St. Louis County Truck Accident Settlements
One of the main reasons why victims elect not to take a truck wreck case to trial is because they accepted a settlement. Insurance companies would often do this in order to avoid taking a case to court. However, just because it is easier to accept a settlement rather than go to court, it may not be the wisest decision to accept a settlement right away. For more information on St. Louis County truck accident settlements, reach out to a knowledgeable attorney today.
What to Take Into Account When Accepting a Settlement
There are several things the injured party should take into account when considering a settlement. One of those is the acceptance of the responsibility by the at-fault party. This is something that most injured parties think about first, but legally has very little significance on whether they should settle their case.
Other things to consider are the length of the litigation process, the length of the settlement process, the benefits of hiring a lawyer versus attempting to settle the case themselves, and whether the court needs to be involved prior to finalizing the case. In cases involving wrongful death and minors, the court must approve the settlements before funds can be distributed. Generally, ending the case prior to litigation is appealing to many parties because they do not have to go through the time and expense of the litigation process. However, this usually comes with a discounted settlement prize.
A person should also factor in the cost of a lawyer when it comes to considering the settlement amount. This is often overlooked by injured parties because they only look at the overall settlement amount and not what the attorney would receive.
Length of Time it Takes to Receive a Settlement
Generally, it takes approximately two to four weeks to receive a settlement check. Much of this delay has to do with the insurance company or the at-fault party clearing the check through their accounting departments. Also, during this process, the attorney is negotiating liens and dealing with providers so that all bills are paid and that the receives the maximum amount available to them at the end of the case.
What is a Lien?
A lien is nothing more than a legal obligation to pay out of the settlement. The common liens come from doctors who have provided medical care but have not been paid yet. Providers would typically agree to delay payment until the end of the case but they will put a lien on the case so that they are legally protected.
Expediting the Settlement Process
The settlement process could be expedited but this is usually done early on in the case by making sure that all liens and provider balances are verified prior to settlement. One thing that can slow the process drastically is waiting until the case is settled to request and receive Medicare liens and other federally regulated liens. This could delay the process by several months. Having these requested and received in advance of settlement can drastically speed up the process. Other things that can be done at a cost is having the checks overnighted, which is rare.
Common Issues Encountered During the Settlement Process
There are several issues a person might encounter when negotiating a settlement, especially without a lawyer. Typically, without a lawyer, the insurance company is going to stall and delay the case so that they eventually become desperate to settle the matter. Other issues that might arise are the insurance company continuously asking for additional information and documentation to support their injuries or other damages. The most common tactics used by insurance companies – the most common tactic used by the insurance companies is to delay the case.
It is crucial that they secure documentation and all evidence prior to sending the demand package to prevent the insurance company from using the delay tactics that they typically use. All of the issues mentioned above are intended to delay receiving any settlement amount because no case can be settled until all documentation has been given to the insurance company and an amount has been agreed to. The longer the case takes, the longer it will take to receive a settlement check.
Consult with a Lawyer Before Accepting a Settlement
Being offered a settlement may seem like fortuitous circumstance. However, in some cases, that may be farther from the truth. If you have recently been offered a settlement, it may be wise to consult with an attorney before accepting it. A lawyer could review the terms of the settlement and advise you on whether the settlement covers the compensation you deserve. To learn more, schedule an attorney today.