Car Accident Settlement FAQs

Car insurance is a necessity – not only because you need it to legally drive, but also because the average driver files a collision claim once every 17.9 years. So most drivers will at some point need insurance to cover their losses, especially if a crash causes injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to avoid paying claims – or they try to pay less than what a person needs.

The attorneys at Bley & Evans have represented clients who have been seriously injured in car accidents and need the insurance compensation they are due. If you’d like to talk to us about your car accident, you can call us at 1-844-443-8385 to request a free case consultation. And if you have questions about how car accident settlements work, the following information may be helpful.

  • When an insurance company receives an accident claim, its claims adjusters look at all related evidence (such as witness testimony and police reports). This is standard procedure, as insurers want to protect themselves against fraud. During this initial examination of a claim, insurers may raise questions about the extent of someone’s injuries, or about who was most at fault for the accident. The more they delve into the claim, the longer it takes for people to receive a settlement check.

  • It could take weeks or months for an insured party to receive a settlement. It’s not just the insurance company’s investigation that can delay resolution of a claim – if the insurer requests additional documentation (for example, medical records), the speed at which others provide that information to insurers plays a role in how quickly or slowly claims are settled.

  • Insurance companies have been known to take advantage of drivers’ lack of knowledge regarding the settlement process – for example, making an offer of compensation that’s unreasonably low, or denying a claim altogether. With an attorney on your side, you’re more likely to get the compensation you deserve. And often, these cases can be settled without going to court.

  • In a personal injury case, attorneys work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay anything up front. Legal fees are deducted from the settlement check.

  • Missouri observes “comparative fault,” which means that you can collect a percentage of damages that is equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were only 20 percent at fault for a crash, you would be entitled to 80 percent of the total damages awarded.

  • When you don’t know who caused your crash, your insurance company treats your claim as if the other motorist had no insurance. By law, all insurance companies must include uninsured motorist coverage in every policy issued in Missouri. That coverage would apply to your bodily injuries, but not to any damage to your vehicle.

  • When settlements are reached outside the courtroom, the terms of those agreements are often confidential. So it’s difficult to say with certainty how much money may be awarded, without knowing more details. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the average award in 2013 was $24,000, but it does not say whether that average applies to all car accidents or just those that result in property damage only.

  • In Missouri, drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage, and bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. Insurance companies are not required to pay more than the policy limits. So, when people are seriously injured in a crash and the other driver is at fault and has minimum coverage, the payment from that driver’s insurer may not fully cover medical costs. Should that happen, a personal injury attorney can look for other possible sources of compensation on behalf of the injured parties.

  • Occasionally, an investigation may reveal that another party shared some responsibility for the crash. For example, if the driver of a commercial truck causes a crash while on duty, and records show the company that owns the truck has failed to maintain it, the company could be liable for damages if mechanical failure contributed to the crash.

Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Accident Settlement Claims

Car insurance is a necessity – not only because you need it to legally drive, but also because the average driver files a collision claim once every 17.9 years. So most drivers will at some point need insurance to cover their losses, especially if a crash causes injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to avoid paying claims – or they try to pay less than what a person needs.

The attorneys at Bley & Evans have represented clients who have been seriously injured in car accidents and need the insurance compensation they are due. If you’d like to talk to us about your car accident, you can call us at 1-844-443-8385 to request a free case consultation. And if you have questions about how car accident settlements work, the following information may be helpful.