While each car accident claim is unique, the California Department of Insurance reports the following general timeline the insurance company must follow when acknowledging and paying out on your compensation claim:
- The at-fault driver’s insurance claim must acknowledge receipt of your claim as soon as possible, but no later than 15 days from its submission
- The insurance company must accept or reject your claim no later than 40 days after receiving it
- If a claim is accepted, the insurance company must pay you within 30 days
If you are working with a lawyer on your case, the insurance company might send your settlement check to the lawyer representing you. If your lawyer accepted your case on a contingency-fee basis, they might deduct their agreed-upon percentage from the settlement check before passing the remainder on to you.
You may want to speak to your lawyer for specific details on when you may start getting paid from your car accident settlement.
Understanding the Car Accident Settlement Process
Before a settlement can be paid, an agreement must be reached. The amount of time this process will take varies on a case-by-case basis.
If you work with a lawyer on your case, the process may look like this:
- Representatives for each side may investigate the accident and gather evidence
- Each side weighs the evidence and defines fault
- Each side assesses the financial damage of the accident
- Your lawyer may negotiate for a settlement
- Your lawyer will present each settlement offer to you
You, not your lawyer, have the authority to make the final decision on any settlement offer you receive. Once a decision is made to accept a settlement offer, the insurance company has 30 days to pay you.
If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury may decide if you deserve to be issued compensation for your damages. Even if your case goes to trial, it might still be resolved with a financial settlement at any point before a verdict is rendered.
If the responsible party’s insurance company delays payment or any other part of the settlement process, your lawyer may be able to confront them on your behalf.
Your Insurance Settlement May Include These Recoverable Damages
According to California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2, the following damages may be available in a personal injury case:
- All health care expenses related to the accident
- All income loss caused by the accident
- All accident-related vehicle damage or loss
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Your legal team may help you assess the damage related to the accident and arrive at an estimated value for your compensation claim.
Evidence in a Car Accident Case
In order to establish fault, liability, and the value of your damages in your insurance claim, a car accident lawyer may need to collect a wide range of evidence. This evidence may include:
- The official car accident report
- Photos or video from the scene of the accident
- Injury records and reports
- Proof of income
- Health care bills
- Vehicle repair bills
- Vehicle value estimates
You may already have some of this evidence in your possession. If so, make sure to present it to your lawyer to help them complete your claim in a timely manner.
Get Responsive Legal Care After a Car Accident
If you were hurt in a car crash in Los Angeles, a car accident lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices might be able to manage all of the legal work in your case while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. We offer representation on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payments required.
Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices understands how the financial uncertainty of a car accident can make it difficult to plan for your future. If you choose to work with a lawyer from our firm, we can keep you updated on the timeline of your case while we fight for compensation on your behalf. Our staff will also be available to listen to your needs, answer your questions, and give you legal advice throughout our work together.
To learn more about when you may be able to start getting paid from your potential car accident settlement, call Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices today at (866) 559-7223. A member of our team is standing by to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation on your case.