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Why You Should Always Have an Injury Lawyer Before You Accept a Car Accident Settlement

signing settlement agreement

When you think about holding a person who’s caused you harm accountable, you most likely picture being in a court, presenting your case in front of a judge and jury. However, some statistics show that as many as 95% of car accident cases end in a settlement.

Here are a few reasons:

Most Car Accident Cases Go Through Insurance Companies

You can technically sue the driver who caused the car accident in civil court, but your St. Louis auto accident attorney may advise against it. In Missouri, it’s mandatory to have auto insurance, so when you are asking for damages from a driver, that compensation won’t come from their own pockets, but from the insurance company.

Missouri courts prefer this option as well, as it’s a way to make sure they don’t get overcrowded. The judge may hear your case, but it most likely won’t make it to trial.

You Can Sue the Insurance Company as a Strategy

It’s possible not to sue the driver directly, but the insurance company if they are not being reasonable with your claim. However, this is most often a strategy used by lawyers to show you are serious and get the company to agree to terms.

In fact, it’s in the best interest of the insurance company to settle, because they can somewhat control how much they get to pay a victim. In a trial, they cannot negotiate the settlement and will be forced to pay the amount decided by the judge.

Trials Are Unpredictable

If you do manage to get in front of a jury, then you’ll constantly have to prove you are in the right, as the plaintiff has the burden of proof, while the defendant just has to, well, defend themselves.

But juries can be unpredictable. They are not experts, so they can often rely on their feelings rather than the evidence presented. If they feel or think the other side was more convincing, you may lose the case, even if you have the evidence to prove your side of the story.

Trials Can Take Longer

It’s not to say that insurance claims get resolved quickly, but you can potentially reach a settlement a lot faster. In a trial, both sides will present their evidence, and there is a lot of back and forth, which can drag on the process a lot. Additionally, there’s no way to know how long it will take a jury to reach a decision.

Trial or Insurance Claim?

Make no mistake, in some cases, it may be better to go to trial. For instance, if the other driver intentionally caused you harm, but they have not been arrested for whatever reason. To know what you should do, get in touch with a St. Louis car injury lawyer to see what your best legal options are. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultation.