Car accidents happen with varying results, from minor fender-benders to extremely serious accidents that cause devastating injuries and even fatalities. How accidents are handled by insurance companies and car accident claims attorneys depend on many things, including the severity of the accident and other important details. Therefore, it is a good idea for drivers to understand how auto accident claims are handled and how car accident attorneys help injured victims obtain the most fair settlement in each individual accident case.
Settling Out of Court
For minor accidents, or even more serious accidents when there are no real disputes over what happened and who is responsible, most of these cases settle out of court. This is a good option as it avoids having to prolong a case and the necessity of going to court. Thankfully, most accident cases can be resolved in this manner. Yet when agreements cannot be made as to the extent of damage, who is actually at fault, the value of the damage, or other things that affect reaching a settlement, a case must continue either to arbitration or to a court setting.
Accident Claim Arbitration
When insurance companies and the claims attorneys who represent them in car accidents are unable to come to an agreement regarding a case, arbitration is another accepted way to resolve certain claims. In arbitration, both parties to the case agree to allow a mediator to hear the details and accept the decisions made by the arbitrators regarding settlement. This invites opinions by experts who are not directly involved with the case to hear all details and helps car accident attorneys arrive at the most fair settlement options. Arbitration is also much quicker than a court battle, usually settling within a few months. Arbitration is often only an option when case settlements may be $50,000 or less. When a case will involve a settlement that will be more than this amount, it will need to be heard before a court.
Going to Trial
Accident cases that go to trial can be expensive and time consuming, which is why only those cases that fall outside of arbitration should go to court. Trial cases can be more difficult; however, claimants should not feel pressured to settle outside of court. When car accident claims attorneys feel that a case actually warrants going to trial, it is usually because they feel the insurance companies are failing to acknowledge the severity of an accident and avoid paying the true value of the claim filed against them. With a strong,w ell-presented case, accident victims can often obtain a etter outcome b going to court than by accepting a low offer as an incentive to avoid a trial.
Every accident case is different and requires a different way of being handled. Because of this, it is important for a person who has been injured in an accident o hire experienced car accident attorneys to represent them through the claims process. Skilled car accident claims attorneys understand what constitutes a fair settlement and if settling out of court is best or if going to trail is the better choice.
Maurer Law, PLLC
505 West Riverside, Suite 400
Spokane, WA 99201