A Parable, by JAH


There once was a man who had never tasted beer.  Never.  One day a brewer came around his town, selling his craft.  The man decided to finally take a chance and try the beer, but before he did that, he said to the brewer, “I think this is going to taste like fruit…maybe lemons, maybe oranges, but certainly it’s going to be fruity.”

The brewer asked him why he thought that would be the case, as he had never tasted beer before, had never smelled it, and didn’t even know what the ingredients were.

The man said, “Well, it’s kind of yellowy/orange, which is a fruity color.  So I am sure it will taste like fruit.”

The brewer told him, “I made this beer, and I can tell you there is no fruit to be found in it.  It’s made from malted barley, hops, water, and yeast, none of which taste like fruit.  In fact, I can tell you – and this is my professional opinion as the person who made the beverage with my own hands and have done so countless times before – that this beer will taste like cold but sweet and bubbly grain broth with bitterness on top of all of that.  It will taste nothing like fruit.”

But the man was adamant, “I KNOW it will taste like fruit.  Give it to me and I’ll prove it.”  He drank and the beer tasted like cold but sweet and bubbly grain broth with bitterness on top of all of that, just like the brewer had said.

The man was surprised that the brewer had been right, and he said as much to the brewer.  The brewer asked him, “Why are you so surprised?  I told you what it would taste like.  I made the stuff and do so all the time.  If you’re going to believe anyone’s opinion on it, you should certainly have believed mine.”

The moral of the story is this:  You can have whatever opinion you want.  More power to you.  But if that opinion is countered by the opinion of a professional in that field, it’s probably worth listening to the professional.

What in the heck does that have to do with personal injury claims in North Carolina?

Everything.  It has everything to do with injury claims in North Carolina.

How do you value your injury claim?  Well, you can come up with whatever valuation you want.  You’re totally entitled to whatever opinion you would like to hold.  But when push comes to shove, don’t you think it makes sense to listen to someone who professionally deals with valuing personal injury claims in North Carolina every day?  In other words, which opinion of an injury claim value do you think is more likely to be accurate – the opinion of the person in the accident, or the opinion of a personal injury attorney with 20 years of experience handling injury claims in North Carolina?

I get it.  You’re the one who suffered.  You’re the one who has lost time and money.  You have a strong feeling about what your case is worth.  I totally get it.  But what you have to remember is that YOU CAN’T be on the jury trying your case!  Your jury will consist of 12 randos that don’t know you, don’t care about you, and are frankly probably put out that they have to be there to hear you complain about this in the first place.  You have to take that into consideration, as well as a myriad of other factors that you probably have never even thought of.  But guess who has thought of them?  An experienced personal injury attorney!  That’s who!

This is my job.  This is what I do for a living.  This is what I do to feed, clothe, and educate my children.  Don’t you think I take it very seriously?  Of course, I take into consideration your personal experience with your claim, but what you have to understand is that is NOT the driving factor of value in your claim.  There’s a ton to consider, and this is what you’re paying me to do.

You don’t have to listen to a professional’s opinion if you don’t want to.  But you ignore it to your peril.

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