If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. Understandably, prospective clients want to know, How long does a settlement take for an auto accident in California?
On average, insurance companies are bound by state regulations to respond to and resolve claims within specific timeframes. They are required to acknowledge receipt of your claim within 15 days, decide to accept or deny the claim within the next 40 days, and, if accepted, proceed to issue payment within 30 days.
While this sums up to a total of 85 days, it’s important to note that the practical timeline can be shorter or longer depending on the case’s complexity, the clarity of liability, and the responsiveness of all parties involved. Once a settlement is reached, you can typically expect to receive your settlement check within six weeks.
Ultimately, every case is different, and your circumstances will determine how long it takes to reach a potential settlement. If you have questions about the auto accident settlement process, please speak with a California car accident lawyer at Silva Injury Law.
Factors That Affect The Auto Accident Settlement Timeline In California
Several factors can influence how long it takes to resolve an auto accident case in California. Some of the most significant factors include the following.
The settlement process may be quicker if the accident was minor and resulted in only minor injuries and property damage. However, if the accident was more serious, with significant injuries or fatalities, the process could take much longer, as more elements may be in dispute.
Liability and Complex Legal Issues
Some auto accident cases are straightforward, with clear liability and damages. Others are far more complex, with multiple parties involved or disputed liability. Some of the most complex ones involve defective product allegations, which could bring in other parties, like auto manufacturers, as defendants. These types of cases may take longer to resolve and often end up in litigation.
The Amount of Insurance Coverage
The settlement process may be faster if all parties involved have sufficient insurance coverage. However, it could slow the process if there are questions about coverage or if one or more parties are uninsured.
Cooperation from Defendants
When all parties are willing to work together and communicate effectively, the settlement process may be faster. However, if there is disagreement or a lack of cooperation, you can expect the case to drag on longer. Sometimes, the defendants are unwilling to negotiate in good faith unless your attorney files a lawsuit. If we need to file a lawsuit to get the defendants to take your claim seriously, we’ll move forward.
Tactics of Other Lawyers
The defendants’ legal representatives may drag out the process. These individuals work for the defendant’s corporation or insurance company. They get paid by the hour, so there’s little incentive to settle. Don’t be surprised if the defendant tells you that hiring an attorney to represent you will delay your claim. That’s because they use tactics to undervalue your claim and try to resolve your claim for less than it’s worth. When you have a California car accident lawyer representing you, they can’t take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the legal process.
Tips For Speeding Up The Auto Accident Settlement Process In California
While you may not have control over all the factors that impact how long it takes to resolve an auto accident case in California, there are some things you can do to help speed things up.
Gather and Organize Your Documentation
Having all your documents in order can help speed up the settlement process. This documentation includes things like police reports, medical bills, insurance bills, and any other relevant records.
If you can communicate effectively with the other parties involved in the accident, it may speed up the settlement process. That is one reason to consider hiring an attorney. Auto accident attorneys are experienced in effectively communicating with insurance companies, and they are there to protect your rights. Insurance companies are looking for anything they can use against you, so communicating without an attorney could inadvertently hurt your case.
Consider Alternative Dispute Options
If the settlement process is taking longer than you would like, consider alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation or arbitration. These options can often help to resolve disputes more quickly than going to court.
Contact A California Car Accident Lawyer
If you still have questions about how long does it take for an auto accident in California, please schedule a consultation with Silva Injury Law. When you meet with one of our experienced team members, we can explain how long we believe your case might take to resolve. In California, you typically have only two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. The court will likely throw your case out if you miss the filing deadline, even by accident. That’s why contacting a lawyer sooner rather than later is always better. Contact Silva Injury Law today to learn more about how we can assist you.
Find Out How We Can Help
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.