The time it takes to agree to a settlement may vary from one case to the next. There are multiple factors that may affect the timeframe of settlement negotiations. These factors may include:
- The time it takes for the claimant to collect evidence of the responsible party’s liability and the value of their damages
- Whether or not the responsible party’s insurance company makes you a fair settlement offer early in the process
- The amount of time it takes to negotiate for a fair settlement
- Whether or not you decide to abandon settlement negotiations and take your case to trial
A car accident lawyer may be able to help you navigate the settlement process and determine how long settlement negotiation may take in your case. Your lawyer may offer you direction and advice on the pros, cons, and feasibility of each monetary amount you are offered to resolve your claim outside of court.
Because you, not your lawyer, will make the final decision to accept or reject each settlement offer you receive, the choices and decisions you make will play a significant role in your settlement timeline.
Time Limits Apply to Insurance Companies During the Settlement Process
According to the California Department of Insurance, California’s Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations dictate several deadlines that the insurance company must comply with during the settlement process. These deadlines include:
- Acknowledging receipt of your claim, begin an investigation, and supply you with required forms within 15 days of receiving your claim
- Responding to your inquiries and communication as soon as possible or within 15 days of their receipt
- Accepting or rejecting your insurance claim within 40 days of receiving proof of your claim, including all documents and evidence
- Paying a settled claim within 30 days of reaching an agreement
A Lawyer Might Be Able to Help Steer Settlement Negotiations
Settling a car accident claim can be a complex and confusing process when undertaken on your own. A car accident lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers can help you go through the process of resolving the case, from the preparation of the documents to the representation in court and obtaining the compensation necessary to cover the damage caused.
On your behalf, the personal injury team you select might be able to:
- Prove that you are entitled to financial recovery
- Build a solid file of supporting evidence
- Identify, locate, and interview witnesses
- Assign a value to your compensation claim
- Negotiate a favorable financial settlement
If you, passengers in your car, accident witnesses, or local police took pictures of your injuries, your damaged vehicle, or the accident scene, your legal team might request this evidence. Your lawyer may also make sure you stay up-to-date and informed on the progress of your case at each stage of the settlement process.
In addition to these steps, your lawyer may also take steps to ensure your potential lawsuit is filed on time. According to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1, there is a general two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in California. Taking legal action before this deadline expires may help preserve your ability to sue and obtain a judgment in court if you cannot arrive at a settlement agreement.
Assess the Value of Your Claim Before Negotiations Begin
It is important to understand your damages and their potential value when you head into settlement negotiations. According to California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2, the potentially recoverable damages in a personal injury case may include:
- Necessary medical expenses
- Injury-related loss of earnings
- Property damage
- In-home domestic services
- Pain and suffering
Your lawyer may be able to use bills, receipts, and other forms of proof in your evidence file to ascertain the monetary value of the accident-related expenses and losses.
Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices May Be Able to Help You Reach a Financial Settlement
If you had to miss work due to your accident, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you get compensated for your missed salary. This could include the time you had to take off due to the accident itself or the time you had to take off to recover from your injuries
When our legal team represents you, we can make sure you understand how fault is assigned, how your claim is valued, and how long settlement negotiation might take. We can also handle all of the settlement negotiations on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.
To learn more about working with Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices on your case, call our car accident team today at (866) 559-7223. We offer free consultations to car accident victims in Los Angeles.
If you qualify, Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices may be able to represent you on a contingency fee basis with no up-front payments required.