Myth #3: Litigation research is only for high exposure cases
Why cases settle for higher dollars
One of the primary reasons why cases are settling for such a high dollar value is because clients are not investing in properly training their witnesses for depositions. Research has shown that poor performance in a deposition is the leading factor in increased damages. Some corporations will rely on the fact that, even if they are required to settle the case, the amount of damage awards will not exceed a statutory limit. As we have heard from clients in states where caps exist, this is not a beneficial practice. We have been told by a Senior Claims Specialist, “Just because a case is capped, does not mean that [a] particular case warrants a full capped payment. The client will inadvertently build a case against themselves through poor decision making in a deposition. If that happens, then you have no choice but to pay the full capped amount.” Another Senior Claims Specialist told us, “Whether or not caps exist, the question for the liability carrier remains the same: do you want to be forced to pay a premium to settle a claim that could have been won but for the performance of the insured at deposition? It can mean the difference between paying nothing versus paying a statutory cap in a case that may have had little or no merit.” There is no doubt that plaintiff attorneys are astutely aware of some clients’ willingness to settle cases for the capped amount, despite the weaknesses of the case. This willingness to settle cases also makes these clients prime targets for repeated litigation. The best way to prevent this is to provide witness effectiveness training with a litigation psychologist prior to deposition, which costs only a fraction of any potential settlement.
Counter-Anchoring Damages is More Important than Ever