After an injury, most people don’t think to themselves “Gosh, I want to go to trial.” Most plaintiffs just want a settlement that fairly compensates them for what they lost and what they’ve had to go through. That is why the vast majority of personal injury cases settle before trial. Why then does it matter whether the attorney representing you has recent trial experience in an Iowa courtroom?
There are two main reasons.
First, insurance companies rarely pay fair settlements to injured people represented by lawyers who don’t go to trial. Think about it. Insurance companies don’t stay in business by giving away money whenever someone makes a claim.
The only way to force an insurance company to pay you money for a personal injury claim is to go to trial and get a verdict. An insurance company will only pay a settlement without a trial is if it is convinced that it will lose at trial.
That is why insurance companies keep careful record of which Iowa personal injury lawyers have trial experience and which ones don’t. The lawyers who don’t go to trial get low-ball settlement offers because the insurance companies know they aren’t willing to fight for more.
At the same time, the insurance companies don’t want to risk getting hit with a big trial verdict – that is why the lawyers who regularly go to trial are ones who consistently get the best settlement offers.
It is important that the insurance company knows that you are willing to go to trial if it doesn’t offer you a fair settlement. The easiest way to send that message and get a fair settlement is to hire an Iowa personal injury lawyer with considerable trial experience.
That reputation is rarer than you may think. There are approximately 8,000 lawyers licensed to practice law in Iowa. But – on average – there are less than 200 personal injury trials in Iowa each year. That means the vast majority of Iowa personal injury lawyers don’t have recent trial experience and the insurance companies know it.
So if you want to increase your odds of getting a fair settlement, make sure you hire one of the few Iowa lawyers with recent success in front of a jury.
Second, if the lawyer representing you does not have recent trial experience in an Iowa courtroom, he or she will have a hard time appraising the value of your personal injury case. Remember, your case is worth whatever a jury would likely give you if you went to trial. If a lawyer doesn’t go to trial or hasn’t gone to trial in a long time, how do they know what an Iowa jury would likely do with your case?
Most people rely on their attorneys to give them advice about the fair value of their personal injury claims. That advice will be suspect if it is not based upon real-world trial experience with that type of case in front of an Iowa jury.
Hiring the right trial lawyer for your personal injury case can be a challenge. You want to make sure you get a personal injury attorney who has the right kind of trial experience. If you have questions on how to do that, or want to talk to us about your claim, call us at 1-800-433-0283.
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