Q&A: Missouri personal injury settlements
As Missouri personal injury lawyers, we know that our clients come to us with a number of questions about the settlements they may receive. In this post, we discuss the most common questions we hear and provide some useful info for auto accident victims.
Q: Why would I need a personal injury lawyer if I've already been offered a settlement that covers my bills from the other driver's insurance?
A: In the majority of cases, it's best to refrain from accepting a settlement until you are completely certain about the nature of the injuries you have suffered (and the treatment you'll require, both now and in the future). It's easy to recognize - and diagnose - the type of damage that's been done to your vehicle, but it's not so simple to assess the physical damage you've suffered. You need to consider the long term implications for recovery, to what extent you will require ongoing medical treatment, and any lost wages you'll incur while recovering.
An attorney can help you determine the full value of your claim before you accept any settlement from an insurance company. If you skip this step, you may find that a settlement amount does not meet your current and/or future needs. And remember, accepting a settlement often means that you waive your right to collect any future monies in compensation for your injuries. We know it can be tempting to take that check immediately and be done with it, but if you do that, you may very well be cheating yourself out of funds you'll need to manage your recovery. The best way to determine if a settlement offer is fair is to consult with a Missouri personal injury attorney, whose specific experience in this area can guide you.
Q: What if I can't afford an attorney?
A: Most personal injury law firms work on a contingent fee basis, which means they provide a free initial consultation and will only collect money if they win a claim for you. So, you have no need to worry about legal bills on top of medical bills: you can feel confident in hiring the proper legal representation to get you the settlement you deserve.