Process of Settling a St. Louis County Truck Accident Case
Entering into a settlement may seem like an easy and straight-forward process. However, that is rarely the case. A plaintiff does not simply accept an offer and receive a check the very next day. There is a process that they need to follow to make sure they get the maximum amount of compensation available to them. This process consists of negotiating any medical bills or any medical liens on their case, calculating other damages such as property damage and missed time from work, and obtaining an attorney for professional representation and legal guidance.
Negotiating Medical Bills and Liens
When a person negotiates any medical bills or any medical liens on their truck accident case, they could receive a substantial increase in the amount of money they would receive at the end of the case. For example, a minimum state policy in Missouri is $25,000. It is very common for medical bills to exceed that $25,000 limit. A St. Louis County injury lawyer could negotiate their medical lien pursuant to the Missouri lien statutes so that they walk away with a substantial amount of money.
The next part of the process is making sure that all liens have been paid so that they are not later sued by Medicaid, Medicare, the Department of Veteran Affairs, or any other medical provider. An attorney would be responsible for making sure that everyone is paid and that no one else is owed any money at the end of the case. A St. Louis County lawyer would give them a distribution showing where all money or all proceeds go so that they have a full picture of their settlement.
Length of Time it Takes to Receive a Settlement St Louis County
The general length of time it takes to receive a settlement in St. Louis County varies. It depends on how long it takes the insurance company or defendants to issue the check and how long it takes for the injury lawyer to obtain any medical lien and negotiate any medical bills to get the highest amount of recovery possible. Typically, settlement checks and negotiations take two to four weeks to complete.
Common Issues Encountered During the Settlement Process
Some of the common issues that a person might encounter when negotiating a truck accident settlement includes the minimization of their medical treatment by the insurance adjuster, which is the most significant issue. The insurance companies have teams of medical providers reviewing their medical bills in an attempt to minimize how severe their injuries are.
Another issue that would need to be taken into consideration is the percentage of liability on the plaintiff. Although they may not have any faults, the insurance company would twist any evidence in their favor to make it look like they have some portion of liability to reduce any of their recoveries. Other issues a person might encounter are delays by the insurance company. They would do this intentionally, although not admittedly, to force them to accept any offers on the table, even if they are lowball offers. They do this because they know that some people need the money and would accept lowball offers just to get a check in their pocket.
Ensuring that a Settlement is Processed in a Timely Manner
There are a few steps someone could take to ensure that they receive their truck accident settlement in a timely manner. The first is fully communicating with their attorney during the settlement process. This includes responding to any phone calls or emails right away. Other things plaintiffs should do is make sure they return any signed documents immediately, show up to any appointments on time, and make sure all documentation gets to the insurance company for the release of the settlement check.
How Could an Attorney Help?
A St. Louis County truck accident attorney could help a plaintiff receive their settlement in a timely manner in a variety of ways. The most important way is to have everything organized and have all documents requested and received prior to settlement. This includes obtaining any medical bills and medical liens that need to be paid out of the settlement. This also includes obtaining child support liens that have been asserted against them that would be required to be paid by the State of Missouri out of their settlement.
The injury attorney would also stay on top of any settlement negotiations and on top of the insurance adjuster to get the settlement release and check in a timely manner. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to delay getting a check, even after the case has been settled. This is because many insurance companies and many insurance adjusters are dealing with thousands of claims, and they are overwhelmed and overworked, which leads to them forgetting about their particular claim.