Finding the Full Value of Your Case

In the legal world, every case is unique, and the key to success lies in understanding how to extract its full value. Whether you're a client seeking representation or a law firm partnering on a case, the responsibility to maximize its worth is paramount. This blog post explores the insights shared in a recent transcript and highlights three crucial components in achieving this goal.

**1. Uncover Available Resources:**

One of the foundational steps in maximizing the value of a case is to unearth the available resources. This involves a deep dive into the case, scrutinizing the insurance coverage, and assessing the assets of the opposing party. Often, initial information can be misleading, and it's essential to question and investigate further. As demonstrated in a real-life example, an initial claim of $1 million in coverage turned out to be $5 million, and there was an additional defendant with extensive coverage. This shows the importance of thorough investigation beyond what is initially presented.

**2. Strengthen the Liability Case:**

The strength of the liability case is a crucial factor in determining the potential value of a legal case. Jurors tend to follow the law more diligently when they believe that a tragedy occurred due to deliberate choices made by the defendant. To enhance the liability aspect, attorneys need to explore not only the details of the incident but also the history and patterns of negligence within the defendant's operations. Examining past incidents, safety practices, and deliberate choices to ignore safety measures can help build a compelling liability story.

**3. Understand the Consequences:**

In personal injury and wrongful death cases, understanding the consequences of the defendant's unsafe choices is pivotal. This involves assessing the impact on the victim's life, their loss of abilities, and the choices they are forced to make due to their injuries. Money can significantly improve the quality of life for these individuals, and legal teams must work closely with professionals such as life care planners and doctors to quantify and demonstrate how financial compensation can make a difference in their future.

**Taking the Bold Steps:**

Maximizing the value of a case often requires taking bold steps. This includes the courage to walk away from settlement offers that fall short of the case's true value, even if it means leaving millions on the table. The willingness to go to trial and prove your case can eventually compel insurance companies to offer the full value of the claim.

In conclusion, achieving success in the legal field involves a multifaceted approach. 

It requires diligent investigation, strategic storytelling, and the courage to fight for what is just. By adhering to these principles, attorneys can ensure they maximize the value of every case, ultimately serving the best interests of their clients and the pursuit of justice.


Speaker 1:
When someone entrusts us with a case, whether it's a client hiring us directly, more often than not another law firm bringing us into partner of the case, we have a huge responsibility to make sure we get the full value of every case. In fact, one of our strategies for success we start every meeting off with is we need to maximize the value of every case. So what does that mean? It doesn't mean that you get a million dollars on every single case or $10 million on every single case, unfortunately, because if you have a case with minor injuries, it's worth what it's worth. But we have to dig deep and find out what is this case worth? What is the most we could possibly get on the case? And then what is our strategy for getting there? And there's really three components to maximize the value of every case.
First, there is the what is available resources, how much insurance is there, how big is this company? Do they have assets in addition to the insurance that they have, but they don't have enough insurance? And that takes digging, because they lie to you. I mean, frankly, there's a case we got brought in. They told the referring lawyer, there's only a million dollars in coverage. We get involved, and we quickly find out there's an additional four. It's actually 5 million in coverage. And we get involved, we dig deeper. It finds out there's actually another defendant that has hundreds of millions of dollars in available coverage. So a case that two other law firms had told that client to take a million dollars, and they were telling that lawyer one million is all there is, that case is suddenly worth much, much more. So it's important to do the digging and not just accept what they tell you, because even though the defense lawyer might not be purposely lying to you like, oh, well, I can trust this person.
I've dealt with this person a long time. The client or the insurance company might not be telling that lawyer the truth. They do hide things, and you have to dig to find the truth on what is potentially available. The second leg is liability. How good is our liability case? And in theory, I mean, if the jury finds negligence, they're supposed to award a full measure of damages. But what I have found is jurors want to do the right thing. So if there is kind of a weak liability case, like yeah, someone made a mistake, but they didn't do it on purpose, it wasn't a big company thing, the jurors are less likely to follow the law and allow full damages for things like pain, physical impairment, mental anguish. When a juror knows that a tragedy occurred because of deliberate choices the company made that expose the public to risk, then that jury is more likely to follow the law and allow full damages.
And so we have to really dig in to the liability part of the case, not just what happened in the wreck, but why did it happen? Is this a case where it's happened before, that there have been other crashes similar at this company or other incidents? If it's a non-trucking case, you say it's an explosion. Have they had other fires, other explosions, other workplace injuries before? Have they had close calls before? And what do they do about it? And then we have to look at was it a deliberate safety choice? Did someone choose not to do training? A lot of times in our trucking cases, you'll find that they got audited by the government and the government said, well, you need to train people better. You need to improve your policies, you need to improve your monitoring. And they'll tell the government that they did it because they want to keep their license.
They don't really do it. I'll give an example. Oh yeah, we agree. We'll provide training to all our employees, and then they show videos in English to employees that don't speak English. That's not training. And so those are deliberate choices. They don't want to spend the money to provide the training or to provide the training in the language the person speaks or to provide proper maintenance or whatever it is. The other thing we look at liability is this something at this company that's likely to happen again, if the jury doesn't do something about it? Because that is something else that motivates jurors. So this driver still works there. They're still not training, they're still not watching the logs. They're still trying to cover up the wrongdoing and say, yeah, we don't think we support what this driver did. We're going to keep doing things the same way, and the only way we can change that is with a big jury verdict.
So that's one big part of maximizing the case, finding the best liability story that's most likely to motivate a jury to follow the law and allow big damages. The third thing is, were the consequences of the defendant's unsafe choices. In a death case, what is this life that was taken away? In an injury case, we look at what did the person love to do before? What are they left with now? What can they no longer do? What do they have to do differently? What do they have to make a choice between I'm going to do this, but it's going to hurt, or I'm not going to do something I love, because I don't want the pain of having to make that choice and having to suffer the consequences of doing what you love, because someone else made an unsafe choice? And then what's the hope for the future?
How can money make things better? How can money give someone a better life? We can do that with life care planners. We do that with doctors. Sometimes we do that with just being creative, by talking to the client, talking to the friends, talking to the family, and come up with ideas of how could money make someone able to do the things they love again? So then you got to put it all together and find a winning story. And when you do, then you got to get brave. Then you got to get tough because what's going to happen is they're going to test you. So you're going to go to mediation, and when you're younger and learning, there's all this pressure to get settled at mediation, but they don't come with all their money the first mediation. So you've got to go to mediation, and they're going to offer you mediocre money. You've got to walk away. And as you get closer and closer to trial, they're going to start offering you good money, but not great money and not the full value.
You've got to walk away, and sometimes you've got to leave millions, sometimes over $10 million on the table, walk away and start that trial, and you have to be ready to take it all the way to the verdict. And only when they see that you're in there, and you're trying their case, and you're kicking their butt, does the insurance company get around to doing the right thing and finally offering you the full value of your case? Sometimes you have to go try some cases and get some verdicts before they'll do that, and that's okay. But if you're not willing to walk away, if they know that you're going to chicken out and take less than full value, you'll never get full value. So again, you want to maximize the value of every case. Then you have to dig deep and find the liability story. You have to spend the time and learn your client's story, and you have to be brave and walk away and keep fighting until they pay you what your case is worth.

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