2024 How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in California?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you may be hoping to get a claim resolved quickly. You may want to get the costs that you’re dealing with taken care of and not let them pile up. Settling a case is always going to be a quicker option than taking the claim to court. However, just how quickly a claim can be settled will vary wildly from case to case. However, working with a California auto accident lawyer may be able to accelerate the process. 

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in California?

The Time It Takes to Settle an Accident Claim

There’s no way to know precisely how long it will take to settle your claim, as each car accident claim is unique. There are a variety of different factors that will go into determining how quickly a claim can be settled. 

Willingness to Negotiate

The largest of those factors is the willingness of the parties involved to negotiate. Obviously, if the insurance company is readily willing to settle for a high figure, or you’re ready to settle for a low figure, then agreement on the right settlement amount will be found relatively quickly. However, since neither of those are typical scenarios, that quick outcome shouldn’t necessarily be expected. 

Statute of Limitations

Another major factor in the time it will take to settle a claim is the statute of limitations. In most cases, a car accident will result in a statute of limitations of two years. This means that you will need to file a claim by then if a settlement can’t be found. 

One effect of this time limit on negotiating a settlement is that it may benefit the insurance company to not willingly negotiate. Their interest would not necessarily be to find a settlement but rather to delay any discussion and ensure that you lose one of the most significant negotiating threats that you have. The statute of limitations’ effect is actually an incentive against good-faith negotiations by the insurance companies.

The Aid of an Experienced Car Crash Attorney

One way to counter the effect of the statute of limitations is to persuade the insurance companies that they won’t be able to stall and that there is a legitimate likelihood of going to court if a settlement can’t be found. One of the better ways to persuade the defendant of that is by working with a skilled Sacramento, CA, car crash attorney. When an attorney negotiates on your behalf, it carries an implicit threat of the possibility of taking the claim to court.

Insurance companies will be encouraged to take a more serious approach to negotiations if they wish to avoid litigation. They will recognize that a lawyer is going to quickly recognize any bad-faith negotiation and also won’t hesitate to go to court if that’s what’s needed to meet their client’s needs. This could lead to a more willing partner in negotiations and accelerate the process. 

The longest it could take to settle a case is up through the trial, as negotiations could continue up until there’s a judgment. However, the decision to begin the legal process must be made before the statute of limitations deadline. In most car accident cases, this will mean about two years. However, there are a variety of exceptions, and you should work with a lawyer to understand what limitation applies in your specific case.

FAQs

Q: Is It Better to Settle a Claim, or Should I Go to Court?

A: If your concern is that the matter be resolved quickly, then settling is always going to be the better option. Taking a claim to court is always a longer, drawn-out process, and it is going to be more difficult to see it finished in a timely fashion

However, going to court holds the potential of getting a better compensation package than you may receive in a settlement. If your only concern is speed, then it’s possible that you may end up taking a much lower offer than is due to you. That trade-off will have to be one that you will need to consider

Q: What Losses Are Compensated for in a Car Accident Claim?

A: The compensation that you can receive in a car accident claim can cover the standard costs that are addressed in personal injury claims. They can cover losses like the medical bills that you have from your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and any lost wages. They can also address the psychological and emotional costs that the injury has brought you as well.

Q: What Should I Do After an Accident?

A: After you’ve been in a car accident, the first priority should always be to ensure that your health isn’t in jeopardy, so you will need to get a full assessment of your injuries. This includes both seeing paramedics at the scene if they are present and getting a fuller examination later on. 

If your injuries allow, it can be helpful to document the scene of the injury and continue that documentation process with regard to your injuries and the costs that you suffer as a result. Lastly, you will want to be careful in discussing the accident and contact a California car injury lawyer quickly.

Q: How Can a California Auto Accident Lawyer Help My Claim?

A: Working with a California auto accident lawyer can give your claim an advantage that you might not otherwise have. They can perform a full investigation of your accident and gather evidence of liability. An attorney can also represent you throughout the negotiation process and, if necessary, do the same in court proceedings. They can fight for the compensation that you’re owed.

Get Help With Settling Your Case From a California Auto Accident Lawyer

Working with a California auto accident lawyer may be a critical option if you are trying to strike the balance between getting the compensation that you deserve and doing so quickly. Our experience and presence may lead to a negotiating partner who is more willing to make serious offers quickly rather than attempting to sneak a lowball offer by you. If you are ready to see what it might take to get your situation resolved and settled quickly, contact us at Kreeger Law Firm today.