The stakes are high. Trial is scheduled for next week and negotiations are at an impasse. You have already offered more than the case is really worth, but you recognize the risk that a jury might award far more than you have offered. Keeping in mind the ultimate goal of claim handling, you believe the case will settle if you add a little more money to your last offer. On the other hand, you have a good attorney, strong liability and damages defenses, and genuinely believe the jury may return a defense verdict. What should you do?

The liability claim business is, by definition, a risky business. Ideally, the decision to position a case for trial or settlement is made early and the defense costs are allocated appropriately. Often, elements that are out of the control of the defense (i.e. unreasonable or unresponsive claimant counsel), prevent an early disposition.

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