Reports from the field on use of offers of judgment
I have begun to hear anecdotal reports of insurance companies using low offers of judgment effectively in small soft tissue injury cases. In those small cases and particularly with lawyers who handle high volumes of small cases, the intimidation factor provided by the new OCGA Section 9-11-68 can be substantial.
At the same time, I am not seeing or hearing of much use of offers of judgment by insurers in larger cases or in dealing with well established trial lawyers. In meaty cases with serious injuries or wrongful death, I am hearing rumblings that insurers and defense firms are concerned that the offer of judgment statute could cost them money, so they aren’t using it much at this point.
At the same time, I am beginning to hear reports of strong, well-established plaintiffs’ lawyers making well-reasoned offers of judgment early in cases, and coupling them with demands for prejudgment interest under the Unliquidated Damages Interest Act.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).