Car Accident Claims: Settlements, Alternatives, and Legal Paths

/ / Car Accidents, Kansas Auto Insurance, Missouri Auto Insurance
Side Impact type of Car Crash

So, you’ve found yourself in the aftermath of a car collision, facing the daunting task of navigating insurance negotiations. It’s a bit like wandering through a maze blindfolded, right?

More often than not for many victims, the elusive reasonable settlement feels as unattainable as a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And that brings us to the pivotal question: Does the journey from claim to lawsuit become inevitable when negotiations hit a roadblock?

The Ideal Negotiation Scenario

First and foremost, let’s talk settlements. In an ideal world, you and the insurance representatives would sit down, share a cup of coffee, everybody would be reasonable and empathetic and you’d all smoothly agree on a fair compensation amount.

But, you know that is just fantasy, right? The reality is – insurance companies survive by making a profit, not by helping victims. So, they are going to be unreasonable and unfair.

Exploring Alternatives: Mediation and Arbitration

If your negotiation endeavors reach an impasse, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re headed for the courtroom. Many claims find resolution without ever stepping foot in front of a judge by using these alternatives.

  • Mediation: Picture it as the referees of the car collision world, guiding both parties toward a middle ground without legal drama.
  • Arbitration: It’s like a courtroom-light scenario, where a neutral third party reviews the case and makes a binding decision both parties must abide by.

The Eleventh Hour: Lawsuits Looming

But, if these alternatives fail, a lawsuit could be on the horizon. In fact, it is the last resort. And with it, essentially, you’re saying, “Okay, let’s get a judge and jury to untangle this web.” And here is what things look like when you take this route:

  1. Your attorney files the lawsuit, initiating the legal battle.
  2. The at-fault party, the defendant, receives a notification of the legal action.
  3. Your attorney collects additional evidence crucial for a court trial during the discovery process.
  4. A judge, in a pre-trial hearing, decides the necessity of a trial.
  5. Settlement offers are presented at this stage, and if the defense opts for a fair settlement, it may sway the judge.
  6. If the insurance company resists settlement, your case proceeds to a jury trial.
  7. Through all of this, behind the scenes, your lawyer tirelessly prepares, gathering evidence, witnesses, and experts.
  8. At every step of the way, your attorney’s objective is to persuade the jury that the defendant caused the collision, justifying maximum compensation.
  9. After both sides get their time in front of the judge/jury, the court decides in favor of one party.
  10. If you win, you receive compensation as ordered by the court.

The Ugly Truth!

Without a doubt, the legal process for a car collision can be a labyrinth, especially when facing pain, income loss, and financial strain.

Another undeniable fact is that a lawsuit is time-consuming and stressful and the outcome isn’t guaranteed. So, you will need a lawyer who has significant experience in negotiating fair compensations.

The aim should always be to get the most with the least amount of trouble for you and in the shortest amount of time. That said, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by opting for an attorney who cannot hold his/her own in court.

At DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers we have a team of experienced litigators. So, when you bring one of our attorneys on board, insurance companies often choose to revise offers rather than face a court battle.

But, if they refuse to see reason, our trial-hardened attorneys know how to make the tide turn in your favor. Contact us today for a free case evaluation!