Over the course of the last decade, I've published in excess of 700 articles in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, workers' compensation and insurance disputes, generally. If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to contact me to discuss the details of your case and learn how I can help.

What Are Baltimore’s Most Undervalued Car Accident Cases?

Every Baltimore personal injury lawyer has their client’s cases undervalued every time they speak to an insurance adjuster. The insurance company that overvalues personal injury claims consistently will likely not be in the insurance business for long. Is there a type of Baltimore personal injury case the insurance industry, generally, undervalues?  Determining the “most undervalued” car accident injury case can be subjective and depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances, jurisdiction, and the knowledge and negotiation skills of the involved parties. However, some car accident injury cases that are often undervalued or overlooked include:

Soft Tissue Injuries: The insurance industry will uniformly in every instance “undervalue” such claims. Indeed, they use the label “soft tissue” to minimize the claims. Injuries to muscles, tendons, or ligaments can be challenging to prove and may not always show immediate symptoms. Insurance companies will downplay these injuries, even though they can have long-term consequences.

Minor Injuries: While minor injuries may not result in significant medical bills, they can still disrupt a person’s life and cause pain and suffering. People sometimes underestimate the value of seeking compensation for these injuries. The insurance industry as a whole will attempt to characterize every injury as minimal, or soft tissue, or some other phrase that trivializes what the injured person has gone through.

Psychological Injuries: Emotional distress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from accidents are often overlooked. By their very nature, these claims are subjective and can be difficult to prove, and dependent on the presentation of the injured person, or their doctor. These injuries can have a substantial impact on a person’s life and should not be undervalued.

Pre-existing Conditions: If an accident exacerbates a pre-existing medical condition, it can be challenging to establish the extent to which the accident contributed to the injury. Here again, the insurance companies will try to minimize compensation in such cases. Indeed, a favorite litigation ploy for insurance defense attorneys is to obtain an opinion from a doctor that an injured plaintiff suffered from a heretofore unknown, undiagnosed pre-existing condition that, unbeknownst to the Plaintiff, is causing all of their symptoms.

Injuries to Children: Children may not always exhibit symptoms immediately after an accident, and their long-term consequences may not be evident until later in life. These cases can be undervalued because of the difficulty in assessing future damages. Luckily, children have, generally in Maryland, until 3 years after their 18th birthday.

Minor Property Damage: In cases where the vehicles involved have minor or no visible damage, insurers may assume that injuries are unlikely or less severe, leading to lower settlement offers. However, injuries can still occur even in low-impact accidents.

Inadequate Insurance Coverage: Sometimes, the at-fault party may not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured party. In such cases, underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage or other sources of compensation may be overlooked.

Long-Term or Chronic Injuries: Injuries that result in chronic pain or long-term medical treatment may be undervalued initially, as insurance companies may focus on short-term costs rather than considering ongoing expenses.

Slip and Fall Cases: These cases can be complex, as proving negligence and liability can be challenging. People may not realize the potential value of their claims in Baltimore slip and fall accidents.

Inadequate Insurance Coverage: Sometimes, the at-fault party may not have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured party. In such cases, underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage or other sources of compensation may be overlooked.

There are many insurance companies that adjust car accident and personal injury cases in Baltimore: GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Erie, and many more. Generally speaking, the insurance company knows something about the personal injury lawyer on the other side. It might be a collective knowledge rather than that of one specific person, but I’ve always felt can have an impact on how the insurance company approaches the claim. The perception of a lawyer’s skill and effectiveness can vary widely depending on individual experiences, geographical locations, and specific cases. Additionally, the legal profession is vast, with many talented and dedicated injury and accident lawyers who may not have widespread recognition but are deserving of it. Some factors that might contribute to a lawyer being in this category include:

Geographic Location: Lawyers in smaller towns or less populated areas may not receive as much attention as those in major cities, even if they are highly skilled. Keep in mind the factors the insurance company uses to evaluate lawyers might be different than yours.

Niche Practice Areas: Lawyers who concentrate in specific niche areas of personal injury law, such as aviation accidents or maritime injuries, may not be as widely recognized as those who handle more common types of cases. The flip side is that those lawyers are instantly recognizable to those who occupy that “niche”. Those lawyers are often referred to as “the one” to talk to about a specific niche case.

Newer Attorneys: Younger lawyers who are just starting their careers may not have had the opportunity to build a reputation yet but may still be highly capable.

Quiet Success: Some lawyers may prefer to keep a lower profile and focus on their clients rather than seeking publicity, so they may not receive as much attention from the media or legal directories. Lawyers who work for, or primarily with, insurance companies might not have the same business needs as those who primarily represent the injured against the insurance company.

Smaller Firms: Lawyers at smaller law firms may not have the same marketing resources as larger firms and, therefore, may not be as visible.

Lack of High-Profile Cases: The insurance industry typically does not share, at least that I’ve seen, any standardized criteria for evaluating attorneys. Lawyers who primarily handle cases that do not generate significant media attention or high-dollar settlements may not receive the recognition they deserve.

When looking for a personal injury lawyer, it’s essential to consider factors such as their experience, track record, client reviews, and their specific expertise in your type of case. It’s a good idea to consult with multiple attorneys, ask for referrals, and thoroughly research their backgrounds and success rates to find the right attorney for your needs. Also, bear in mind that factors that an insurance company uses when evaluating defense counsel might be wholly different than what you should look for in selecting a personal injury lawyer to litigate against that insurance company. While some lawyers may be underrated, the legal community often recognizes talent and dedication, so conducting thorough due diligence should help you find a skilled advocate for your personal injury case.

It’s crucial to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney if you believe you have a valid car accident injury case. An attorney can assess the specific circumstances of your situation, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Keep in mind that the undervaluation- and it will happen- of a case by an insurance adjuster can often be addressed through effective legal advocacy and negotiation.