Do Most Car Accident Cases Settle?
When a car accident occurs, there are usually two possible solutions for the parties involved. They can either negotiate with insurance companies and settle matters in that way, or the case can proceed to trial.
Still, most parties try everything in their power to settle a case before it can go to court. The sections that follow will explain why that is.
Insurance Companies Always Prefer to Settle Quickly
In a car accident case, the injured party (plaintiff) seeks compensation for their injuries and the damage to their vehicle. They do this by making a claim to the insurance company of the party at fault (the defendant). This insurance company is the one that ends up covering the medical and repair bills of the injured party.
In most cases, insurance companies seek to make quick settlements. Doing so saves them time and money and lets them pay less than what they normally would.
Plaintiffs often agree to such quick resolutions because they do not have a lawyer on their side and do not understand just how much money they could potentially receive after an accident. Insurance companies count on that, which is why they try to take advantage of the plaintiff’s fragile state as soon as possible. Hiring a lawyer is, thus, essential to protect the victim’s rights.
But even if the plaintiff has a lawyer, the insurance company will still do everything in its power to settle. The proceedings will simply take more time as the parties negotiate the terms and come to an agreement. The plaintiff will usually get better compensation, but the chances of the case going before a judge will still be quite small.
Why Is a Settlement So Desirable?
First and foremost, trials cost much more than settlements. Litigation is expensive, especially if the case goes on for years, as it usually happens. Long trials are to be expected if the accident was severe and there are too many witnesses to go through on both sides.
It can also happen that the expenses for both parties far exceed what they would have to pay for compensation and legal advice. That is especially the case for plaintiffs, as the attorney fees increase exponentially if the case goes to trial. Thus, both parties involved choose to settle instead, pay less, and finish the case quickly.
Plaintiffs also prefer settling because it means getting their compensation money sooner. If the case goes to trial, they can end up waiting for years to get it. But if they settle, they can get the funds within a few months and put the accident behind them for good.
Finally, trials can be quite unpredictable for both parties. For example, a witness that seemed credible at the scene of the accident might not be so in front of a judge. Or, the judge might not let the plaintiff’s accident expert testify, which can make proving liability almost impossible. If all of that occurs, the plaintiff can lose a case that could have ended easily through settling.
Insurance companies try to avoid trial because they fear that juries will automatically side with the plaintiff, regardless of the facts. In addition, plaintiffs often seek more money in trials, which is something companies want to avoid at all costs. That is why they prefer settling with the party through a lawyer, without any jury or judge present.
How to Proceed After a Car Accident
After calling the police after the minor car accident and getting the necessary medical help, the injured party’s first move should be contacting car accident attorneys in Des Moines. Although insurance companies may offer settlements, it is essential to avoid speaking to the insurance company without a lawyer present.
Since all communication goes through the lawyer, the plaintiff can rest and recuperate in peace. They can also be sure that the lawyer will have their best interest at heart and fight for them to get the compensation they are due. With a lawyer, a settlement is most likely to happen quickly and efficiently.
To Sum Up
After most car accidents, the parties involved choose to settle before the case can go to trial. Insurance companies do so to avoid paying more and having to rely on an unpredictable jury. Plaintiffs choose to settle to avoid high attorney costs and to get their money sooner rather than later. All in all, settling is a quicker and more cost-effective solution for everyone.