Hiring a Trial Lawyer Increases Your Case Value (7 Factors)

After a wrongful death or catastrophic injury happens to your family, here are a few compelling reasons why you want to hire a trial lawyer that can take your case all the way to trial.

The statistics show that only a small percentage of injury and death cases actually go to trial. And of the ones that do go to trial, there is only about a 50% chance you will win.

If the last place you want to be is in a trial, then why hire a trial lawyer instead of some lawyer who settles cases all the time? There is a real danger in selecting the wrong attorney for your case. This mistake may cost you and your family dearly.

 

7 Factors Insurance Companies Use to Value Cases:

  1. Likelihood of the plaintiff’s lawyer taking the case to trial.
  2. How the jury will evaluate the case.
  3. Severity of the injuries, damages, and losses.
  4. Whether their insured is clearly 100% at fault or not.
  5. The character, reputation, and amount of value the injured person added to the community.
  6. The character, reputation, and amount of value the at-fault person added to the community.
  7. If the at-fault person break any criminal laws or act in a reckless way.

 

Hire a Trial Lawyer to Avoid Going to Trial

The first reason you should hire a trial lawyer is actually to avoid going to trial. Yes, this sounds crazy. However, hiring a trial lawyer increases the chances you won’t have to go to trial. And it increases your chances of a fair settlement.

When dealing with an unfair insurance company, they often force you to trial. They know 99% of personal injury lawyers will never go to trial. So, forcing you to trial, 99% forces you to settle for pennies on the dollar. That’s how insurance companies save money.

That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced trial lawyer who knows how to win. You need a trial lawyer who won’t be scared and try to talk you into a low settlement.

 

Trial Lawyers Increase the Valuation of Your Case

How does this work? Why would a trial lawyer be better at representing you and your family? What if I want to avoid a trial?

Here is how it works. Insurance companies are in the business of measuring and avoiding risk. They hire scores of people called actuarials. And their job is to measure and calculate risk.

An actuarial is a person who looks at large amounts of data to make predictions. Based on statistics and many other factors, they can very accurately predict many things.

Actuarials were first used by life insurance companies to predict the profitability of selling life insurance to various people. They would take into account a person’s age, weight, habits, current health, ethnicity, and parents’ health to predict their life expectancy. Then they would set a price for insurance to ensure they would make a profit, even after paying the claims.

 

Insurance Companies Value Your Claims Based on the Lawyer you Hire

In a personal injury case, insurance companies that represent wrongdoers also try to predict the value of every case. They also look at many factors to estimate the outcome or value of each case.

One of the most important factors an insurance company uses to place a value on an injury or death claim is the lawyer representing the victim.

Imagine for a moment you were the insurance company. And you were asked to estimate the value of thousands of serious injury and death claims. What are some of the factors you would like to know to estimate the value of each claim?

 

7 Factors Used to Predict the Value of a Personal Injury Claim:

As an insurance company, you want to know as much as you can about the following seven factors:

  1. How likely will the attorney take this case to trial?
  2. If this case were to go to trial, how will a jury look at this case? Will a jury just shrug its shoulders and think it’s an unimportant case? Or will the jury be upset, mad, angry, or scared because someone needlessly endangered a fellow member of their community causing them injuries or death?
  3. How serious are the injuries, damages, and losses caused by the negligent insured? Does the injured person have a small injury or a catastrophic one? Will the person need a lot of future medical care and expenses or very little?
  4. Who is at fault? Is the insured 100% at fault? Or can the insurance company blame the injured person, or blame someone else?
  5. What was the injured person like as a person? Did they have a good life? Were they a hard worker? Did they offer value to their family and community?
  6. What is the negligent person like? Are they a nice old lady who just made a mistake one time and is very remorseful? Or is the at-fault party a huge corporation that was obviously cutting corners on safety for the sake of profit?
  7. Did the at-fault party break any criminal laws? Or did they act in a reckless way, communicating they don’t care about anyone else but themselves?

Let’s take a moment and break down each of the seven factors.

 

Factor 1: HOW LIKELY WILL THE ATTORNEY TAKE THIS CASE TO TRIAL?

This may be the most important factor an insurance company uses to set a value of a death or injury claim. How do insurance companies measure, compare, and factor in the value your attorney creates for your case?

The insurance companies keep track of each lawyer they pay settlements to using their lawyers Federal Tax ID number.

