D.C. Car and Truck Crash Verdicts 2009, more bad news for victims of crashes.
Overall in the first half of 2009 35 crash cases went to trial in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. 20 verdicts came back for the plaintiffs and 15 for the defense. The largest verdict was more than $684,000.00 but was reduced to $75,000.00 pursuant to an agreement between the parties. The second largest verdict was $622,579.40 and was settled for $350,000.00 after post-trial mediation. There were also verdicts of $88,770.00, $70,000.00, $34,500.00 and $28,000.00.
Which is to say that in 35 cases there were several large verdicts but those cases settled for 12% and 60% of the total amounts. More common were the cases where the defendant/insurance companies offered $12,500.00 and the verdict was less than $4,000.00. For a $10,000.00 offer the verdict was $2812.00, a $20,000.00 offer produced a $10,000.00 verdict, a $16,500.00 offer produced a $6,500.00 and a $12,500.00 offer yielded a $3,981.83 verdict.
Often plaintiffs were better off settling their cases as offers of $15,000.00, $11,500.00, $8,700.00, $5,000.00 and three $6,000.00 offers produced defense verdicts, meaning the injured victims received nothing.
All attorneys who represent car and truck crash victims confront instances where their clients feel that the offers by the insurance companies are unfair and insufficient and yet there is nothing like a verdict where an injured party walks away with nothing to clarify the need for plaintiffs to heed the advice of their attorneys about whether an offer is fair or not.
Those of us who make this work our lives are in a much better position to evaluate whether an offer should be accepted or not and the 2009 verdict data bears this out just as the 2008 verdicts information did as well. http://www.maryland-law.com/library/district-of-columbia-car-and-truck-crash-verdicts.cfm
Which brings us back to a simple fact, if you are in a serious car or truck accident, hire an experienced attorney and listen to their wise counsel.