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Did you ever see the movie “Bravehart?” Early in the film the English and Scots armies are squared off against each other in battle formation. Just when a fight seems inevitable, small negotiating teams from both sides ride out to meet each other. At this tense point, with the hostile armies on the verge of confrontation, the negotiators work out a settlement between the Scots and English kings averting battle.

As odd as it may seem, personal injury claims are often settled through a very similar process. We prepare our clients’ cases exactly if we are going to battle it out with the insurance company at trial. At some point before the trial, we sit down directly with representatives of the company and explain precisely what our evidence is and how we intend to present our case to the jury. We also explain the amount of the verdict we believe we will achieve based on our experience.

Now the insurance company is faced with a choice. They can either pay our client a fair settlement or go to battle (actually trial) with us and risk having a much larger verdict rendered against it than the amount of the settlement we are prepared to accept. Faced with this choice, the insurance company usually pays our clients a fair settlement.

Having explained our method, it should be obvious why we recommend that injury victims avoid hiring firms with little or no trial experience. When inexperienced firms sit down with an insurance company, the company has no incentive to pay a fair settlement because it is not afraid of doing battle with these firms in court. The ultimate loser in all this is, of course the injury victim. That is why if you are injured through negligence it is so important that you choose a firm that is ready to do battle for you. It is your best leverage against the insurance company.

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