It is my firm belief that every case should be settled in an amicable fashion—fair and reasonably. I always advise my clients to settle for a fair amount; this is not some sort of lottery—at least not in my view.
Sadly, the insurance companies, all too often, decide to short-change and cheat injury victims.
When that happens it is important to have a lawyer who is willing to present your case to a jury.
Trial by jury is a great American tradition. It is important in a free society that the citizens make the important decisions. Without juries, the little guy has no chance for justice. In front of the jury, everyone is equal—justice for all.
Unfortunately the power people have done all they can to corrupt trial by jury, to advance their own big money interests at the expense of good, hard-working folks.
The laws are written by the powerful– and that includes big, powerful insurance companies.
Let me give you an example of how the system is stacked against the little guy:
When a case goes to jury trial, the insurance company gets to HIDE. The law prevents the lawyer for the injury victim to tell the jury that the person being sued has insurance. In fact, even though the insurance company is the real party- in- interest, the plaintiff has to sue the other person involved and not his insurance company!
The jury is not told that if the injury victim wins, the verdict is paid by insurance. The trial looks like one individual—the plaintiff, against another—the defendant.
Throughout all pre-trial negotiations the insurance company can bully, harass, threaten, intimidate and make the injury victim’s life difficult, and then HIDE at trial.
The system perpetrates this fraud on the jurors.
And the big insurance companies love it because it tends to limit the amount of jury awards. If jurors are deceived into thinking a defendant might have to pay the award out of his own pocket, they might be hesitant to make a large award—even if the injury victim is entitled to a huge award.
In my opinion, the jury should be told that the defendant has insurance, and that insurance is paying for his lawyer and will pay for any verdict it might award.
Instead, injury victims just have to hope that the jurors figure it out on their own. This is unfair to the little guy in his quest for justice. The compensation that should go to the injury victim and his family goes, instead, to the corporate big-wigs by way of bonuses.
I truly hope that one day there will be enough legislators, who truly want to help the little guy, to change these kind of very unfair laws.
The jurors should be trusted to hear everything that either side needs to present—after all, shouldn’t a jury trial be about justice for all?