There are many images used by lawyers to illustrate the unstated realities that underlie the real-life dramas on display in our courtrooms. One such image well-known to lawyers is the iceberg. The iceberg is a useful image because, as we all know, the vast majority of the mass of an iceberg is below the surface of the water, unseen to the observer, but known to exist.
For our purposes, focusing now on the trial of personal injury cases, the iceberg image illustrates the difference between the small slice of a real-life drama that almost always was years in the making, culminating in what we as lawyers would call a “case”, and the truth and reality experienced by the injured person. The truth and reality for the injured person are that, through no fault of their own, they are now on the wrong side of our largest national and international corporations that we all refer to as “insurance companies”.
Many things could be said about the roles played by insurance companies in our courtrooms, and yet none of those roles can be understood without first making a critical distinction between the way insurance companies “speak” in our courtrooms, and the way everyone else speaks in our courtrooms.
Insurance Companies and Individuals in the Courtroom
When the injured person speaks in a courtroom, he or she stands up, walks to the witness box, and answers questions directly, having been fully identified and made known to all to be the person speaking. The injured person encounters the “crucible of the cross” and deals with the fire that is coming his or her way without guise of deception.
The great distinction between the way the injured person speaks in a courtroom, and the way insurance companies speak in a courtroom, is that when insurance companies speak in a courtroom they do so furtively, behind the scenes, guiding and controlling the people on the ground.
This is because the preferred way of doing battle for an insurance company is from a vantage point beneath the surface of the water, hoping to be unseen by the most important people in the courtroom — the jury. And yet we know that the insurance company has hired teams of lawyers to delay, deny, and defend the claim, the insurance company has hired highly paid professional witnesses with medical degrees to examine and testify in its favor, and the insurance company has spent thousands upon thousands of dollars with the one goal of paying as little as possible to the injured person.
The great hope of the insurance company is that the jury will look at the person who caused the injury as having to personally pay the amount of money they award out of their own pocket. Insurance companies hope this will cause the jury to reduce the award well below what would otherwise be fair compensation.
Winning Against Insurance Company Strategies
This, simply put, is a strategy based only on maximizing profits for insurance companies, and it is a strategy that is totally incompatible with the fair compensation of claims. There really is only one response to these realities, at least for the injured person and his or her attorney, and that is to be committed to speaking truth in the courtroom and trusting the jury to care enough to do the right thing having heard the truth.
At Russell and Hill, we fight for our client’s rights for fair personal injury compensation. We stand up to the iceberg alongside our clients. If you’ve found yourself in a battle against an insurance company over a personal injury claim, our attorneys are here to help you win your case. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation.