If you were injured in a car accident, you might now be trying to make decisions about how to proceed. If you filed an insurance claim – or are considering one – you might think that is enough to get you the money you need for medical bills and lost wages through a settlement. However, there are payments and whole areas of damages that might not be covered through a settlement. Instead, it might be better for your case to take your lawsuit to court – and moving forward with the help of a lawyer might be even better. Fayetteville, AR car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak discusses how you usually cannot get more money from a car accident settlement without a lawyer and how working with an experienced Fayetteville, AR personal injury lawyer can help your case and increase your compensation.
Do Insurance Settlements Cover Everything after a Car Accident in Arkansas?
If you want to accept a settlement from an insurance company, you can do that. However, there are certain areas of damages that are not usually covered in these accidents, and you might need to take a different route to get full compensation.
First of all, Arkansas is a “fault” state for car insurance. This means that when you are injured in a car accident in Arkansas, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for damages, not your own insurance. However, you might have first-party benefits added on to your insurance that could pay for some of your damages, no matter who was at fault.
In any case, insurance companies are limited by the terms of the insurance policy. This means that they usually will not pay for damages in full and will only pay for a certain percentage of medical bills and lost wages. These policies also usually exclude pain and suffering damages and will not pay for other intangible harms either.
When you take your case to court, you can usually claim all of these damages instead. That means that by working only with your insurance company, you might not be able to get everything covered.
Negotiating a Settlement with the Help of a Car Accident Lawyer in Arkansas
If the insurance companies involved in your case will not pay enough through a claim, you can file a lawsuit with the courts against the at-fault driver. When this happens, the insurance company will have to defend their driver and work to negotiate a settlement. This means that you do not have to just accept the settlement offer they gave you and take it. With the help of an experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer, you can work to negotiate the offer and get better compensation for your case.
A settlement from an insurance company will usually be lower than what you could be awarded at trial to account for the fact that going to trial is expensive. Settlements will often reduce the payout to account for the fact that you’re saving time and getting damages faster. However, if the evidence is in your favor and you have a solid case that your attorney will likely be able to win at trial, this puts you in a good negotiating position to potentially get higher damages from a settlement.
Negotiated settlements are usually beneficial to both sides. Most injury cases are ultimately resolved through a settlement after rounds of discussion and negotiation, reaching a resolution that works for everyone involved. However, if you don’t receive a fair offer, we can always take the case to trial.
Fighting an Arkansas Car Accident Case at Trial to Increase Damages Over Settlement
If your car accident case goes to trial before a judge and jury, you could receive higher damages. Courts can award damages for the full value of any harms you faced from the crash, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The values of these damages can be claimed in full, and the jury will ultimately decide how much you should get.
At trial, you will be able to claim the full value of any medical care you received because of the accident. You will also be able to claim damages for any wages you missed because of the injury and any future lost earning capacity the injuries will cause you. You can also claim damages for the intangible harms like physical pain, mental suffering, and emotional distress related to the crash.
A lawsuit can also often pay for your legal fees. Whether you settle or go to trial, your lawyer will often be paid out of your winnings, meaning that you do not need to pay any additional expenses to cover the cost of working with an attorney. Filing a lawsuit in court has certain fees, but these can also be paid out of the winnings in a lawsuit in many cases, with specific damages awarded to cover attorney’s fees and court costs. This means that you can open additional areas of damages by going to trial without taking significant risks by having to pay more for those opportunities.
If you settle your case before trial, it also means that you usually cannot go back and claim additional damages later. If a lawsuit might pay you more damages, it is often worth pursuing your case that way instead of settling for a low value, then later finding out you could have received more at trial. In any case, you should never accept a settlement before talking to a lawyer about what you can claim in court instead.
Call Our Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer Before Accepting a Settlement
Call Arkansas car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak to discuss your case. If you were offered a settlement after a serious accident, you could accept the settlement and take whatever damages the car insurance company offered you. Alternatively, if you work with an experienced car accident lawyer, you might be able to negotiate your settlement or file a lawsuit and improve the compensation you receive. Call our law offices today at (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free case consultation and learn more about your options.
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