I have handled thousands of car accident cases over my thirty year career. No car accident is the same as the other and every case must be handled individually. All facts must be considered in a car accident such as: the injured party, the age of the injured, the impact, the vehicles involved, the property damage, the health of the injured party before the incident, whether the injured party had any preexisting conditions, the injuries, what part of the body was injured, whether the injuries are permanent, whether future pain and suffering will be expected in the future, whether any future medical treatment is needed, whether there is disability as a result of the injuries, whether there will be loss of time for the injured person's job now and in the future, whether there is loss of society, and whether the injuries suffered will make the injured party more susceptible to future injuries or medical conditions. The above are just a few things that have to be considered when evaluating a case for settlement or trial.
Some things that the insurance company will look at when evaluating a case for settlement will be how soon the injured party received medical attention, what the medical history is of the injured party (preexisting conditions), the severity of the impact and property damage and whether the injuries the injured party suffered were a direct result of the car accident and not some other incident or preexisting condition. In soft tissue (whiplash) cases, often the insurance company argues the injuries could have resolved itself without medical intervention within 4 to 6 weeks.
Often times, the treating doctor will be deposed by deposition to determine whether the injuries were a direct result of the car accident. The treating physician will be asked if the injuries are permanent and will require future medical treatment.
As an attorney handling thousands of car accident cases it is important to remember that at the scene of a car accident whatever you tell the police officer about the facts of the accident will be written into their police report. If you tell them you have no injuries at the scene of the accident that will be contained in the police report. Also, it is important to tell your doctor all the injuries you suffered as well as all the pain you are experiencing in specific detail because this will be written down by your doctor in your medical reports. Everything you say is documented. It also may be good practice when asked about your disability (being unable to do things you could do before the accident) to keep a diary so you remember when asked what type of disability you experienced from the injury because you can be compensated for pain and suffering and disability.
If you have a permanent injury or scar that cannot be fixed with surgery, you are permitted in a jury trial to ask for future compensation based upon your age and your life expectancy using "life tables". For example, if a 53 year old person has a permanent injury and the life tables show they have thirty more years to live, you can ask a jury to be compensated for this thirty years of pain and suffering or disability or disfigurement. I have taken to trial and arbitration hundreds of car accident cases.
It is important to have a very experienced attorney handle a car accident case such as myself because EXPERIENCE MATTERS!