Even though there really is no medical, scientific or physiological connection between "damage to the car" and "damage to the occupant", an injury claim involving little or no damage to the vehicles involved in the crash can be a significant stumbling block to resolving the case before an actual trial. It does make it more difficult for some jurors to render a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff where the pictures of the car don't really show that "someone must have been hurt in the crash". As a result, insurance companies often defend such cases harder, and offer much lower settlements. Thus, Plaintiffs are often forced to go to trial in an attempt to achieve fair compensation where there was little or no damage to the cars.
Significant pre-existing injuries and treatment.
If the Plaintiff has a significant history of a low back problem (for example), with medical treatment, it is harder to establish that the accident actually "caused" the low back injury sustained in the accident. Thus, where there is some doubt as to whether the injuries complained of by the Plaintiff were actually caused by the accident, or were "pre-existing", insurance companies may provide "low ball" offers. This forces such cases to trial more often than cases without pre-existing injuries and treatment. Obviously, if the pre existing injury and/or treatment is unrelated to the injuries sustained in the accident, it will have no impact. It is important to have an injury attorney who is well-versed in medicine so if there is some degree of pre existing, your attorney, in conjunction with your medical providers, can distinguish the "before" from the "after".
Where the Plaintiff has been involved in multiple accidents, the issue of "causation" (which accident caused which of the plaintiff's injuries, damages and losses) becomes much more complicated and significant. As a result, this tends to result in lower insurance company settlement offers. Thus, plaintiffs are often forced to take their cases to a trial in an attempt to obtain fair and just compensation.
Delayed onset of medical care or lapses in medical treatment.
These are very big problems. They can ruin a plaintiff's chances for a significant and fair settlement. And as such, cases with these problems tend to go to trial more often than cases where the plaintiff sought medical care immediately and continued to recieve medical care in a consistent manner, in line with the recommendations of their medical providers. It really is common sense. If you did not seek medical care for weeks or months after the initial injury, the insurance company (and even the jury) may find it harder to believe your injury claims. Also, if you have significant periods where you were not seeking medical care it will have the same result -- especially if your medical providers have prescribed treatment.
Failure to Prepare for Trial.
The best way to resolve your case without the necessity of a full trial is to prepare for trial from the start. It really is the personal injury claim equivalent of the old adage "failing to plan is planning to fail". Make sure your attorney is willing to go to trial, if necessary, and will prepare and handle the case from the start with that end goal in mind. And the ironic benefit of doing so, is that your case will most likely settle before an actual trial.
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