In personal injury lawsuits, insurance companies employ various strategies to address the psychological damages claimed by plaintiffs.
Effectively handling these claims can significantly impact the case’s outcome.
1. Conduct thorough investigations
A strong defense starts with a detailed investigation. Insurance companies should carefully look into the circumstances of the incident. This involves gathering evidence, speaking with witnesses and consulting experts as needed. A thorough investigation can reveal factors that might weaken the plaintiff’s psychological damages claims.
2. Challenge causation
Insurance companies can question the direct link between the incident and the alleged psychological injuries. This involves reviewing medical records and consulting medical professionals to assess whether the injuries are genuinely connected to the accident. If there are pre-existing conditions or alternative causes, the defense can argue that the plaintiff’s psychological damages may not be entirely due to the incident.
3. Use surveillance
Surveillance can be a powerful tool for insurance companies to observe the plaintiff’s daily activities and behavior. Discrepancies between the plaintiff’s reported psychological distress and their actions observed through surveillance can raise doubts about the validity of their claims.
4. Employ expert testimony
Expert witnesses, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, can provide valuable insights into the plaintiff’s psychological condition. Insurance companies can retain experts to assess the plaintiff’s medical records, conduct evaluations and provide testimony in court. These experts can question the extent and severity of the alleged psychological damages, offering an alternative perspective to the plaintiff’s claims.
Personal injury cases continue to rise. In 2019, U.S. district courts saw a 36% increase in personal injury product liability cases. While a fair settlement is just, a solid defense can ensure that a case based on psychological trauma has merit.