Stephen Schultz | February 27, 2023 | Car Accidents
If you’ve been in a car accident in St. Louis, MO, you may be thinking about whether to settle your claim or pursue litigation. While there are benefits to both options, settling your car accident claim can be a great way to get the compensation you deserve without the hassle of going to court.
What is Settlement?
Settlement is an agreement between two or more parties that resolves any disputes and ends or prevents future legal proceedings. In terms of car accidents, a settlement involves one party – the defendant (the at-fault party or their insurance company) – paying money to another – the plaintiff (the injured party) – for injuries suffered as a result of the collision. Once the settlement is agreed upon, the victim gives up their right to file a lawsuit for further compensation.
What Are the Benefits of Settling a Car Accident Claim?
There are several advantages to settling your car accident claim rather than pursuing litigation.
It’s faster than a trial: Settlements can be reached quickly, sometimes within weeks or months, compared with the often-lengthy process of going through court proceedings. This means quicker access to financial compensation so you can focus on getting back on your feet after an accident.
Privacy: Additionally, settlements tend to be private affairs between just the parties involved, which means your personal information remains confidential and away from public view.
Less costly: Finally, settlements are typically less expensive than going through trial since they eliminate costly court fees and litigation fees. This means you could end up with more money in your pocket.
What Are the Drawbacks of Settlement?
Settling a car accident claim does have its drawbacks as well. First and foremost, any settlement you reach with an insurance company won’t necessarily cover all your damages.
If you agree to a settlement, you won’t be able to file any further claims related to the incident, so it’s important that your agreement covers all potential costs. For this reason, it is crucial to wait long enough to determine the extent of your injuries and medical expenses before signing off on any documents.
Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement: What You Need To Know
Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of a settlement is important, but it’s also helpful to learn more about the actual settlement process. The following are some of the steps you would take to try to come to an agreement with the defendant:
1. Consult a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
After a car accident, consider hiring a lawyer for assistance. An experienced attorney can give you tailored advice and help increase your chances of success when negotiating with the other side. Your lawyer will handle all communications with the insurance company and deal with all negotiations so you can focus on your recovery.
2. Gather Evidence
To negotiate a settlement, you and your lawyer will need to gather evidence that supports your case. This may include photographs of the scene of the accident, witness statements, accident reports, medical records, repair bills, and anything else that relates to your claim.
3. Determine Your Losses
When all evidence has been gathered, it is time to determine the losses suffered from the accident. This could include medical costs, lost wages from not being able to work due to injury or disability, damage to property (such as car repairs or replacement), pain and suffering or emotional trauma caused by the incident, and any other expenses related to the accident.
4. Manage Your Expectations
Finally, it is important that you remain reasonable with your expectations about what kind of compensation you will receive. The goal should be to get compensated for all your losses incurred due to the incident. Avoid making unreasonable demands, as this could hinder the possibility of reaching a settlement. Your attorney can assist you in determining how much you can expect to receive.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for Help Settling Your Claim
Negotiating a car accident settlement can be overwhelming–especially if this is your first time going through something like this. Having an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer on your side will give you the best chance of getting what you deserve.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
St. Louis, MO Law Office
1430 Washington Ave Ste 225, St. Louis, MO 63103
Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124
Creve Coeur, MO Law Office
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141