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Does Your Case Make the Insurance Company Want to Settle?

August 21, 2018

Trial lawyers are often frustrated when insurance companies play hard ball on their "good" cases?  However, what appears to be a good case on paper is not always so. Following are what I deem to be the seven "silver bullet" points that make insurance companies and their lawyers nervous and want to settle. It should come as no surprise that it starts with the client:

The Client

Personal injury cases are like snowflakes.  No two cases are the same. The reason behind the analogy is simple; no two people are exactly the same.   We all have strengths and weaknesses. However, in the context of personal injury cases, there are certain personality traits that are a must in order to win against an insurance company.   Over the course of my 25 years of practice, I have come to identify certain characteristics that are uniquely suited to trying and winning cases.


Yes, the single most important virtue that creates trust in juries and fear in defense attorneys is an honest client.   Many lawyers fear the truth. They don't like bad facts and try to avoid disclosing them at all costs. And while that may be a temporary solution, we all know that truth is ultimately revealed and if it is uncovered by the insurance company, it will sink your case.   White lies kill. What may seem inconsequential to the client, can spell trouble to a jury and undermine credibility


There is nothing more uncomfortable in a deposition than when your client attempts to play to his audience.   Serious injuries and the impact they impose on a person's life do not need to be upsold. In fact, jurors often become more empathetic with a person who demonstrates how they are overcoming adversity than those that give in to it.  This may seem counter-intuitive, however, jurors attitudes toward a person who they believe are "gaming the system," may be adversely affected. For example, I represented a woman struck from the rear of her vehicle by a semi-truck.  She suffered a traumatic brain injury. However, she was able to return to work 6 months after the accident. During her deposition, Defense counsel says, "I see you are back to work?" "Yes, sir." He continues, "So, despite claiming you have a traumatic brain injury, you can perform your job."  My client paused and replies, "Sure. I write everything down 3 times so I don't forget. And, I stay two hours late every night without pay to get my work done." Rather than focusing on the limited time she remained off work, she candidly addressed the real issues in her life, that being the inability to accomplish simple tasks in real time.  Her case ended up settling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. (See our Results page for more examples.)

Ability to Tell a Story

Emotional congruence is the key to storytelling and winning your case.   We have all listened to a person telling a story only to have them stop short and say, "Well, you had to be there."   What they are saying is that they are struggling to convey the emotions of the moment through simple narration. However, some people are natural storytellers.  They have the ability to transport you out of your own mind and into their experiences. Getting jurors or defense lawyers to see a case through an emotional lens as opposed to an analytical one creates "feelings" about the situation and usually translates into large verdicts.    So when I hear defense lawyers tell me that insurance companies fear "good witnesses," I know that what they truly fear are great storytellers! For more on emotional congruence and the impact of telling a great story, see


Insurance companies don't like exposure.   They would rather have a case involving a $20,000 policy than a case involving a $1,000,000.00 one.   Why? The risk of getting hit at trial and having to pay more than the case is worth. Even cases with limited damages generally pay out higher settlements to avoid potential exposure.  Another place where you see higher payouts for minimal damage cases are those that involve celebrities and brands. Take Bill O'Reilly for example; he settled a sexual harassment case for $32 million dollars.  Now typically, employment discrimination and harassment cases are paid proportionate to the amount of economic losses suffered by the employee. Thus, an hourly employee would be less likely to receive a large settlement even were they to have lost a job.    Income replacement is the driver of these settlements. However, when the case involves a celebrity or a brand, buying silence comes at a premium. Insurance companies are no different. The ability to pay large awards leads carriers to pay more than claims that are capped by low policy limits.

Aggravated Facts

Another factor that motivates insurance companies to settle claims is when underlying facts would tend to aggravate or anger jurors.  For example, if a person is injured in a rear -end accident where a worker fell asleep at the wheel after working a 24-hour shift at the Red Cross or Salvation Army has a very different feel than if that driver had just left a bar after several hours of drinking.    Another way of thinking about "aggravated facts" is to determine the level of betrayal. When jurors feel that a defendant has betrayed a trusted relationship, they usually will shift their focus on damages from compensation to punishment. Where I see this most often are where insurance companies purposely deny a claim for no good reason.   The trusted relationship, i.e., payment of premiums on the promise that should a tragedy strike, they will be "covered," is betrayed by the company’s denial of benefits. Nearly every personal injury case has a component of betrayal. The "rules of society" are sacred and must be followed and when they are broken for no good reason, people become emotional, angry and look to punish the bad behavior.

Experience Counts

Finally, the industry secret that nobody likes to talk about is "professional experience and reputation." Like any other profession, not all lawyers are alike or have the same skillset. We see lawyers on television everyday claiming to be "trial lawyers." Nearly, every internet ad for personal injury lawyers comes with the "trial experience" moniker. However, the statistics show otherwise. In Michigan, less than 5% of all claims go to trial.  The stats beg the question. Who is trying cases? I assure you that insurance companies know. And it doesn't just end with trial experience; motion practice, deposition skills and appellate success all factor into an insurance carrier's decision to pay more to one lawyer's client over another lacking in these areas.   Attorneys and insurance carriers alike have access to 'verdict and settlement’ research, along with a complete appellate record. The Wizard of Oz is not so mythical in law as it is in Hollywood. There is plenty of research and case law opinions available to insurance companies to determine which lawyers have a proven track record.

The Moss & Colella Difference

For over 20 years the attorneys at Moss & Colella have aggressively fought and won millions in settlements for their clients. Their experience extends across many areas of personal injury and civil rights law. If you or a loved one was recently injured or discriminated against do not hesitate to call us. We will always have an experienced Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer, Michigan civil rights lawyer, or Michigan personal injury lawyer ready to help you immediately. We understand each case is unique and we treat every client like family.

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Client Testimonials

I HIGHLY recommend David Moss; he exceeded my expectations numerous times, and I feel fortunate and blessed to have worked with him and his team. Moss & Colella attorneys have relentless perseverance and dedication for everyone they represent.
If this firm takes your case, it's in exceptionally experienced hands. The hands of attorneys who care about your well-being and the outcome of your litigation!
When I got into a car accident, my life changed. David and Ryan understood how this change affected my livelihood and mobility. They handled my case professionally, and I couldn't be more thankful for all of the sincere guidance and help provided throughout this process.
Thanks so much for everything!!!

The Burls


 I was referred to Moss & Colella in 2018 following a car accident. I cannot tell you how confident and safe I felt knowing that I was in good hands. David, and Ryan made sure that I always had any questions or concerns addressed in a timely manner. I appreciated their compassion, and understanding as I got emotional, and the reassurance they provided, made me feel important and valued as a client. If you need a great lawyer for an injury, this is your firm! I hope I never need to be in a position where I’d need their help again, but if I did, I’d gladly seek their services!

T. Ray


My son sadly passed after a vehicle accident, it was a hard case. Mr. Moss was our lawyer, he was very helpful, very informative, very up front and put alot of effort into this case. He’s a great man, a honest man and his law firm will do the best with any case brought to them. Everyone at his office was very kind and very helpful. I absolutely recommend them for any of your lawsuit needs.
Very grateful for this firm!

S. Collins


Words can not express how grateful I am for the outcome of this case. It was truly a blessing to have this resolved sooner than expected. But without your help and my faith in your firm along with my faith on God, this may not have been possible. I appreciate everything you have done in orchestrating everything to this resolve, for your time and effort meant the world to me. I thank my friend for putting me in touch with such a talented group of people. You will always be considered my attorneys of choice for anything that comes up in the future that would render your services. This year has definitely been many blessings so far and I welcome many more to come. Thank you again for everything and may you continue to be blessed.


Mother of Client

Very few people on this earth impress me. You are one of the very few. My family and I thank you for all you did. You are a good man!



Other law firms would not take my case, they said it was too complicated. But David Moss took my case and got the result I was looking for in almost no time at all. I’m glad I didn’t listen to those other lawyers.



I just wanted to thank you for putting your time and effort into my case. You did a wonderful job last Thursday. You are what people say you are, a wonderful lawyer.



I do not only count on you as one bad ass lawyer, but also a friend. None of this would be possible without you. My deepest gratitude to you and all of the Moss & Colella team.



