Understanding Liability in a Personal Injury Case
One of the first steps a Baltimore personal injury lawyer may take in a new personal injury case is to determine the amount of liability for all parties involved. Following are some questions a lawyer might cover.
- Is the plaintiff in a state of either contributory or comparative negligence?
- Does the plaintiff share any liability for the incident?
- How clear is the case for the defendant's liability?
- Is there a possibility that the claims adjuster will attempt to blame someone other than its own client in order to make a discounted settlement offer?
The purpose of this line of questioning is to uncover any potential weak areas in the case. The claims adjuster will search for any soft spots in the case in order to reduce the offer.
Review the Case With the Insurance Adjuster
A Baltimore personal injury attorney should have his or her investigator conduct a thorough investigation of the case and provide a report. If the report is sympathetic to the case, the attorney should turn it over to the adjuster.
In addition, a Baltimore personal injury lawyer should review the presentation for the jury with the adjuster. The purpose of such a presentation is to persuade the insurer that the case is solid and will be persuasive to a jury; this may convince the adjuster to make a fair offer and avoid a trial altogether.
Factors to Consider
It is a good idea to research the defendant's and attorney's history to find any factors that may influence the case. For instance, if the defendant has received media attention for this or previous cases, he or she may be less inclined to face a court battle and may be motivated to settle out of court.
Other influences to consider:
- Whether the defendant has any pending criminal charges;
- Whether the the defendant has been subject to any action by OHSA, the EPA or the Food and Drug Administration; and
- The attorney's own case history including wins, losses and settlements
Evaluating the Offer
To determine the value of a potential offer, a Baltimore personal injury attorney should seek outside information. There are various tools and methods available to appraise the value of a case:
- Published case reports for comparable situations;
- Software for case valuation;
- Case review with other lawyers;
- Review of similar awards and claims; and
- Outside sources for evaluation
A Baltimore personal injury lawyer with experience in personal injury cases can be found at the Law Offices of James Lee Katz, P.A.. Call either 800-564-7808 or 443-394-0900 to schedule a consultation.
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