After a car accident, what steps should an injured person take? Some people think you should immediately file a lawsuit in court. However, the truth is, there are other alternatives to filing a lawsuit. Yes, lawsuits can be effective. However, they can be very costly and eat into your overall financial goals and needs.
For example, during civil litigation you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on your expert witnesses alone. Don't misunderstand, sometimes this is exactly what should be done. And the reality of a lawsuit can often convince an insurance company to settle. But before going to court, consider several alternatives that can save time and money and still produce a fair result.
Alternatives to Filing a Lawsuit
As Johnson County car accident lawyers, it is our goal to get as much money as we can for our injured clients. Before filing a lawsuit, we often attempt to reach a settlement with the insurance company to achieve this result. This can lead to arbitration or mediation.
- Arbitration - Arbitration involves an agreed-upon arbitrator hearing the evidence and deciding the dispute rather than a jury or actual judge.
- Mediation - Mediation, on the other hand, involves voluntarily meeting with a mediator who attempts to help the parties settle the dispute out of court. Because a lawsuit is a real possibility, the case can often simply be resolved by the insurance company and the personal injury lawyer working out an agreed upon settlement without either arbitration or mediation. Mediation is often used by our law firm to help lead to settlement for our clients.
In the end, the insurance companies have numerous things to consider when attempting to resolve a case. For example, if they don't get the case settled, there could potentially be a bad faith claim against them later, leading to much larger exposure and damages than what the policy limits initially exposed them to.
Also, if the insurance company isn't working fairly with you, you may be able to make a complaint to your state's insurance department. To file such a consumer complaint, you should contact your state insurance department. Here are the links for Kansas and Missouri.
In any event, if you are dealing with serious injuries, definitely consult with an experienced car wreck lawyer from our firm before you do anything. We have helped many clients throughout Johnson County obtain maximum compensation from their car accident claims.
Read What Our Former Clients Have Said
"Professional, informative, and vital in working with the prosecutor to secure the most favorable outcome possible".Barb
"Jerry kept in constant contact with us and our son during the case and went the extra mile to plea before the judge outside and inside the courtroom".Joanne from Nebraska