Car accidents can leave you with expensive medical bills, repair bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you faced serious injuries, you might need to get these bills paid and other damages compensated – and the at-fault driver who hit you should be the one to pay. In some cases, an insurance company might approach you with a settlement offer, but in most cases you need to pursue that compensation yourself. Fayetteville, AR car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak discusses when an offer for compensation for an Arkansas car accident might come and how to fight for the money you need if it doesn’t come.
When Will I Receive a Settlement Offer After a Car Crash in Arkansas?
If you face injuries in an accident, there is no guarantee that anyone will approach you and offer to pay for your damages. When you file a claim with the insurance company, they might work to get an offer out to you, potentially covering some of your medical bills and lost wages. However, even these settlement offers might not come without you working to get the compensation.
If someone does approach you with a settlement, unprompted, you usually should not accept it. Initial settlement offers like this might seem like a big offer, especially if you did not have to take any steps to get to that point. However, initial offers are often low and do not cover the full value of the damages you face. Once you total up the cost of medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and other damages you faced because of the crash, you might find that the settlement you were offered was far too low.
If you do work with insurance and seek a payout that way, it will usually take a few weeks to get your case appraised and have a settlement offer made. When this happens, however, the offer might still be too low.
Working with a Lawyer to Get Car Accident Compensation Offers Faster in Arkansas
When you work with a personal injury attorney in Fayetteville, AR, your lawyer can stand between you and the insurance company and handle the process of filing to get compensation for you. Your lawyer’s experience can also help you understand what your case truly should be worth and how to maximize that compensation.
If you wait for an insurance offer to come, it might never arrive. This is the case because the victim – known as the “plaintiff” in a legal case – is the one who has to make a claim for compensation and must prove their case before the law can force the at-fault defendant to pay their damages. If the at-fault driver’s insurance company makes you a settlement offer without you requesting compensation, it is probably a low offer designed to give you something and lock it in as a settlement. After accepting even a low settlement like this, you usually give up your right to sue or claim additional damages later.
Your attorney can negotiate with insurance companies, file claims on your behalf, and work to get the compensation you need by advocating for you. In many cases, this means skipping the insurance claim process altogether and filing your case in court to maximize damages.
A strong case strategy often means filing the proper paperwork efficiently and on time and advocating aggressively to get the at-fault driver and their insurance company to settle the case. If the offers they make you do not include enough compensation to cover your needs, then your lawyer can work with you and advise you on whether accepting that settlement offer is the right decision.
If the settlement offers that you face are not enough, your lawyer can fight your case in court, perhaps going to trial.
How Long Does it Take to Receive Damages through an Arkansas Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you do take your case to court, it might take longer to get you compensation. However, the compensation might be higher, which could ultimately make it worth your while.
Going to trial takes longer than a settlement because it requires careful review of the damages, evidence collection, strategizing, and time to build your case. In a settlement, the parties work with the facts and evidence they have at the time. If you negotiate a settlement along the way while your lawsuit progresses through the courts, it will mean that you have the benefit of going through the “discovery” phase of your case where you can request evidence and take depositions. These processes take time but often allow you to increase the settlement offer.
If your case goes to trial, the other pretrial stages of your case will often take weeks or months. The trial itself does not usually last longer than a few days unless the case is incredibly complex. Often, jury deliberation only takes a few hours, or perhaps goes into the next day.
If the jury rules in your favor at the end of the case, the payment will be ordered quickly. It might take some time to get the funds together to pay you, but if an insurance company is involved, the payments should come quickly. If there are problems getting the compensation, your lawyer can take the case back to court and fight to speed up the process and get you the compensation you need when you need it.
Call Our Fayetteville, AR Car Accident Lawyer for Help Getting Compensation
If you were injured in a car crash, it might take work – and time – to get the compensation you need. Quick offers to settle are often too low to cover your damages in full, and you should always take the time to review your case with an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting damages. Personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak handles car accident lawsuits and fights to help victims get the compensation they deserve after serious injuries. Call our law offices at (479) 316-0438 to set up a free case consultation today.