Trial vs. Settlement | Denied Insurance Claim

Trial vs Settlement Insurance LawI have taken several insurance bad faith cases to trial in Arizona over denied insurance claims and consistently obtained winning verdicts, such as a verdict of over $4 million awarded to a family whose insurer denied their homeowner’s claim for water and mold damage[1]. Sometimes it is simply not possible to force an insurance company to do what is right without going to trial and obtaining a jury verdict. However, settlement is often the most efficient way to resolve an insurance bad faith case in Arizona, but only after the insurance company has been convinced that it will eventually lose, usually after failing to obtain summary judgment on the case. Most of the more than eighty cases I’ve successfully litigated against insurance companies resulted in substantial settlements. Some examples of these settlements are listed below.

If a Phoenix law firm advertises its large trial verdicts, you may want to ask how much was actually recovered and how long it took to obtain that recovery. They may not be able to tell you, because the case eventually settled for an amount subject to a confidentiality agreement. Unlike settlements, trial verdicts are a matter of public record and may result in publicity for the winning lawyer and law firm. However trials are expensive and verdicts are subject to reduction by the trial judge. Verdicts are also subject to appeal and reduction by an appellate court or a lesser recovery after the case is remanded back to the trial court. More often than not, the actual amount recovered on a case will be substantially less than the trial verdict and obtained only after years of expensive litigation; an expense that must, by law, be paid by the client.

A large trial verdict or a reported appellate decision may be great for a law firm’s reputation, but not always in your best interests. The decision whether to try or settle a case is best made with the help of an attorney who will do what is right for you.

[1]Hatley v. Century-National Ins. Co., Maricopa County Superior Court Cause Number CIV 2000-006713.

Settlement Recovery Amounts by Attorney Steven A Gruenemeier

  • $2,500,000 in a homeowners’ fire loss case
  • $900,000 in a case involving storm damage to a furniture store
  • Over $675,000 in a case involving storm damage to a condominium complex
  • $650,000 in a case where costs of inpatient psychiatric treatment were denied
  • $425,000 in a homeowners’ water damage case
  • $330,000 in a case of fraudulent inducement to surrender life insurance
  • More than $200,000 in a case involving rescinded health insurance
  • $170,000 in a case claiming nursing home benefits
  • Just under $160,000 in a case involving roof hail damage$150,000 in a case involving a homeowners’ water damage claim
  • Just under $125,000 in a case involving life insurance
  • $95,000 in a case involving a fire loss to a small business
  • $55,000 in a disability claim case
  • $45,000 in a case involving an apartment fire loss