"Best Practices for Evaluating Damages in Third-Party Liability Claims"


Kori Eskridge and Kelly Chartash authored an article published by PropertyCasualty360 on July 13, 2022, detailing best practices for property assessing damages in third-party liability claims.

“Properly evaluating damages, both pre-suit and during the pendency of litigation, is crucial to having a clear vision and plan for investigating alleged damages and making key decisions regarding whether to attempt early resolution of a case or mount a vigorous defense,” Eskridge and Chartash said.

Among the factors to weigh when attempting to evaluate the monetary damages in a claim are:

  • Determine whether the incident occurred in a comparative negligence or contributory-negligence jurisdiction and, if the former, consider the comparative negligence model used by the state.
  •  Consider factors about the jurisdiction where the incident occurred, where the defendant resides and/or where a corporate defendant is located, such as whether it is conservative or liberal and the impact on size of wards typically issued.
  • Review the facts of the incident and consider communications received from the injured party (e.g. recorded statements, demand letters and medical records) to get a sense of the types of claims that may be made.
  • Pre-suit, confirm who has the burden of proof and what might be necessary to meet that burden.
  • Understand how the state calculates lost wages to assess what those claims may be.
  • Analyze potential punitive damages that may arise and whether the state has statutory caps or qualifiers for these damages.
  • Finally, consider how the state’s laws impact a plaintiff’s ability to recover attorneys’ fees.

For the full article, please click here.

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