Settling a St. Louis car accident case provides a means for you to obtain the compensation you need for your losses without the hassle of a trial. While this may seem like an easy thing to do, it is not so straight forward, and you need to consider working with a trial lawyer who can ensure your rights are observed in settlement negotiations. Insurance adjusters place the company they represent before your injuries, so to ensure maximum compensation, retain the employ of a lawyer.
Potential Options for a Car Wreck Settlement in St. Louis
Cases involving car crashes may be tried by a jury or settled before the claim is even filed. Most of the time, a St. Louis personal injury lawyer can pursue an investigation to determine what the economic and non-economic damages are and present that information to the defendant’s insurance company in an effort to try to reach a resolution before filing a lawsuit.
If there is no pre-suit resolution and a lawsuit is filed, then that case is pursued through the discovery phase, which means depositions and written discovery. If the case cannot be settled during that time, then it is taken to trial for a jury to render a verdict. However, it is important to understand that a personal injury case can be settled at any time in the litigation process.
Specific Information You Should Have During an Initial Consultation
When going to an initial consultation with a St. Louis car accident lawyer, you should bring as much information as possible. When meeting with a lawyer for the first time after a car accident, you should bring your insurance information, your driver’s license, a police report if you have one, and, if possible, photographs of the vehicles involved and the scene of the accident. Photographs of your injuries and a series of photographs documenting the healing process are helpful as well. If you have some of your medical records, then they should be brought as well. If you do not have your medical records, be prepared to sign a medical authorization that permits your lawyer to collect your medical records.
In addition to bringing documents and other things, be prepared to discuss at length your injuries and, to the best of your ability, what happened in the crash. Be prepared to explain where you were going, what you were doing at the time of the crash, and as much information about the crash as you are able to provide. Perhaps most important, you should make sure to provide as much contact information as possible for any witnesses you may know of, which would include anybody who was in their vehicle or saw the accident. The more information you provide, the easier settling a St. Louis car accident could be.
Pros and Cons for Trials Over Settlements
The decision to settle or go to trial is a decision jointly made by you and your lawyer. The lawyer can provide guidance and recommendations, but the lawyer cannot ethically settle the case without the injured party’s permission, so it is a team effort and a joint decision on whether or not to settle the case or go to trial.
There are numerous reasons why you may decide to settle your case or go to trial. To settle or not to settle is an individual decision that is ultimately made by you. However, there are pros and cons to settling your case.
Pros of settling your case could include a number of positive outcomes. By settling your case you have certainty in knowing how much money you receive to compensate you for your injuries. Once you have reached a settlement, there is no more guessing about what might happen. In addition to that certainty, a settlement typically shortens the time it takes to resolve your case. Cases going to trial might take years to actually get to trial possibly leaving you in a state of limbo. By settling your case early, the attorney’s expenses are significantly reduced and the stress of a trial is wholeheartedly avoided.
Unfortunately, there are times where settling might not lead to maximum compensation for your injuries. There are times where the defendant might not admit to wrongdoing and the monetary awards you receive could be smaller than if you were to go to trial. As such, you may feel a sense of injustice as you have not received your “day in court”.
Ultimately, the reasons why an injured person may choose to settle their case rather than go to trial are varied and somewhat individualized. Some people just do not have the interest or the tolerance for going to trial on a case while other people want their day in court. Some people just make the decision that they would rather take a settlement rather than the stress and the pressure either on them or their family of going to trial. There is no right or wrong answer as to whether a case should settle or not. A good personal injury lawyer can provide you with all the information you need so you may make an informed decision on whether to settle your case or go to trial.
Reasons for Refusing a Settlement and Instead Go to Trial
An injured party who has initiated a lawsuit for damages may refuse to take a settlement offer and instead go to trial. Some of the reasons for this decision include the belief that a jury may provide more compensation for their injuries than the defendant’s insurance company is offering. While a settlement amount provides security and removes all mystery as to what a jury may do, it may award less than the injured person believes her case to be worth. In those circumstances, you may refuse settlement offers and go to trial.
Enlist the Help of an Experienced Trial Lawyer
Trials require a commitment that many people find financially stressful, emotionally exhausting, and sometimes unnecessary. However, there are routes to peace of mind that you may take in lieu of a trial. Settling a St. Louis car accident case is one such method of obtaining compensation while avoiding the stress of a trial. Though, it is critical you enlist the help of a seasoned trial lawyer who can help you receive a fair settlement for your injuries. Reach out to an attorney today.