Alcohol Related Accident- Lawyer Info Settlement on the “Crush”

by Fred Burkey on January 14, 2014

An alcohol related accident in midtown atlanta requires the lawyer to determine settlement value.  This post addresses “crush damage” (the physical damage sustained by vehicles in an accident; including those involving alcohol related accidents). As discussed in related posts, the value of an alcohol related accident here in midtown atlanta and Fulton County is a function of several variables, crush damage being one of them.

RELATED POST:  Settlement Value for an Alcohol Related Accident, is the DUI Driver a “Pro?”

Juries set the value.  In previous posts, I explained that juries here in midtown Atlanta and Fulton County ultimately set the value of a claim because they decide the case if the parties cannot agree on a settlement value.  Hence, we negotiate with insurance companies on the settlement value for an alcohol related accident based on what we believe a Fulton County jury will award under the same facts.  This same analysis applies to Dekalb County Juries and other metro Atlanta areas.  The point being that juries respond more favorably to accidents involving significant crush damage. This is true for both alcohol related accidents and accidents from other causes, such as texting or speeding.  Hence, the corresponding settlement value for a case with significant crush damage is higher than where there is little crush damage.  The underlying assumption is that little crush damage equals little injury. 

RELATED POST: Alcohol Related Accident and Settlement Criteria, “That’s a lot of Money!”

Insurance companies are very skeptical creatures.  The do not like to pay for injuries they believe are contrived and this is equally true for alcohol related accidents, even where a personal injury lawyer is involved.  Insurance companies are deeply suspicious of most any claim where the damage is not readily observed.  In other words, if the damage does not show well in photographs, the insurance company will assume the victim was not injured.  

Demonstrate the Force of Impact.  A good personal injury lawyer representing someone injured in an alcohol related accident can work through these assumptions.  One method is to demonstrate that the vehicle may have sustained seemingly moderate crush damage that does not reflect the true force of impact.  Modern cars have sophisticated bumpers that are designed by federal standards to absorb a great deal of impact.  Therefore, the bumper absorbs a significant amount of energy in a collision that would have otherwise created significant crush damage without the bumper.  A good personal injury lawyer will look deeper into the facts.  One method is to argue facts collected from the “repair estimate” (a detailed itemization of car repairs).  The repair estimate will typically include the amount of labor and cost necessary to repair the car.   If the estimate includes repairs for “frame damage,” “frame alignent,” or similar notations, the lawyer can make the argument that the damage was more severe than outward appearance suggests.  In other words, the force of impact was much greater than the outward appearance of the car suggests.  In turn, this supports the argument that the victim of an alcohol related accident was more likely injured because the force of impact that was sufficiently strong to bend the steel frame of an automobile.

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