Getting an Accident Settlement in a Covid-19 World
Why do Insurance Companies Pay Personal Injury Settlements?
The business model of an insurance company is to pay as little money to resolve personal injury claims in Los Angeles and to do that as late as possible. Insurance companies want to hold their personal injury settlement money as long as they can. They simply don’t have the capital to pay all of their claims right now so they pay the claims as they move to the top of the pile. The order of the pile is mostly set by trial date. As a plainitff, the ultimate power to force the insurance company to pay your for your car accident or slip and fall accident comes from the threat of a trial your personal injury attorney can level on them. A personal injury lawyer can can yell and scream all he wants but if the trial is a year away, there is no urgency.
That being said, the insurance company will live on the balance that generally and if you have a good case, case value goes up for the personal injury plaintiff as you get closer trial in Los Angeles and costs of defense also pile up. So insurance companies need consider that they can settle with the personal injury attorney for the bodily injury case early for less or pay more later but have the use of their money longer. They live on that balance, they have the bean counters to figure it out and it is their decision to make. As a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney, the proper strategy is make them pay for a bad decision by forcing them to go to trial if they wait too long, rather than signal desperation by trying to get a settlement when your case is not at the top of the settlement pile. You don’t really need to go to trial, you just need for them to believe you will to maximize settlement value of your injury lawsuit. Get to that point and a good personal injury lawyer will make them pay for waiting. The flip side of that is trying to settle before they are ready – they might pay but they will see it as a fire sale opportunity.
The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Los Angeles Personal Injury Cases
Obviously the the coronavirus pandemic is a problem for the personal injury plainitff. If you have a December trial date in Los Angeles for your car accident, premises liability or other personal injury case, right now would be the correct time to settle your injury claim. But trials are just not going in downtown Los Angeles for personal injury cases. Trials are getting continued out -sometimes a year. This is allowing insurance companies more time to hold onto their money. That being said, not all insurance companies are delaying. Some insurance companies seem to have urgency in other cases to settle, even when trials are getting pushed out. Why some insurance companies are delaying and some are settling is somewhat of a mystery, but the plaintiff attorney will not convince any of them to do the opposite thing.
What to do about Your Personal Injury Case now
Your personal injury attorney should continue to serve written discovery and take depositions now. If you can do more written discovery – do it now. Then it is generally trial prep work. That means getting a handle on witnesses, organizing documents and preparing the papers that go along with trial. It is a lot of work and it is mostly done without the knowledge of the defense. So doing trial prep before it needs to be done doesn’t help more the case along.
It happens in every case – you just do discovery, take the depositions, deal with the defense doing the same and one day, lawyers for the insurance company will call and say the trial is getting close, can we get this case resolved.