Multiple surveys have shown that only a small percentage of personal injury lawsuits ever go to trial. This means that the overwhelming majority of personal injury lawsuits in Missouri either get settled before the trial phase begins, or are subjected to an alternative form of justice such as arbitration. Our experienced personal injury lawyer knows all about why most big defendants avoid trials at all costs–and can help you get the settlement you deserve.
WHY THERE ARE SO MANY SETTLEMENTS
There’s two simple reasons why personal injury trials in Missouri are so uncommon: time and money. Most jury cases take months if not years to go through multiple phases of discovery, witness statements, and arguments. And even after a verdict is handed down, this usually kicks off the appeals process which takes even longer to make its way through the courts. Insurance companies hate this because it causes them to spend more and more money to defend themselves, but trials have their downsides for plaintiffs, too. Usually, jury awards are not fully released until all appeals are exhausted, and if you are injured and have medical bills piling up you may find it in your best interest to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET OFFERED A SETTLEMENT
If you are injured in an accident in Missouri and are not at fault, more often than not the defendant will offer you a settlement. But since most corporations and insurance companies are focused on profit and shareholder value, this first offer will most likely be well lower than what you believe you are entitled to. You have every right to submit a counter-offer to the insurance company and begin to negotiate, but follow these tips to get your best settlement:
- Save your bills. Keep a detailed record of all your hospital and rehab costs, days of work missed and pay records, and (especially if you are in a car accident) auto repair receipts. This will help you get an exact account of what you’re owed. Get every correspondence and offer in writing, too: this is a great way to make sure you still have all the needed details should technological issues arise.
- Don’t try and overshoot your counter-offer. Sure, you may be wanting the most amount of money possible for the trauma and pain an accident has caused you, but submitting too high a counter-offer could backfire.
- Stay calm. You may feel that you were insulted by such a low offer, but keep that to yourself. Insurance companies do not want to deal with angry customers, as they may think your claims are in bad faith.
HAVING AN EXPERIENCED ST. LOUIS PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IS KEY
Above all, you want to have a strong St. Louis personal injury lawyer who will be there with you every step of the way to make sure you get the maximum settlement possible for your personal injury claim. Amanda Hayden is committed to providing client-focused service and brings strength and compassion to even the toughest of cases, whether or not they ever see the inside of a courtroom. Call her today at (314) 480-3100 or contact her online for a free consultation.