FEAR OF TRIAL REDUCES SETTLEMENTS
There is one question you must ask any lawyer who claims to be a “personal injury lawyer“. The question is; “when did you last try a personal injury case?” Recent discussions with personal injury adjusters from three insurance companies made it clear, they don’t expect most of the lawyers they deal with to be willing to try a personal injury case. This explains the current trend of low pre-lawsuit settlement offers. Some lawyers actually tell their clients to accept these terrible offers. As a result of low offers, we file more cases. For that reason, we usually see the offer rise significantly once the litigation department gets involved. Insurance companies know our experienced trial lawyers at Caron Colven Robison Shafton are not afraid to try your case.
HIRE A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM THAT TRIES CASES
Sadly, many “personal injury lawyers” don’t go to trial. Aggressive insurance industry defenses have scared them off. As a result, the insurance companies know they can low ball cases. Based on that experience they learn who will take those low offers. In this day it is nearly impossible to both insist on fair settlements and avoid going to trial. The trend of terrible settlement offers is most pronounced in Under-Insured and Uninsured Motorist Insurance cases. Often the insurer never makes a reasonable offer. Because the insurance company won’t have to pay much more than the insurance amount they sold the customer, their strategy is to hold the insured hostage.
CARON COLVEN ROBISON SHAFTON PROVEN TRIAL RESULTS
Here at Caron Colven Robison Shafton we tried 5 cases to jury verdict this year. All 5 cases resulted in verdicts of $100,000 or more. We improved our personal injury client’s position in every case. In the first trial of the year, the jury returned a verdict of $500,000 improving the client’s recovery by over $200,000. The “worst” verdict was $100,000, beating the offer by $40,000.
PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN
The two most common reasons cases go to trial are pre-existing conditions and low visible property damage. Neither of these bothers us at Caron Colven Robison and Shafton. Insurance lawyers will dig back decades if they can, just to find something “pre-existing” to try to blame for the harms their insured caused. As a result, the insurance companies have used the “pre-existing condition” excuse up.
LOW VISIBLE PROPERTY DAMAGE
This is another favorite excuse the insurance companies have “used up”. Success has led the insurance industry to try to fit serious injury cases into the “low visible damage” pigeonhole. This can backfire spectacularly. The courts are getting wise to the junk science the defense employs. Jurors are also much wiser. As a result of personal experiences, jurors know modern cars can take a very hard impact and leave little visible property damage. Bill Robison is the author of the Low Visible Property Damage Cases chapter of the Washington State Association for Justice desk book.