Years ago it was fair to say that most tort claims were settled before trial. In large measure that has changed today because the insurance companies are emboldened by their successful advertising to convince the public of excessive jury verdicts. Injury attorney Brien Roche reports that insurance companies have their own attorneys that work for them in-house to defend their claims and as such they do not have to incur the legal fees of hiring outside counsel. Consequently it is considerably more difficult today to settle claims than it was only a few years ago. In addition, the insurance companies know that it is going to be expensive for you to pursue a case to trial in terms of retaining expert witnesses, costs of depositions, etc.
In the case of Brownlee v. Schwartz the insurance company in that case refused to make any offers of settlement. We therefore proceeded to trial and obtained a verdict of $1.85 million dollars. The expenses to take the Brownlee case to trial were significant. That verdict was challenged by the Defendant on the grounds that the verdict exceeded the “cap” in Virginia as to medical malpractice claims. That verdict was upheld on appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court. (See Reported Cases). Since insurance companies frequently refuse to make any reasonable offers of settlement, they may force the injured person to trial.
Legal answers provided by Brien Roche, a personal injury attorney with over 35 years of trial experience. Contact Us today to discuss your personal injury matter.