Part 4 of 10 Hate the Player and Hate the Game Series
If the insurance company respects the personal injury lawyer who represents the injured claimant then the claim’s settlement value increases exponentially. Insurance Adjusters, the empty suits at the insurance company and insurance defense injury attorneys are too savvy to be afraid of cheesy auto accident advertising slogans. They do not care, if the attorney is on every billboard in town. That will not earn RESPECT!
They do not care whether the pedestrian accident lawyer or the trucking crash attorney has savvy slogans and a ton of charisma. They also do not care how much money and what type of car the slip and fall lawyer drives.
In order for an injured victim to get leverage from their choice of a car accident attorney, they must get a negligence lawyer who has a history of bringing cases to a jury trial on the merits. Even better, the best lawyer is an attorney who has gone to trial and won big verdicts in favor of his client in the past. A motorcycle accident victim should steer clear of a personal injury lawyer who runs for the hills when there is a need for litigation.
Ask your personal injury lawyer how many Jury trials he or she has impaneled a jury for and how many of those cases have gone to a verdict. Also ask him about the verdicts that he has prevailed. Do not expect any bike accident attorney to have a lot of full jury verdicts on the merits since jury trials are relatively rare!
This does not mean that the injury solicitor will bring your matter to a trial. It means that the fear by the insurance company that your lawyer will take them to the mat and whack them for a big verdict may force the indemnity company to the table with a generous full value settlement.
Going to an actual tort law trial is not where the insurance company wants to be. Trials represent exposure to the liability corporation. Exposure is a dirty word in Liability circles.
It means that they no longer have control over the amount paid. It means that a verdict could be well over the reserve set aside for the injured claimant. A jury verdict challenges the insurance companies comfortable float model. Also,the threat of a trial means the insurance company must finally take notice of its obligation to its insured. When the insurance company has control over how much it will give via settlement it will cap its settlement proposal at the policy maximum.
If a wrongful death lawyer www.rhodeislandcriminallawlawyer.com brings the case to a jury trial their is no assurance that a verdict will be within the policy limits. In fact there could be a runaway jury who award much more than the reserve set for the case and much more than the insured’s insurance coverage! An insurance company has a fiduciary obligation to attempt to settle the cause of action within the policy limits. Otherwise, they expose their insured to excess liability.
If the insurance company goes to trial and loses and a judgment goes in favor or the injured victim over the policy limits then the insured is liable and can bring a bad faith claim against the surety company. In Rhode Island, the insurance company will be liable for interest at 12 percent even if it exceeds the policy limits. Under the Assermely case in RI, the insurance is on the hook for the entire judgment if the claimant made a demand within the policy limit that they rejected.
This all explains the reason why the insurance company often settles on the day of trial or during the jury trial. When they settle on the day of trial they have certainty rather then the chaos of a jury decision. On the eve of trial, the injured victim has a lot of leverage because he has the insurance company “on the ropes” so to speak.
When plaintiff counsel and the insurance defense attorney are staring each other down in a high stakes game of chicken on the eve of trial. the following factors are important. Has the Plaintiff’s auto accident attorney http://rhodeislandlawyer.wordpress.com/ won big jury verdicts before? If the RI negligence lawyer has “teed it up” at a jury trial before then the empty suit’s at he insurance company are more likely to call off the dogs and open up their wallet.
Personal Injury Jury Trials also means big expense to the indemnity company who has to pay their insurance defense lawyers to prepare the case for trial and litigate the automobile accident trial. More importantly, trials mean uncertainty for the surety corporation.
Certainly, most injured victims also do not want their cause of action to go to a full negligence trial on the merits either. The reason to hire a top injury attorney with jury trial experience is that the insurance company will take seriously a threat to go to a jury trial made by that personal injury attorney. When a motor vehicle accident lawyer threatens to go to trial and has no history of jury trials and verdicts then that lawyer may be perceived as a blowhard and someone who is trying to blow smoke up their you know what.
In other words, if your personal injury attorney is known as someone willing to go to trial, you are more likely to get a better settlement.