November 4, 2011, ERIE, PA — I just published the details of a recent Erie car accident case settlement, which you can find in our Case Results Section HERE . The case itself was not unusual and, under other circumstances, would probably not have warranted inclusion in our published results. However, once again the insurance company involved distinguished itself by unnecessarily increasing cost; inconveniencing doctors and witnesses; and delaying the case for years.
The defense refused to discuss settlement of a case in which the defendant driver was plainly at fault. Instead, they hired an insurance defense lawyer from Philadelphia who embarked on a campaign of unnecessary litigation techniques, including meaningless subpoenas, cumulative and unnecessary depositions and repeated requests for extension of the Court’s case management deadlines.
Finally, after more than two years of litigation, the insurance company fired their Philadelphia lawyer from the Erie car accident case and hired new defense counsel. Faced with a final deadline and upcoming trial, it didn’t take new counsel long to call and suggest settlement. A short while later, the Erie auto crash case settled at a fair price.
The point, however, is that the case could have settled years prior at the same price or perhaps even lower. It could have settled without requiring the insurance company to pay outrageous defense costs (I estimate they paid at least $75,000 in lawyer fees). It could have settled without subpoenaing and deposing treating doctors (who had already written reports for the defense lawyers and who had better things to do with their time than answer the same questions in person). It could have settled without harassing former co-workers who had already provided written statements. In short, the case could have resolved in a fair and just manner without the delay and cost created unnecessarily by insurance and defense tactics.
When you hear insurance and tort reform types complain bitterly about the cost of litigation, remember the stories you find printed here. Personal injury litigation costs are not usually driven by plaintiffs. It is not in our interest to delay. It is not in our interest to pay more to get a case resolved. Litigation costs, at least mostly, are driven by insurance companies and defense counsel who use delay and obstruction as a tactic.
Contact a Pennsylvania Accident Lawyer
For more information on Pennsylvania car collisions and the injuries that result from them, visit our auto accident page or take advantage of our offer to give you a free consumer book, “The Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Cases in Pennsylvania: A Roadmap to Justice.” We are Pennsylvania auto wreck injury lawyers in Erie, Pennsylvania who believe in providing free information to the public about Erie County car accident injuries. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Erie injury lawyers, call today toll free at 814-833-7100 or locally at 814-833-7100.