When someone considered filing a claim for damages after a car wreck, they often assume they have to go to trial. However, most auto collision cases are resolved without ever needing to step foot in a courtroom.

Settling car accident cases in Chesterfield is another option when seeking legal recourse from an at-fault driver. If you are interested in learning more about your options for recover, you could benefit from contacting a hardworking injury attorney from the area.

Why Might Someone Settle a Car Wreck Case?

The decision to settle or go to trial usually depends on whether the insurance company is making a good faith offer on a case. Another reason someone may decide to settle is if it determined that they cannot obtain anything more than their insurance company’s policy limits, for instance if they are struck by an uninsured motorist.

One of the major influences for someone debating whether to settle or go to trial is time. Trials require a lot more time, money, and effort than a settlement. While the reward can often be larger than that in a settlement negotiation, many people injured in local car accidents do not wish to go through the stress of litigation.

Reasons to Refuse a Settlement Offer

Unfortunately, in many cases, insurance companies will not offer the injured party a fair settlement amount to fully compensate them for their losses. This is because insurers want to pay out as little as possible.

An experienced attorney from the area could be vital for helping people injured in auto collisions determine whether they should accept a settlement offer. While it is ultimately up to the claimant to decide whether or not to accept, a seasoned legal professional could provide trustworthy guidance and advice on how to proceed.

If the defendant and the claimant are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the case may move to trial. In such case, a lawyer could also provide reliable guidance throughout the litigation process to ensure the plaintiff is fairly compensated for their financial and human losses.

Settlement Process

The first step of the settlement process is to send a certified settlement demand, pursuant to Section 537.058. The insurance company has 90 days from receiving that demand to make a good faith offer for settlement.

Sometimes, the insurance company will offer the policy limits right away, other times they will make a lowball offer. Often negotiations will go back and forth for awhile until and amount is offered that both agree on. Once they work out a settlement, the claimant must notify the insurance company that they accept their settlement offer.

The insurance will then send a settlement release for the plaintiff to sign. This document releases the insurance company and their insured from any liability and establishes the agreed upon settlement sum. Once this document is signed, a settlement draft is issued.

The actual payment will be handled by the claimant’s attorney and disbursed appropriately. Once that is done, the claimant will sign a settlement statement with their attorney, approving the settlement dispersion.

How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement?

Most car accident cases settle within three to six months, but some cases can take several years. The length of time settlements take mostly depends on whether the injured party is still receiving medical treatment. Until their treatment is concluded, it is difficult to determine what a fair settlement offer would be.

Discuss Settling a Car Accident Case with a Chesterfield Attorney

Settling car accident cases in Chesterfield require the guidance and experienced of a local attorney. Oftentimes, insurers will try to offer you an amount that will not cover all your losses resulted from the crash.

If you are interested in settling your vehicle wreck case, contact our office today and schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.