No – but the differences might surprise you.
Most of the time, the insurance company will spend more time looking at a bigger lawsuit.
But sometimes they don’t. Why Not?
One reason is because it might be obvious that the case is worth more than either the policy or the Ohio legislature will let them pay. And “smaller” cases sometimes have a lot more questions that have to be answered before the company will open up its checkbook.
Take a lawsuit with $150,000 in medical bills for two weeks of treatment immediately after the accident.
Big case, right? But what if there is only $100,000 in insurance limits available?
Chances are the insurance company will just verify the amount of the bill and the fact that the treatment occurred, and offer a check to the patient.
Or imagine another accident where there’s – again – $150,000 in medical bills. And this time there’s a million dollars worth of coverage – but the victim has a great recovery, is back to normal in a month, and is back to work full time after two months, with no residual injury. (It’s unlikely, but it probably can happen.)
The Ohio legislature has limited the recovery on lawsuits like that to the total of (1) the economic damages (here, the medical bills of $150,000) plus (2)the lesser of three times the economic damages or $350,000(here, $350,000.00). So the maximum the court could award in this lawsuit would probably be $500,000.00.
Chances are the insurance company would try to get the victim to accept less, but that at the end of the day would agree with the victim’s attorney that the possible outcomes would fall into a narrow range, and would agree to settle the case for an amount within that range. (Which could easily be for a lot less than $500,000.00)
But take third accident – one where the victim doesn’t go to the emergency room for a week after the accident, sees a respected back doctor a month later, then gets three months of treatment, and is finally released from care with $15,000 in medical bills a year after the accident by the back doctor with a finding that he has a permanent injury with a permanent impairment to his body as a whole of 15%.
This will take months, and maybe years to settle.
Because there are so many things to question. The possible existence of a prior injury. The relationship of the accident to the injury. Whether the injury is, in fact permanent and whether it will keep him from working.
This will require a thorough examination of prior work and medical records, their review by a doctor hired by the insurance company, and possibly a review by a vocational specialist.
The first two examples had definite limitations on the amounts that could be paid. The second example had no permanent injury, and a very limited pain and suffering award – as well as a cap on damages mandated by the legislature. The last example had a lot of questions – things that a jury could question, and that an insurance company would question because of that.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I’ve dealt with a lot of insurance adjusters. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 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.