One of the hardest decisions an accident lawyer has to make is whether to take a case with fatal or catastrophic injuries where there is a significant dispute in liability – typically he said/she said.
Nothing you read in this blog post will make that decision for you. In these cases, most of the ballgame is witness credibility and the intricate details of how the accident happened (which, parenthetically, I think most juries get right). But it does not hurt accident lawyers to inform this case-specific decision-making process with a bit of data.
Jury Verdict Research this month published data on the success rates in turning car accident cases, defined as vehicle accidents between parties traveling on the same road in either the same direction or opposite directions. These are the recovery probabilities by type of turning case:
Parties Traveling on the Same Road in Opposite Directions: 61%
Defendant Turning Left: 66% (I’m surprised it is this low)
Plaintiff Turning Left: 44% (I’m surprised it is this high)
Defendant Turning Right: 43%
Plaintiff Turning Left: 52%
Plaintiff Turning Right: 34%
The lesson? It helps to represent the party that is not making a turn.
The average jury verdict in turning collision cases is $156,472 which is inflated by large verdicts, including one for $35,835,684 included in the study. The median jury verdict in car accident turn cases is only $14,000. Two percent of the verdicts in these cases exceeded $1 million.
Looking for a sample demand letter? Here is one I wrote you can look at to see if it helps you.