When to File the Case

Although the majority of personal injury cases settle, it is often necessary to file the case and move toward trial to get fair value from the insurance company. This post discusses when to file the case.

Difficult Adjuster and or Insurer. Rule number one is file the case as soon as you know the adjuster does not appreciate the case or the insurance company is one where fair value is rarely if ever paid without going to the courthouse steps. Often in an difficult adjuster/unreasonable insurer case we will need to go through trial to get fairness. There is no reason to delay.

Significant Injury. In many significant injury cases it is necessary to file to obtain a fair result. In significant injury cases where the insurer is expected to pay a lot of money the insurer  will want to go through the steps of discovery before it will pay fair value. Litigation allows the insurer to take depositions of key witnesses particularly plaintiff and expert witnesses. Also the insurer by getting its lawyer involved is more comfortable paying a significant amount because it gets the picture of what will happen at trial.

Low Policy Limits. When there are policy limits less then estimated case value, and insurer refuses to promptly tender following limits demand, file.  Here the insurer has made a mistake. Proceed to trial and get the fair value of the case. The foolish insurer is on the hook for the entire amount, because refusing to tender limits is bad faith.

High Policy Limits. When the insurer’s insured has limits that likely exceed case value it is usually necessary to file the case. This is because the insurer has no fear. An insurer with no fear is an insurer that will under pay the claim. The only way to get full value is to demonstrate to the insurer the qualities of the case by way of heading to the courthouse. Then and only then will the insurer consider paying fair value.

Low Ball Offer. At times it seems the adjuster wants to be fair and pay fair value without filing. The truth emerges however when a ridiculous offer follows a fair demand. Here the insurer will never get to fair value until it sees you can and will try the case. It is a waist of time to negotiate after a low ball start by the insurer.

Comparative Negligence. When the adjuster tells you out of the box your client is partially responsible and there is no basis for this poppycock file the case. This is similar to low ball offer with the difference being the adjuster does us a favor by telegraphing sooner rather then later a low ball offer is coming.

    One Response to “When to File the Case”

    1. Law Dick says:

      You rock, dude! I am making an attempt to find something I don’t agree about these law issues, but how do you argue with a professional? LOL… Great job as usual!

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