If you have been involved in a car accident—whether or not you were injured—you probably know that there is often a great deal of negotiation regarding which insurance company will be paying and how much. In many cases, there are no formal, sit-down negotiating sessions. Instead, the involved insurers often work behind the scenes, communicating only with you when necessary to accept their offers.
Sometimes, however, negotiations fail to produce a result that meets the needs of those who suffered losses as a result of the accident. This is especially true when someone has been injured. A recent case from Waterbury demonstrates that aggressive litigation can sometimes be the best option for recovering compensation.
A Recap of the Case
In February of 2015, a 33-year-old woman and her 16-year-old son were injured as they drove through a parking lot in downtown Waterbury. The vehicle in which they were traveling was struck by another car as it attempted to back out of a parking space. The woman suffered neck and lower back injuries, while the teen suffered back injuries. According to court documents, the woman and the driver of the second vehicle exchanged insurance information, but the police were not called.
The woman sought medical attention after the accident and was reportedly diagnosed with soft-tissue injuries to her lower back and her neck. The woman’s attorney said that the lower back pain has subsided but the neck pain is permanent. The attorney also indicated that the woman was willing to settle the case for $35,000 but the other driver’s insurance company would not pay out more than $14,000. Despite her fears of doing so, the woman and her attorney pushed for a trial.
A Much Larger Verdict
At trial, there were disagreements by the experts offered by the opposing parties. An expert for the claimant said the woman suffered 14 percent permanent impairment in her neck. The defense’s expert claimed the impairment was only 6 percent. While it was not clear how much the jury weighed the permanent impairment, the six-person panel found in favor of the injured woman on August 3. She was awarded $7,846 in medical expenses and $138,155 in non-economic damages for a total verdict of $146,001—more than four times the amount for which she was willing to settle.
Exploring Your Options
Whether or not litigation is your best choice depends on many factors, and there are times when accepting a settlement may be the right course of action. Fortunately, you do not need to make such a decision alone. Contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney for help with your case. Call 860-290-8690 for a free consultation at Woolf Law Firm, LLC today.