotiate with the insurance company until their client is done with treatment completely. And, as it were, medical treatment is one of the several factors looked at when determining the value of your auto accident case.
The attorney representing the plaintiff (i.e. the “injured party”) cannot settle or attempt to settle the personal injury claim until the attorney knows the FULL extent of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. In other words, Herrman and Herrman and other law firms will not know how much money to demand from the insurance company if we do not know the full extent of the injuries. Any plaintiff attorney would be doing a bad job if he or she negotiated and settled your claim while you were still treating for the collision! That would border on legal malpractice. The injuries that you get in a car crash are often tied to how severe the collision was. There are some other factors that make a claim more valuable like if the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and the damage to the property (i.e. how do the cars look? Was the impact severe? Or minor).
Juries HATE drunk drivers. For example, when a drunk driver causes an accident, the collision is inherently more valuable because the jury wants to punish the at-fault drunk. The claim is more valuable to jurors because the only thing a jury can do to punish a drunk driver is to penalize the tortfeasor with more damages against him or her. Studies have shown that factors such as drunk drivers enrage, anger, and infuriate the members of the jury. The insurance companies know this bit of data, and as a result, the insurance companies are more willing to properly compensate the victims, our “plaintiff” clients.
In Corpus, it is against the law to text and drive or to use your cell phone while driving. Any tickets that are given to the adverse party for inattentive driving or consumption of an illegal drug can enrage the jury and make the claim more valuable. And one of the most important factors related to an injury case value is the damage to the car. If the damage looks severe to the blind eye, it will likely yield a higher offer than a minor impact.