Well, maybe. It depends on a lot of other things, too.
Generally, this is true, but it also depends on the type of injury, whether you have been treated for similar injuries before, and whether there is another explanation for your injury. And on how you come off as a witness.
For example, I had a client who was hit by a drunk driver. There was hardly any damage to her car – her husband repaired it himself. But she had no history of back injury before the accident, three spinal surgeries after the accident, symptoms that started right after the accident, and there was no other explanation for her injury. The insurance company paid $400,000.00.
In a lawsuit this last year, my client had about $800 in damage to her car. It was barely visible in the pictures. But she was diagnosed with carpal tunnel injury in both wrists, requiring surgery, within three months after the crash. The insurance paid $70,000.00.
But I will never forget one of my early trials – my client had about $120 worth of bumper damage. She had unbroken treatment following the accident, and a herniated disc that her doctor said was caused by the accident. The doctor also said she had a permanent injury. She had never had back trouble before the accident, and about $8000 in bills clearly caused by the accident, and another $5,000 in lost wages, for time that her doctor had told her to take off.
The jury came back at $8,000.00.
The bottom line is that you cannot depend on any one factor to tell you how a jury will look at your lawsuit. Lawyers know this, and so do insurance companies.
Juries look at the total amount of damage to the car, but also the injury you suffer, the medical bills you have, and – to the extent they know about him or her – the person who hit you. (Strictly speaking, the type of person who hit you is irrelevant – but if they were drunk, or if they have a record of felonies that the jury will find out about if they testify, it can matter.)
And of course, the most important factor is you. If the jurors like you, they can do a lot for you. If the jury doesn’t like you, they are probably not going to help you. I will never forget the words of and old State Farm Insurance Adjuster watching a trial where I did not represent the injured party. His lawyer came back to him and wanted him to increase his offer.
His reply? “She’s not selling”. He was right. The jury came in $20,000.00 below the last offer.
You don’t have to guess at the value of your lawsuit, though. You can call me, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney. Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.