Have you ever heard about a binding high-low agreement in a personal injury jury trial? It is a good way to guarantee you some money no matter how the jury decides your case.
Here is how it works. You, through your attorney, make an agreement with the insurance company for the person who caused your injury. You agree that no matter how the jury decides the case you will not receive more than the top number of the high-low agreement. Likewise, no matter how the jury decides your car accident case, for example, you will at least be paid the low number of the agreement.
Suppose the high-low is for $50,000-$100,000. In this example even if the jury gives you no money ($0) you would still be paid $50,000 as a way to end the case. Likewise, even if the jury awards you $1,000,000 the most you would receive for the case is $100,000.
Do you see the advantages and disadvantages of a binding high-low agreement? What do you think of the idea? For the insurance company, the advantage is obvious. They want to put a cap on what a jury will give an injury victim. Their biggest fear is what is called a “runaway jury”. A runaway jury in an injury case is one that gives a crazy high award to a victim who only has minor injuries. Maybe the jury really likes you as a person and absolutely hates the defendant who is arrogant. A jury could send out a message to that defendant by giving you a very high award. It rarely happens, but it does happen.
The advantage to you, of course, is that you are going to get $$$ even if the jury awards you nothing.
Pittsburgh wrongful death and car accident attorney Bernie Tully has done many high-low cases in many settings. This can include wrongful deaths, car accidents, slip and fall cases, product liability cases and workers comp cases.
Anyone can agree to a binding high-low but the real advantage of having Pittsburgh wrongful death and car accident attorney Bernie Tully representing you is you get 30 years of experience behind you in setting the high-low numbers to the agreement.
Are you really doing yourself a favor if you are tricked into agreeing to $10,000-$5,000 high-low?
Let me help you with negotiating the numbers with the insurance company.
Last point, there are many cases where a binding high-low agreement is NOT helpful to your case. There are some situations where a high-low agreement is really in your best interest. For example, in some slip and fall lawsuits where the chance of getting a $0 verdict is real, a high-low might be the right thing for your case. But in a wrongful death clear liability case it might not be the best strategy going forward.
I am here to at least tell you what I think would be your best strategy going forward.
Are any of you out there old enough to remember the bitter rivalry between the Steelers and the Raiders? Anyone remember the Immaculate Reception? Lets bring home a Steelers victory today.
Thanks for reading.
Bernie the attorney