Not all car accident injury claims are filed as lawsuits. In fact, statistics show that a majority of car accident injury claims are actually settled well before filing a lawsuit is even contemplated. This is because insurance adjusters and experienced attorneys are familiar with the negotiation and settlement process. Your car accident injury claim’s value is based off of the facts surrounding your car accident, the medical treatment you sought after, and whether or not you have any pre-existing injuries.
Your car accident injury will not settle for the right compensation value, however, if you do not have an attorney pushing your claim and advocating on your behalf. If your attorney sits on your case too long there might be no choice but to sue the driver who was at fault. Other times, there is no choice but to file your lawsuit due to an array of reasons, including there being an argument over who was at fault. You and your attorney should always sit down and talk about expectations for your case so you have an understanding of what could keep your car accident injury claim from being filed as a lawsuit.
In our previous blog post, we went over scenarios that can keep your car accident injury from being settled. The following is a list of reasons why your car accident injury claim may settle without ever having to file a lawsuit:
You Have Significant Injuries
When you have been significantly injured in a car accident, insurance companies understand that it is better to settle than litigate your case. If you are not significantly injured, insurance companies will argue the severity of your pain and suffering, which ultimately leads to them offering little to no compensation unless you have hired an attorney. They essentially want you to prove your case through a lawsuit. If you can show that you have an abundance of medical bills and your medical records detail your harm, the insurance company can easily assess the damage you endured.
The Other Driver Does Not Have A Large Insurance Policy
Assuming your car accident injury is fairly significant, the insurance company might not have much compensation to offer you for your injuries. The minimum policy an insured driver must carry is $25,000. Far too many drivers only carry the minimum amount. This is a problem because you likely deserve more compensation for the pain and suffering. Insurance companies will quickly settle your case if you are badly injured and the other driver has a small insurance policy. If you are significantly injured and the opposing party has a small insurance policy, you may be able to make an underinsured insurance claim on your own insurance
Your Medical Treatment Providers Kept Good Records
The more detail the better. Great record keeping by your medical providers can go a long way in making your car accident injury claim. Insurance adjusters/companies want to see that you sought medical treatment, and kept seeking medical treatment, after you suffered a car accident injury. You will want your records to include that your car accident injury was caused by the car accident and that you suffered as a result. It is also best practice to make sure your medical treatment is/was necessary to your treatment. Your medical bills should also be itemized and given to the insurance company.
You Do Not Have Pre-Existing Injuries
Insurance companies/adjusters often get hung-up on the fact that you have prior injuries. That is why we suggest you do not make mention of them when you are making a car accident injury claim. If you have a pre-existing injury, the insurance company/adjuster will almost certainly use this fact against you. It is better if the pre-existing injury is on another body part than what was injured in your recent car accident. Regardless, if you do not have a pre-existing injury, the insurance company/adjuster will have nothing else to assess other than the body part(s) that were injured in the car accident.
The Opposing Party Was 100% At Fault
If there is not an argument over who was at fault for your car accident injury, your claim can more than likely be settled before filing a lawsuit. Insurance companies/adjusters will search all avenues to place some blame on you for either the cause of the accident and/or not taking care of your car accident injury properly. “Properly” means going and continuously seeking medical treatment until you are discharged from your medical providers. If the other driver was without a doubt at fault, you should be in good position to settle your claim before filing a lawsuit.
If you have an experienced car accident injury attorney advocating on your behalf, he or she will hold the insurance company accountable for settling your car accident injury claim. Our attorneys are able to routinely get our client’s car accident injury claims settled before the long and exhausting litigation process starts after filing a lawsuit. Contact one of your attorneys today at (816) 200-2900 for a free consultation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.