Why do I need a Trial Lawyer if I have a good
case that I want to settle?
Someone who has been injured, and is seeking monetary damages for those injuries, needs to understand that there is one thing, and one thing only, that motivates an insurance company to actually settle a case for fair value. That is the threat of a jury trial. They don't really care how badly you are injured, the insurance carrier's only concern is how much your case will affect their bottom line.
Think about it. The caliber of the attorney you hire actually affects the value of your case in the eyes of the insurance company. Whether they are dealing with somebody in some large law firm's satellite office who has been out of law school for a few years, versus an experienced litigator, makes all the difference in the world as to what they will even offer on any given case.
That is one reason why it is so crucial for you to know from day one what experience your attorney has. The other reason is: What if your case doesn't settle ? You may want it to settle very badly, but the insurance company doesn't have to offer you a dime if they don't want to. When it comes down to it, a large law firm doesn't try your case in front of a jury. One lawyer does that. You need to think ahead - now - and ask who is the attorney going to be that will try my case if it doesn't settle for fair value?
Over the last ten years I have seen a trend develop with the insurance companies involved in automobile cases. It used to be that you could get “Fair Value” for your claim without the need for filing a lawsuit. Not anymore. And this is especially true in those cases where the damages are very significant, e.g., where there are fractured bones and surgery was required. While some of the better insurance carriers may still offer fair value without the need for a lawsuit, fewer and fewer now do so. I believe the primary reason for this is that the large insurance carriers now all have “in house” attorneys who are paid a fixed salary. Most insurance companies no longer hire outside counsel, a private attorney at a law firm, to litigate the claims, because hiring outside counsel substantially increases the cost of litigating a claim. With the “in house” attorneys, the insurance companies cost of defense is essentially fixed in the larger metropolitan areas, such as Chicago. For the insurance companies, there are no longer increased costs associated with litigating a case,and because of this they have less incentive to settle a claim early for fair value before a lawsuit is filed. It is often only after a case has actually been set for trial by a Judge, and the insurance company realizes that the plaintiff and his or her attorney is serious about getting fair value for the case, that a bone fide fair offer is made. Therefore, you need to understand that if you want to be assured of getting full and fair value for your claim, you must at least be willing to go through the additional step of filing a lawsuit and seeing it through to the end. This is what the ADVOCATE is always prepared to do.
You can hope for the best, but I suggest you prepare for the worst.
Hire the Advocate !