Auto Accident Settlements in St Louis County
When you suffer an injury at the hands of another negligent driver, you may be wondering about how you could obtain compensation for damage they directly caused. Some may opt to take a case to trial, but in other auto accident cases, settlement offers have been made by the defense in order to avoid taking a case to trial.
If you have been offered a settlement following an auto collision, be sure to schedule a consultation today. A St. Louis County lawyer could inform you about the common facts of car accident settlements and determine whether you would benefit from accepting a settlement offer.
Options for a Car Accident Settlement
There are several options available for accident settlements in Missouri. One option claimants could take on is called a lump sum settlement. In this type of agreement, the plaintiff would accept the defendant’s offer in one single payment. Another option includes an annuity, or in other words, a structured settlement. Structured settlements requires the defendant to put the settlement money into an annuity and then pay based on a chosen schedule. This is most common for minors so that the funds can be scheduled for future medical care or for college. Another type of settlement in a personal injury case is a settlement for their medical payment coverage under their own auto policy. This is sometimes an overlooked source of funds for their injury case.
Settling an Auto Accident Case
There are a variety of reasons why someone would want to settle their injury case as opposed to going to trial. The most common reason for settling is that it is easier. However, this does not mean that it is the best option for the plaintiff. Another reason why someone might settle as opposed to going to trial is because it is far less stressful to settle than going to trial.
Trials can delay the case by several months, if not years, and cost thousands of dollars. People that choose not to go to trial typically do so to avoid this type of hassle, although the upside of going to trial can be great and can lead to a very high verdict. However, the risk of receiving no compensation at trial is just as high.
Cons of Accepting a Settlement Offer
It is not uncommon for a person to choose to take their case to trial as opposed to settling. The main reason for this is that the at-fault party or their insurance company is not offering what their case is worth, or they are outright denying any liability. Another common reason why someone might go to trial is they simply want justice, and the only way in their mind to get justice is to have a jury of their peers decide the fate of their case.
Unique Aspects of a St. Louis County Auto Settlement
One of these reasons involves the Missouri lien statute. This statute makes it possible for attorneys to reduce the cost of medical bills by a significant amount. This means that the victim may be able to receive compensation that would go directly towards them and not for any other expenses. Other ways the settlement process is different involved the bad faith statute in Missouri. When an insurance company chooses to negotiate in bad faith, many times the personal injury lawyer is able to negotiate a far higher settlement for the victim, and the insurance company does not sue the insured.
Specific Information to be Presented at an Initial Consultation
Prior to meeting with their St. Louis County car accident lawyer, the plaintiff should gather specific information for their meeting. The most pertinent information includes photographs and videos of the scene, their injuries, the vehicles involved, their discharge paperwork from the hospital, any other doctors they have been to, all insurance information both for themselves and the other driver, and title paperwork for their vehicles. If they were given an accident referral card at the scene by the police officer, they should also bring that with them. This will help the attorney track down a copy of the police report.
Speak with an Attorney Today
A personal injury case of any kind could bring about unnecessary stress and worries. However, by accepting a settlement, victims may be able to obtain compensation without having to go to trial. Before doing so, it is strongly recommended to speak with an attorney experienced in auto accident claims.
A St. Louis County lawyer could inform you about the common facts about car accident settlements and in form you of whether you should or should not accept a settlement offer. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.