How long a car accident claim takes to settle varies on who is involved in the accident, what caused the accident, and several other factors that might complicate the litigation process. While some cases can be short and straightforward, other cases might take years before they settle.
Waiting to settle your car accident claim can seem like a long, drawn-out process. There are a variety of factors that come into play when determining how long a car accident claim takes to settle, such as if the accident involved a commercial business, a government entity, or multiple parties. Continue reading to learn more about what might affect your car accident claim.
Car Accident Claims and Lawsuits Have to Follow Certain Deadlines
From the date of your accident, you have up to two years to file a lawsuit, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. However, many lawyers suggest filing an insurance claim or an intent to sue letter instead of a lawsuit to avoid going to court. Filing an intent to sue letter preserves your right to file a lawsuit if you need to, but it also gives you the option to come to an agreed settlement in the meantime.
According to the California Department of Insurance, in order to keep a claim moving along, insurance companies have a general timeline:
- Once the insurance company receives your claim, they have 15 days to acknowledge that they received the claim.
- After they receive the claim and acknowledge it, the insurance company has to review your claim and accept or deny it within 40 days.
- If your claim is accepted, they have 30 days to pay you for your settlement.
Whenever you are dealing with legal processes and multiple parties, there can be a wide variety of potential delays. When money is involved, things like negotiating expenses and arguing the evidence’s legitimacy comes into play. Even with the timeline listed above, you might still run into possible delays while fighting for compensation. The total litigation process for your claim might involve:
- Proving who was at fault for the accident
- Collecting evidence to support your claims, such as bills and documentation
- Negotiating with the insurance companies involved
- Reviewing each offer made by the insurance company
- Accepting an offer and completing paperwork
Even the Compensation for Your Car Accident Claim Might Vary
The amount of compensation a person might get from a car accident claim can also vary, depending on the damages they suffered during and after the accident. How soon you receive your compensation might also be influenced by:
- Your preferences and beliefs: You have the right to accept or deny any settlement offer presented to you.
- Your lawyer: A car accident lawyer can help speed up the process of getting compensation by being an advocate for you. They can also help negotiate a larger settlement amount if possible.
- The other parties involved: Other people involved can affect how long it takes to come to an agreed-upon settlement. This includes insurance companies, the at-fault driver, and other lawyers. They can negotiate a settlement amount just as you can.
- Evidence provided: The evidence you provide might determine how strong your case is and whether the other party and their insurer might agree to compensate you for your damages.
If you were involved in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be compensated for the damages you sustained. These damages might include:
- Loss of earnings
- Property loss or repair
- Domestic assistance
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Vehicle damages
- Decrease in salary
- Decrease in quality of life
If you lost a loved one due to a car accident, you might also be compensated for:
- Funeral costs
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of society
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household income
The compensation you receive can be complicated. Some damages can easily be calculated, such as medical bills, vehicle damages, loss of income, or a decrease in salary. However, some damages do not have a monetary value, such as loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and a decrease in quality of life.
Call Our Team Today
A Los Angeles lawyer can help you through this process to get compensation and work to speed up the process. Having a lawyer might help you avoid potential hurdles in the claims process.
Call Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices today at (888) 522-6291 to get started. When you are trying to determine how long a car accident claim takes to settle, a lawyer can help you through each step to push it along. We understand how vital it is to get compensation for your damages. We want to help you get this compensation as soon as possible. Call today.