Everybody has their own definition of what is "fair," or "just." However, nobody would disagree with the notion that juries or insurance companies should evaluate each claim or case in the same manner, looking only at what the law requires, and nothing else. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
We often consult with clients to will refer to a neighbor, or a relative who recovered some kind of settlement or jury verdict far greater them what they are hearing about on their case. There are many reasons for the differences, but one of them may just be the simple fact that one insurance company handles cases differently than another.
I tell my folks that insurance companies are like people. Everyone of them is unique. Even within a company, you will find claims adjusters that behave differently than a coworker.
Most of the time, however, we are talking about policies and procedures. Some companies like to use a program known as "Colossus." Claims adjusters simply input data about the facts of the case, including diagnostic codes, property damage estimates, and other "value factors." At the other hand comes a range of settlement value, in many adjusters are not permitted to stray from this projected range. I have had some adjusters tell me they decided to resign from a large insurance company because their independent judgment was not respected, and they felt like lower 5 data entry clerks. That is actually not too far from the truth.
Although I believe that juries are more than qualified to decide issues involving even complex injury claims, there is variation from one jury to another. Everybody walks into jury duty with a personal history, and whether they realize that are not, that life experiences going to affect how they do the facts of each case.
What we tried to do with our cases and clients is make the facts is clear presentable as possible to ensure the best possible result, whether it involves settlement prior to trial, or presenting the case to a jury.
If you have questions about how this process works, call us at 503-325-8600. We help people every day with these issues.