Every car accident results in varying property damage and physical injury. Unfortunately, there is no average length of time to settle a car accident case. Some car accident settlements can take several weeks, where others can take months or even years. The specific circumstances of an accident significantly impact how quickly or slowly a settlement may take. Many factors can influence a lengthy car settlement, and this is especially true if you suffered extensive injuries or property damage.
Factors That Influence Timing of a Settlement Process
Having a lawyer who understands the nuances of the laws in a car accident is extremely valuable. Typically, once a person is involved in a car accident and a claim is filed with the insurance company. They will need documentation of medical bills to assess damages. The insurance company will also review statements and police reports to determine who caused the accident. Once the insurance company has that information, the insurance adjuster can evaluate a settlement offer. However, the insurance company isn’t in the business of making large settlement offers. It may offer the least amount of money. In these cases, an experienced attorney can negotiate a settlement offer. Also, there may be other unforeseen circumstances that contribute to a longer settlement process.
In California, responsibility for a car accident is determined by the party responsible, or “at-fault.” Before an insurance company pays out money, they will determine who caused the accident. In some instances, proving that the other driver was 100 percent at fault may be a lengthy process. The fault may be shared by one or more parties, and that means a reduced settlement. To prove that the other driver is liable, your attorney may also need to take time to properly investigate the accident.
Recovery Time for Your Injuries
Seeking medical attention for injuries after a car accident takes time. This is especially true if the injuries are severe. The discovery of one injury may lead to another, and treatment may be ongoing. While undergoing medical treatment, it will be challenging to assess the actual value of your injuries since the final amount of medical expenses won’t have been determined. A car accident attorney would like to ascertain all the recoverable damages a person is entitled to receive and may want to wait until you have fully recovered. Only then will you know what your medical expenses are and what future medical care you might need. You also will have a better idea of what to request as compensation for lost income. However, your attorney can still make a claim to ensure you receive proper medical care.
The more significant the accident, naturally, the higher potential your case has for a large payout. Insurance companies don’t quickly hand over large amounts of money. They investigate cases to find information that can reduce compensation. The insurance company may also engage in delaying the case in the hopes that you will settle for less. Working with a legal professional familiar with insurance company tactics can be beneficial.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Delay in settling a car accident case can be incredibly frustrating. Contact our attorneys at 415-946-8900 or at Dan Rose Law to schedule a free consultation about your specific case.