One important driver of trends in case valuation is the economy, according to the latest information from a Jacksonville injury lawyer. A struggling economy impacts all business activity—and that includes insurance, which affects personal injury cases. Following are some concrete examples.
Insurers Growing More Conservative
Insurance companies, some of which have financial arms, are concerned about managing risks and protecting assets, particularly in a bad economy. Insurers tend to have vast investments, but these are suffering lately and not enjoying high returns. As a result, insurers must limit claims payouts. Small to medium, non-catastrophic cases will not be highly valued. All tiers of claims are being pushed down. For instance, what might have been a $25,000 claim in a good economy, now becomes a difficult case to prove even for $20,000. Very small cases will suffer along with large, catastrophic claims. Insurers simply resist paying now more than ever, as they struggle to maintain their credit ratings and financial ability to cover unexpected incidents—such as super storm Sandy.
Also keep in mind that insurers, like many industries, may cut staff or resist replacing knowledgeable retirees in order to save costs. This results in fewer or less qualified adjusters. Your Jacksonville injury attorney has professional working relationships with other law firms and with insurance professionals. Due to staff cuts, those working relationships are put at risk, which can slow or hurt injury cases as your lawyer builds back trust. Also, larger caseloads for adjusters or legal staff mean slower activity.
Other Economic Factors
Are fraudsters on the rise? While your case is legitimate, insurers see an uptick of costly fraud during bad economic times. Political trends also play a role, such as calls for tort reform to reduce claims and case value. Personal injury lawyers can be the scapegoat in a bad economy, blamed for costs of insurance, medical care, and their professional services.
The bottom line is that jurors will sympathize with economic impacts on business as we all struggle to adapt to today’s downturn. While this hurts injury claimants, it also speaks to the need for powerful professional representation. In tough times you need solid advice from First Coast Accident Lawyers. Call a Jacksonville injury lawyer today at 904-278-1000.