Friday, January 7, 2011

Focus groups to determine case value

A common occurence in Pittsburgh personal injury and malpractice lawsuits is a client disagreeing with the attorney on what the client's case is worth. The truth is you never know what a case is worth until you reach an amicable settlement or receive a verdict. But to get a more realistic guage of a case's worth, it's in everone's best interest to conduct a mock trial or focus group to get everyday people's impressions on case value.

The case values are far from a guaranty of what an injured person may expect to receive at trial. But it definitely helps to havoraiaformation like this to assist in deciding whether to settle a case or try a case.

A good example is a case I recently settled. The client had suffered a horrible tooth infection unnecessarily for several months causing permanent facial numbness and tooth loss. Understandably, the client felt her case was worth a number in excess of six figures. I believed in the client's claim and knew it was worth solid money but was skeptical, from my past experience, as to whether it had value like the client thought. The solution? I conducted a couple of focus groups. The range of numbers we got back were far less than what the client had hoped. Though she was disappointed in how the case was likely going to be received by a jurory, she gained peace of mind when we were able to convince the defendant insurance company to settle for an amount well above what the focus group jurors had told us.

The bottom line is if there is any disagreementabout settlement and case value...go and get more information and insight and conduct a focus group. Share this post :
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