Sansone & Lauber | August 19, 2021 | Personal Injury Blog
Caught in a game of phone tag with the insurance company?
Left in the dark about the status of your claim?
You are not the only one. For some insurance adjusters, stalling is a strategy.
That is right: some insurance companies will make you wait on purpose.
They know you need money now, and they are hoping you get desperate enough to accept a lowball offer instead of holding out for what you truly deserve.
For them, it is business as usual to prey upon vulnerable accident victims like this.
To get the compensation you deserve, you need a St. Louis personal injury attorney.
Hiring a lawyer shows the insurance adjusters you mean business and will not be pushed aside.
For a risk-free case evaluation, call our St. Louis accident injury law firm at 314-863-0500.
Every one of our clients is unique, and so is every accident case. Each one will have its own timeline. The details and complexities of your case will play a part in determining how long it takes to settle.
Many different factors influence how long it takes to settle a personal injury claim. Here are just a few to take into consideration:
-What kind of accident you were involved in
-Whether or not a crime was committed
-Severity of injuries
-Length of recovery time
-Lost wages and time missed from work
-Amount of damages
-Number of at-fault parties
-Your states comparative fault rules
-Availability of evidence
-Availability of expert witnesses
-Liability disputes and mediation
-The types of offers you receive in the negotiation period
Some of these things are outside of your control. However, there is one crucial step you can take to set yourself up for success: Speak with a personal injury lawyer near you AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after an accident.
If you suffered minor injuries with clear proof, and the other side does not dispute your claims, the case could be settled in a matter of weeks. However, in the event the insurance company does not provide you with a fair settlement offer, you may need to file a lawsuit and turn up the heat.
A case that goes to trial may last a year or more, but trust us: patience pays.
How Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Work?
Lets start with the basics. All personal injury cases have four main components that must be proven:
Duty of care: A person, business, or other entity owed a duty of care to another person. This means they were expected to behave reasonably and rationally to protect the wellbeing of those around them.
Breach of duty: The at-fault party violated the duty of care by behaving recklessly or negligently.
Causation: The negligent behavior caused someone else to get hurt.
Damages: The injured victim suffered losses as a result of the breach of the duty of care.
When a person gets hurt in an accident because of someone elses recklessness or negligent conduct, they may be able to recover compensation for their suffering.
However, the burden of proof is on the injured victim, also known as the plaintiff. This means it is up to the victim (and their lawyer) to prove all four elements of negligence by presenting supporting evidence.
Most of the time these matters are settled out of court, but sometimes you need to file a lawsuit to pursue the true value of your claim.
An attorney can be a huge help with all the laborious legal business involved in this process, such as writing a personal injury demand letter, compiling evidence, and negotiating with insurance adjusters.
How Long Does The Insurance Company Have to Settle A Claim in Missouri?
Typically, an insurance company has 30 days to submit a written offer to settle an insurance claim. This 30 day period begins on the day they receive proof of the victims losses. (Your St. Louis personal injury lawyer will submit this proof to the insurance company via a demand package.)
How Long Does It Take to Receive A Fair Settlement Offer?
The answer to this question depends on your lawyers negotiating skills.
Beware! Often, an insurance companys first offer will be insultingly low. They will try to pressure you to take it or claim that it is a limited-time offer. You might not know how much money you are entitled to, or what mistakes to avoid, but it is our job to!
In a personal injury claim, your losses and expenses are called damages. These damages are expressed via personal injury demand letters sent to the insurer. Your lawyer will keep track of your accident-related expenses and fight for a fair settlement offer that will cover all of your damages, but theres no guarantee how long it will take. Insurance companies can be stubborn and stingy.
When Should I File A Lawsuit?
Not all cases go to court. In fact, most personal injury cases settle out of court.
Still, you should be prepared for all possibilities. Choose a St. Louis personal injury law firm with litigation experience. Choose an attorney who is not afraid to stand up for you in court and fight hard for every penny you deserve.
No one wants to take their case to court, but sometimes it is necessary. Consider filing a lawsuit if:
-The defendant is stubborn and unwilling to settle
-The defendant is offering an unfairly low settlement amount
-The plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages
How Long Does it Take to Receive My Settlement Check?
To officially accept an offer from an insurance company, you will need to sign an accident settlement agreement. After this agreement is signed, it can take another six weeks to receive the settlement check. Your lawyer will pay off any medical bills or liens related to your case, then they will deduct their legal fees and disburse the rest of the settlement money to you.
What Percentage of A Settlement Does a Lawyer Get?
Now that you have learned more about their workload, are you wondering how do personal injury lawyers get paid?
Here is some good news: You pay nothing up front. Most personal injury lawyers work for a contingency fee, earning a set percentage deducted from a clients final settlement.
Typical Missouri lawyer percentages one thirdor 33.3%of the total settlement amount.
To Maximize Your Settlement, Speak with A St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney
How long does it take to settle a personal injury case in Missouri? Unfortunately, there is no straight answer. We can only leave you with this advice:
Be patient. Do not rush the process. It is imperative that you complete all recommended medical treatments and therapy. If you do not, the insurance company will try to say you are not actually hurt. Do not give them any chances to invalidate you or diminish the worth of your claim. (Plus, when calculating your pain and suffering damages the multiplier method might be used, but if the daily rate method is used, patience will really pay off!)
Be honest. Never lie about your pain levels in an attempt to rush through treatment. Remember, when you agree to a settlement offer, you waive your right to pursue any additional compensation in the future. You want to be certain you have a clear picture of how the accident has affected your life, and you want to avoid dealing with chronic health issues later on down the line.
A diligent investigation takes time, but a personal injury attorney can unearth vital evidence and help you maximize your recovery. Get started today! For a free consultation, Call Sansone & Lauber for immediate help at 314-863-0500.
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