While case values fluctuate, taking a discount to settle now rather than experience the post- covid 19 delays may be worth consideration.

covid 19Settling a case often requires a compromise concerning what the maximum value of a given case is and the minimum. The continuum of case values can be tricky to arrive at and even the most experienced personal injury lawyers are not invariably correct.

Nonetheless, if your attorney knows what they are doing they can give you an idea of a range of fair values based upon their experience and that of their colleagues. No two cases are exactly the same but there are recurrent factors that determine what will be offered by the at-fault driver's insurance company.

While these have been described elsewhere, on this website, they are generally, how clear the responsibility of the at-fault driver is, how much  vehicle damage resulted from the crash, what the objective injuries are, what sort of medical care proves necessary, how the long treatment goes on for, whether there is a permanent injury and what the totals are for medical expenses, lost income and other associated expenses.

Once these factors are known, a competent personal injury lawyer should be able to say "your case is worth somewhere between X thousand dollars and X plus twenty thousand dollars", defining a discreet range of values.

If the insurance company doesn't get into that range of values or very close, then typically a lawsuit needs to be filed. This is not however the only way to view things in the covid 19 era. The fact is that the court systems in Maryland have been in a freeze since covid 19 broke out earlier this year.

Cases that were set for trial after March 13, 2020 have all been continued, many of them not having been reset. This means that all untried but filed cases will have trial priority over newly filed cases. Add to that the fact that criminal cases go before civil injury cases and the very real possibility is that newly filed cases may well not be reached until 2022.

Such a delay may be disasterous for some injured victims of auto and truck accidents and they may be better off accepting a lower sum now than waiting more than a year for the probability of a higher verdict or settlement. An additional benefit is that those injured victims who owe their doctors money out of their settlement often find that doctors too would rather have a little less money sooner and thus are willing to discount their bills in return for prompt payment.

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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