I am very relieved and very happy with the outcome. I appreciate everything you and your firm did to see this through and I will be grateful for that always. You all came highly recommended and now I see why based on what you did in helping my son through a very challenging moment in his life. We will always be your fans:) Thank you again and may you always be Blessed…


Mother of Client

Moss & Colella PC goes above and beyond, and then some, to get the results you need and deserve! Since my accident in 2021, in which I broke several bones and am not able to work anymore, my vehicle insurance company dropped the ball. They not only tried to discredit me, but also have been trying to screw me out of what was owed to me. Thank you to David and the whole team for putting their all into my case, I got more than I expected! I am so overwhelmed and appreciative by what they have done for me!



Thanks for another great Colella in Context, Vince. You are helping all of us by taking the time to write your thoughtful column.



Attorney David Moss was referred to me after my car accident, I really did not know what to expect. I met with him and he explained the process well. His office helped me get compensation for missing work because of the accident. He was able to get compensation for my caregiver. He also was able to get all my medical bills from the accident paid by the insurance company. And finally he was able to get me much more from the insurance company than their first offer. He and his staff are professionals. I highly recommend Moss & Colella Law Firm. The other law firms say “they will fight for you”, no Attorney Moss will fight for you. Give his office a call and let them handle your case.

Dana Darby


I was referred to Moss & Colella PC after the accident I was in. I could not have made a better choice. From the initial conversation I had with Mr. Moss about taking legal action, to the day I received my settlement, Mr. Moss and his team worked diligently and were adamant about getting what was deserved, keeping me informed each step of the way. What I respect the most about this firm is they are straight up with you about what is going on and what the best options are for you. Thank you to David, Ryan, Kelly, Janice and anyone else who had a part in getting this done.

Dame Mitchell


Best choice I ever made going with Moss & Colella. Vince and Wendy were always there for me from start to finish I love you guys and your firm. I highly recommend this firm. Vince and Wendy are smart, sharp and caring people. God bless you guys and your firm thanks for everything

John Bahoura


I was referred to David and I could never be happier!! I had NO Idea how my case would go or if I even had a case.  David was so STRAIGHT UP with me with the process and how things may go and I can honestly say I appreciated that the MOST. The entire staff made me feel so comfortable, they took care of business! I really appreciate you David!!

Breeana Coe


Attorney David Moss, Ryan, and their assistant Kelly were all AMAZING. They were incredible understanding and patient with me and my family. It was like they knew EVERYTHING  we were going through. They were all right by our side going though and explaining every detail. When this ordeal started I ask someone if they knew of a pit bull that would be able to help us. I am so so glad I was referred to Attorney David Moss.

Thomas Hale


I am very pleased with my experience with Moss & Colella, P.C.  The professionalism, and keeping you informed about every detail that took place were outstanding I could not have picked no one better to handle my case I would give them the highest grade that you possibly could give an attorneys office I am very satisfied with how my case was handled

Earl Moore


The firm of Moss & Colella was wonderful they kept me and my family well informed and constantly gave updates in our challenging legal matter. Kept their word and didn't promise anything they couldn't deliver. I would highly recommend this firm for their personal service and depth of legal knowledge which was a win for my family and helped me feel at ease during a tragic time. Thank you. David Moss Great job. Have a great future. Highly recommended law firm

George Baird


The best staff and always on top of everything. They stay in contact with updates and work hard and fast to hep you in every way. Thanks to all that worked on my case love you all.

Brian L


David Moss and the Moss &  Colella team were awesome! I would recommend them to anyone

Lisette Montry


This is a Top-notch Firm.. They explained my options every step of the way. I would recommend them to my closest family and friends.

Greg Sawmiller


Excellent service very professional fully satisfied

Sterling Crutcher


My experience with this law firm has been excellent. They work hard around-the-clock to solve your situation. I was suggest anyone that needed a lawyer whatever situation to contact them.

Deanne Freenan


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About the Firm

The attorneys of Moss & Colella have carefully chosen their career paths to fight for those that have suffered from injury and wrongful death. We believe every citizen should have the right to hire the best lawyer who will actively advocate for their case.

David Moss and Vince Colella have over 60 collective years of personal injury trial experience that provides you a level of legal services and success unmatched by other firms. By working together, we have the ability to find creative, effective, and efficient solutions to even the most complex cases. No matter what situation you face, we will help you get through it.

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