What is the Value of Your Claim Following an Automobile Accident in Toledo, Ohio
It is a difficult decision whether or not to accept a low ball offer from the at fault party's insurance carrier when you've been injured in an accident. So how is it that a determination is made regarding the value of your claim following an automobile accident? A claim is valued and settled based upon an estimate of what a jury would most likely regard as fair and reasonable compensation given the severity of the injury and the effects of the accident on your life, as well as the probability that a recovery against the wrongdoer is warranted. In addition to medical expense and wage loss, plaintiffs may be entitled to money damages for "personal injuries" including pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Severe injuries requiring substantial medical treatment, extended absences from work and permanent physical or mental impairments may command substantial compensation. When a claim is settled, both sides should have a clear "before and after" picture of the injuries and how they have affected the victim's life. The "difference" is the value of the claim. For example, a previously healthy, productive, young worker injured severely by an obviously culpable defendant will recover substantial compensation. This is especially true where the victim has undergone substantial medical care, extended loss of earnings and is facing a future of impaired earning capacity, disfigurement, pain and suffering. On the other hand, the claim of an older person injured under questionable circumstances resulting in subjective complaints that can be established only by the word of the claimant may be substantially discounted both by a jury and a claims adjuster.
Here is a synopsis of a case that was recently settled in Toledo, Ohio (Lucas County)
Plaintiff Attorneys: Drew R. Masse, Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer, Co., LPA, Toledo, OH and Jeffrey Swiech, Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer, Co., LPA, Toledo, OH
Defense Attorneys: Robert Lee Austria, Law Offices of Craig S. Cobb, Cleveland, OH (Mack Moon) Kathleen M. Davis, Ritter Robinson McCready & James, Ltd, Toledo, OH (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.) Shannon J. George, Ritter Robinson McCready & James, Ltd, Toledo, OH (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.)
On Sept. 21, 2012, plaintiff Raynard Armstrong, 50, a production laborer, was operating his vehicle in Toledo. He slowed for heavy construction traffic and was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by defendant Mack Moon. Armstrong claimed neck, back and shoulder injuries as a result of the impact. Armstrong filed suit against Moon for negligence. Armstrong alleged that Moon failed to maintain an assured clear distance ahead and failed to keep a proper lookout. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, which had paid medicals on Armstrong's behalf, was named for subrogation purposes. Defendant Moon admitted liability for causing the accident.
Injuries/Damages: back and neck; rotator cuff, injury (tear); shoulder; soft tissue; strain, cervical; strain, lumbar
Armstrong presented to a local emergency room later on the day of the accident with complaints of neck, back and right shoulder pain. He was diagnosed with soft tissue cervical, lumbar and sacral injuries, as well as a right rotator cuff tear. He did not require surgery and was able to return to work.
The parties stipulated to medicals of $7,457.40 ($4,075.09 under Robinson v. Bates) and $4,530.96 for lost wages. In addition, Armstrong sought damages for pain and suffering.
Moon contended that Armstrong was not seriously injured and that his complaints were not necessarily related to this accident.
Result: The jury determined that the plaintiff's damages totaled $6,000
Trial Details: Trial Length: 2 days
Trial Deliberations: 2 hours