Personal Injury Settlements are not really about the money – at least not how people think. For better or worse, we have a system in place that tries to compensate people for changes to their life, for their pain and suffering; with a dollar amount. This never squares. No one would go through this again for the money. This event changes your life. It takes you off course. It wreaks havoc in your home, and often leaves you with a permanent injury. You can’t put a price on that.
The concept that people will be “made whole” with some dollar amount, is a farce. But this is the system that we have.
The insurance companies have drilled into our minds, into the fabric of our culture, that people who sue are after money, that they are after a pay day, that they are doing this to get rich. They have successfully taken control of the narrative. Ever wonder how some of these top insurance companies bought every third commercial on TV? It wasn’t just about being stingy on settlements and collecting higher premiums. No, they played the long game. Thirty years ago a person could go in front of a jury of their peers and feel like they were going to get a fair shot. Today, the insurance companies have altered perception so that jurors are going in with a much different view. They have altered our impressions so that Defendants are viewed as victims, and Plaintiff’s are seen as the perpetrators. In fact, the insurance companies changed the game so much, that you can’t even utter the word “insurance” at trial. That’s right, there can be no mention what-so-ever of insurance; or whether or not the Defendant has it. They hide behind their insured, never seen, never heard, all the while controlling the larger narrative.
So, let’s talk about the money. It’s not about what it can buy you. It’s not about a big pay day. It’s certainly not a way to get rich quick. And it’s never about what you would take to go through it again. In a word, it’s about respect. It’s a score. It’s a measure.
What the insurance companies – and 99% of the time there is an insurance company – don’t want you to understand, is that the money is a score. It is recognition of everything you went through. That bears repeating. A Personal Injury settlement is recognition of everything you went through.
Our work is about making sure that responsible parties are held accountable for the damage that they have caused. That they are held responsible for the doctor’s appointments, the waiting rooms, the lost wages, the messy house, and all the havoc this has wreaked on your life. This is about how your injuries impacted you, your ability to take care of yourself, your home, and those you love. This is about how your injuries impacted your work and doing things you enjoy. And in the end, a settlement provides closure, so that you can move on and leave this event in the past.
A desire for justice and validation does not make you the villain. Your case should be taken seriously, and you should not have to apologize for it.
It is not about the money. It is about so much more.