Many attorneys say they are “trial attorneys,” but not all “personal injury lawyers” litigate cases and actually go to trial. Recently, Attorneys Jason Guari and Scott Perry went to trial where a large, national insurance company (which claims that they are “like a good neighbor”) refused to make a reasonable offer on behalf of its insured, the named defendant.
Our client was a lovely, 53-year-old woman at the time of trial. She had ZERO prior complaints of neck or back pain before getting involved in a three car, rear-end collision. The blue vehicle below was the defendant’s SUV and the white car was our client’s car, post-crash.
The defense – from the beginning – was that our client’s diagnostic imaging (MRI/CT/X-RAY) of her spine showed significant, degenerative changes (age related), so despite the fact that our client had never complained of pain or symptoms – “it had to be pre-existing conditions” that caused her the need for a two-level, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), which she ultimately underwent several years after the crash.
From the beginning, Attorneys Guari and Perry argued that the defense was just unrealistic, but the insurance company for the defendant dug in its heels and left our client with two options: (1) accept an unreasonable amount or (2) go to trial and leave it to the jury. Our client put her trust in our firm and elected to go to trial.
After four days of trial, against a very seasoned defense attorney and on the eve of closing arguments, the insurance company for the defense sensed that the case was not going in its favor and settled for amount nearly 40% higher than had been offered pre-trial. Our client, with the improved offer, decided to settle and take the final decision away from the jury, given the inherent risks of letting six strangers render a verdict.
Clearly, contrary to the image portrayed by insurance companies in their T.V. advertisements and large corporate sponsorships, the insurance companies are not in the business of always doing the right thing – instead, they make the business decision to deny, delay, and defend otherwise valid claims to wear down claimants and to avoid paying money.
When a defendant’s insurance company refuses to act reasonably and gives low ball offers on valid claims, Murray Guari stands ready, willing, and able to take our clients’ cases to trial to obtain just and fair compensation.