What’s my case worth?
Any good lawyer knows that the answer to that question requires a lot of knowledge – knowledge not just about the facts of the case at hand but about which facts may drive the value of the case and why.
One valuable piece of the puzzle is to see what juries have done in the past with similar cases. Even that has its limitations. Obviously not all juries are the same. Different states, different counties, different judges, attorneys, juries, etc would lead to different results in most cases. The key when looking at jury verdicts is to look at trends and patterns.
The Iowa Bar Association now has a free searchable database of Iowa jury verdicts. It’s incomplete (missing some cases), and it doesn’t give you much information about the facts of most cases, but it’s something. Any weapons in your arsenal that can help you value cases (and convince insurance adjusters, attorneys or even your own clients) that the value you put in your demand is correct sure can’t hurt.
(Howard Zimmerle is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer practicing in Iowa and Illinois. You can reach him at (309) 794-1660 or hzimmerle [at] mjwlaw.com).