 

Data Insurance Companies Track for Each Lawyer:

  • Which lawyers know the science and medicine required to win at trial.
  • How much money the insurance company spends defending claims from each attorney.
  • Which attorneys settle most of their cases without filing a law suit.
  • How often each lawyer goes to trial.
  • Which attorneys file a lawsuit and settle the case quickly.
  • Negotiations made by each attorney and whether insurance companies can squeeze the attorney.
  • Which attorneys will settle the case at mediation, even when the insurance company is not offering full value for your clam.
  • The results and verdicts of each law firm and attorney.
  • Which attorneys turn down low offers, file suit quickly, and reject unfair offers at mediation to push your case all the way to trial.
  • Which lawyers are board certified by their state Bar association and who are Nationally Board Certified.
  • How long the case took from beginning to end; the longer insurance companies hold their money and avoid paying claims, the more profits they make.
  • Which lawyers are specialists in trying civil jury trials.
  • How many trials lawyers have tried.
  • Which attorneys teach other lawyers how to win at trial.

 

Talented Trial Lawyers are Insurance Companies’ Worst Nightmare

Keep in mind insurance companies always want to pay as little as possible and avoid risk. So, their worst nightmare is when a person with a serious injury or death case hires a talented, experienced trial lawyer. One who actually practices law by being a trial lawyer. Not some “Settle everything!” lawyer who settles most, if not all, of their cases.

The insurance company has to set a value on each case. They do so to protect their profit and control of each claim. They use massive computers and databases that track hundreds of variables.

Some insurance companies have as many as 30,000 new claims each day. A long time ago, claims adjusters were people and not computers. A claims adjuster would evaluate each claim and set a value. Since the computerization of everything, insurance companies have taken away the human aspect of measuring claims. They now rely upon computers to set the value of your case.

 

Your Best Shot at a Fair Settlement:

To get the highest settlement from the insurance company, you want to make it easy for their computers to value your claim as high as possible. This gives you and your family the best shot at getting a fair settlement. To do that, you need to have a talented trial lawyer. One who has a strong reputation of turning down low offers and taking cases to trial.

You want a lawyer who is rated as high as possible by the insurance companies. One who is a winning trial lawyer: not a sucker who will take any settlement they offer.

 

Why does a trial lawyer get valued more highly than a settlement lawyer?

A trial lawyer knows your neighbors and friends in your community will ultimately decide the value of your claim. Your trial lawyer knows when the insurance company doesn’t offer fair value, then a jury  will decide the value of your losses. Why should you accept the value of your claim as determined by an insurance company computer?

An insurance company loses control of your claim as soon as a jury trial starts.

Think about this, the insurance company has complete control to settle your case at any time. All they have to do is pay you enough to buy their way out of the claim. They can settle at any moment by writing a check.

 

Trials Take Control Away from Insurance Companies

However, when you take them to trial, you take away their control. They no longer have the power to control the value of your case. Their computers can’t help because a jury is not a part of their database.

The value of your case will come down to what a jury thinks your harms and losses are worth. And a talented, experienced trial lawyer knows how communicate your harms and losses. They know each of the driving factors a jury uses to determine a fair value for your claim.

So, if we go back to the list of things insurance companies track about lawyers, consider how a talented trial lawyer can affect the valuation of your case. It just makes good sense to have a trial lawyer who knows what they are doing on your side.

 

Factor 2: HOW WILL THE JURY EVALUATE THE CASE?

A talented, experienced, and committed trial lawyer knows the value of your case is affected by how a jury will judge how bad the wrongdoer’s conduct was in causing the mayhem that ruined other people’s lives. A talented trial lawyer knows:

  • How to share with a jury how dangerous the negligent corporation or person was that allowed public safety to be sacrificed by their conscious decisions to make more profits or convenience themselves.
  • One reason a case is brought before a jury is to help make sure this bad wrongdoing stops.
  • It’s important to let the jury know that they have the power to deter this type of behavior from happening again in their community or to themselves and their families.
  • How to communicate the importance of your case to a jury.
  • Empower the jury to make a decision that will affect the rest of their community.

 

Trial Lawyers Teach the Jury to Hold the Wrongdoer Accountable

An attorney who is comfortable in front of a jury will convey that the wrongdoer must be held fully accountable for the losses they caused. They will tell the jury there are heavy consequences for making dangerous choices that hurt others in our community. And the jury is here to stop this from happening again.

A talented trial lawyer knows how to make your case important. Not only to you and your family, but to the community. You need an attorney who is able to show a jury what happened to you and your family, and how it can happen to anyone.

 

Factor 3: SEVERITY OF THE INJURIES, DAMAGES, AND LOSSES

The most important job a lawyer can do for their client is recover the full amount of damages. So it fixes what can be fixed, and helps what can be helped to make up for what can’t be fixed or helped.

And it takes a special kind of person to stand in front of a jury: to show them the harms and losses. Then finally, ask for money in the end. This is where experience and talent come together for the client.

The insurance company knows whether your attorney has the understanding of the medicine and emotions it takes to clearly and effectively communicate losses to a jury. If your attorney has been through a trial like yours before, then they know what they’re doing.

 

Insurance Companies know Which Lawyers can Prove Your Damages

The insurance company adds settlement value to your case if your attorney has a strong reputation for managing losses in such a way that maximizes the value of your losses.

