Most cases are settled for fair compensation outside of court and without the need for a trial. However, when insurance companies are not treating people fairly, sometimes a trial is necessary to ensure a fair result for the plaintiff.
Trials proceed in one of two ways:
1) judge alone; or
2) a judge sitting with a jury.
Often it is the insurance company defending the claim that chooses to have a jury decide the outcome of a trial instead of a judge. Insurance companies do this because they hope members of the jury will award less than fair financial compensation to someone who is injured. Insurance companies often believe jurors will pre-judge claims or make decisions based on unfair prejudices or biases. Insurance companies like to choose juries to decide cases where the people seeking fair compensation at trial are:
- Minority groups or immigrants;
- People who have been dealt a bad hand in life, and went through hardships before they were injured;
- People who have a complicated medical history;
- People who have struggled with substance abuse or addiction;
- People who have been out of the workforce for long periods of time;
- People who are hurt in car crashes where there is not much damage to the vehicles;
- People who make a good income so they don’t “need” the money, even though they are hurt; and
- People who post frequently on social media.
Insurance companies do this because they think jurors will award these people less than fair compensation. Jurors are intelligent, capable and informed members of the public who we trust to make fair decisions, and not to be swayed by prejudices. Members of the jury are taking time out of their busy lives to learn about your case and we recognize they are well situated to hear the facts of your case, learn about your losses, and make a fair decision. Sitting on a jury is an important and critical service to our justice system.
We work to meaningfully resolve your claim without the need for a trial. In the event the case goes to trial before a jury, we trust that when the jurors in the courtroom hear the evidence they will make their decisions based on the facts specific to you and your case, and will not make their decisions based on prejudices like the insurance companies hope they will.