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How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

How long will it take for my car accident claim to settle?

When a victim has been injured in a car accident, they most likely have a claim against the other party for personal injuries. Your personal injury attorney will guide you through the process of filing a claim against the other party, also known as the defendant. Car accident personal injury lawsuits either end up getting settled between the parties or end up going to trial. Because trial could be very costly, both parties would want to settle. Our Attorneys at Heidari law understand that it could be very difficult getting involved in a car accident. Every day that passes by leaves the victim wondering how long it would take for them to get their car accident settlement. We understand our clients’ concerns and needs and work to ensure maximum compensation for their injuries. To discuss your specific case with an experienced car accident personal injury attorney, contact our office today.

The amount of time a car accident settlement may take depends on your case. It could take three months to a few years for a settlement amount to be agreed upon by both parties. The settlement amount and length of time depend on a case-by-case basis. In California, it takes about three months for a simple case to settle on average. The case could take much longer if the claim is more complicated or the insurance companies try to downplay the amount. Having an experienced personal injury car accident lawyer could expedite the process whenever it is possible.

Reasons why a settlement could take longer

There are certain factors that may affect how long a settlement may take. Below is a list of just some of the factors that can affect the settlement, and drag a settlement date longer than average.

  • When the accident involves multiple parties
  • When it is difficult to prove the defendant’s fault in the accident
  • When the plaintiff is not represented by a personal injury attorney. That is why it is very crucial to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue your legal claims for you.
  • When the settlement amount is higher than average
  • When the insurance company takes longer to respond than average
  • When there’s a lack of evidence proving liability on behalf of the plaintiff
  • When both parties are unavailable to come to terms with a negotiated amount
  • When there is a death involved and a wrongful death claim made
  • When the personal injuries are very severe
  • When the injuries are permanent

If any of the above factors apply to your personal injury case, contact our attorneys today to determine the best legal strategy for your claim. At our no-risk consultation, our attorneys review your case in detail to determine how you could successfully assert your legal rights.

What happens after a car accident settlement is reached?

After a settlement amount is determined, there are still several steps that need to be taken in order for the clients to receive their checks. Below are some steps that are taken:

  • The insurance adjuster sends releases over for the plaintiff and the attorney to sign
  • The attorney and client must sign the insurance release
  • The insurance company accountant will then write out the check and send it to the attorney
  • The attorney will have to deposit the amount in a client account
  • Medical liens must be first paid for
  • Attorney’s fees are paid for
  • The remainder is then given to the client

How to determine fault in a car accident settlement.

When there are more than two parties involved in the accident, it is usually more difficult to determine the liability and fault of the other party. Further, if the plaintiff is at fault in any way, their damages will be reduced based on the percentage of fault. California is a state that incorporates a theory called comparative fault. Comparative fault means that if the plaintiff is liable for their injuries, they could get a lesser amount for damages. For example, if a plaintiff is 20% at fault for their injuries and their injuries cost $100,000, then they will only be able to recover $80,000 from the defendant. The $20,000 is reduced because of their percentage of fault. Comparative fault varies from state to state, that is why it is important to hire an attorney that is well-versed in the comparative fault laws in your state.

How to determine a personal injury car accident settlement amount.

The settlement amount in a personal injury car accident varies depending on the case. There are several factors that go into how the settlement amount is determined. One of the most serious factors that have a substantial role in determining the settlement amount is the medical bills that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the accident. Medical damages are usually a large portion of the settlement amount. For example, when a plaintiff injures permanent pain that could last several years after the accident, the settlement amount will be much higher than a victim who was temporarily injured and their injuries have been completely treated. Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will determine the settlement amount when dealing with the defendant.

How to negotiate a settlement amount in a personal injury case.

Your personal injury attorney will submit the settlement amount to the insurance company. The insurance company could choose to pay the settlement amount, a portion of the settlement amount, or not pay anything at all. Oftentimes, an insurance company will only pay a portion of the settlement amount. Insurance companies always try to downplay any injuries in order to pay lower settlement amounts. It is very important to hire an experienced attorney. If you deal with insurance companies unrepresented, we will try to offer low-ball offers initially.

What happens if both parties do not end up settling?

If both parties do not end up settling, then they will have to go through with the trial. This would be done when your attorney formally files a complaint against the defendant in court. A majority of personal injury lawsuits are usually settled before they go to trial. The client usually decides whether they would like to settle or go to trial. If the settlement offer is too low, then the client will choose to go to trial. But trials can be very costly and lengthy, oftentimes taking longer than a regular settlement would take.

Contact our car accident attorneys today.

Our attorneys will expedite the process as much as possible. We understand that every case is unique, and each case takes a different amount of time to settle. In order to understand your claim, contact our attorneys today to schedule a no-risk consultation. Our attorneys will gather as much evidence as possible to assert your claim against the defendant for liability. Failing to collect all evidence could make or break a plaintiff’s entire case.

 ***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

Sam Heidari

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Sam Heidari

Sam Ryan Heidari

Sam Heidari is the founding principal of Heidari Law Group, a law firm specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, and employment law with offices in California and Nevada. Sam Heidari has been practicing law for over 11 years and handles a wide range of cases including car accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and product liability. The Heidari Law Group legal firm is known for its comprehensive approach, handling cases from initial consultation through to final judgment. Sam Heidari is dedicated to community involvement and advocacy for civil liberties.

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