Also, some attorneys may say they are tough in court and will fight for you, but they don’t have the commitment to hire the expensive expert witnesses needed to prove your case. Expert witnesses are expensive and hard to find.

 

Expert Witnesses are Crucial to Explaining Your Losses to a Jury

Your case may need an expert witness who can explain the grieving process and loss to a family when a member is wrongfully taken by the negligence of a wrongdoer.

Or, if your case has long lasting damages requiring future medical care, then you need to hire an expert called a life care planner for your case. A life care planner is an expert in what future medical need you will need to keep you at the best health possible.

Or, maybe your case needs an economist. They help the jury understand how much money you need today to cover all of the future financial problems caused by the wrongdoer.

 

Experienced Trial Lawyers know How to Use Expert Witnesses Effectively

Even if your injuries are difficult to see on an MRI or an X-ray, an experienced trial lawyer will know how to ask the right questions. So your doctors can help the jury appreciate what you have gone through, and will go through in the future, as a result of the negligent wrongdoer.

And if the insurance company knows your attorney does not have the ability, experience, or commitment to demonstrate your injuries, then they will reduce your case value. If the insurance company suspects your attorney will have a powerful influence on a jury, they gladly pay more to settle rather than face the wrath of an upset jury.

 

Factor 4: WHETHER THEIR INSURED IN CLEARLY 100% AT FAULT OR NOT

An experience trial lawyer will be able to use the available facts to prove the defendant was at fault for your injuries. Insurance companies seriously consider if they can blame you, or someone else for the negligence.

But they are also aware your experienced trial lawyer will be able to collect the right evidence, hire the right experts, examine the evidence appropriately,  and identify any and all parties that may be responsible for your losses.

 

Trial Lawyers Protect You from Insurance Companies’ Tricks

An experienced trial lawyer knows how to give you advice. They know how toprotect you from making mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.

Simple things like giving a recorded statement can hurt your case. Your attorney needs to be there with you to protect your rights. An experienced trial lawyer knows what types of experts to consult with or bring to trial to help prove fault.

Your attorney’s reputation conveys to the insurance company whether they are committed to hiring the best experts to prove your case in front of a jury. Again, this is an important factor that the insurance company will consider when making any settlement offer.

The insurance company does not want to face a jury when they know your attorney is talented at proving their insured was negligent.

 

Factor 5: THE CHARACTER, REPUTATION, AND AMOUNT OF VALUE THE INJURED PERSON ADDED TO THE COMMUNITY

Another important factor insurance companies consider is what will a jury think about the victim. If you hire an experienced trial lawyer who is willing to take the case to a jury, then the insurance company will consider how well the attorney can present their client to a jury.

When insurance companies suspect the attorney is a settlement lawyer, then they will intimidate the attorney by trying to prove the injured person is a bad and undeserving person.

 

Trial Lawyers know the Best Way to Present You in Court

Experienced trial lawyers know how to show their clients in good light. They will call before and after witnesses, who are people who can communicate well about what kind of person the victim was before the wrongdoing, and how the negligence changed a person’s life.

A good trial lawyer knows who to call as a witness for you. So it can be friends, family, neighbors, employers, coworkers, and many other types of people who can fully express the losses you suffered in your case.

 

Factor 6: THE CHARACTER, REPUTATION, AND AMOUNT OF VALUE THE AT-FAULT PERSON ADDED TO THE COMMUNITY

The insurance company will consider how good or bad the defendant will look if hauled into court to answer for their negligence. And even if they represent a really bad person or corporation, they know most lawyers won’t go to trial to expose them.

However, with an experienced trial lawyer, the insurance company increases the value of your case if the defendant is a bad person or corporation. Because they know an experienced trial lawyer will go all the way to trial and expose the wrongdoer for who they really are.

 

Factor 7: IF THE AT-FAULT PERSON BREAKS ANY CRIMINAL LAWS OR ACTS IN A RECKLESS WAY

The insurance company will add value to a claim if they are concerned that their insured may be facing punitive damages because they were reckless or broke some criminal laws. Even though an insurance company is not obligated to pay punitive damages, they have a duty to try and fight off any claims for punitive damages.

So, a trial lawyer can add pressure by seeking punitive damages. And this increases the chances of your case settling and not going to trial.

 

Hire a Trial Lawyer to Protect You & Your Family

In summary, the very best way to do well with your personal injury case is to reach a fair settlement. But if your attorney does not have the reputation and experience to take your case all the way to trial, then the insurance company will not value the claim as highly.

When your lawyer knows all the pressure points to force an insurance company to pay you full value for your losses, or face the consequences of a jury trial, then you are in good hands.

 

Matt Powell

About Matt

Matt Powell is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar who represents injured victims and their families. He is an experienced personal injury trial attorney who has been practicing since 1989 in Tampa, Florida. If you have any questions, feel free to call him at 813-222-2222 today.

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