Personal Injury Law Blog

How Long Does It Take to Get a Car Accident Settlement in California

After a car accident, many wonder, How long does it take to get a car accident settlement?

car accident settlement california

You may feel saddled with financial stresses and physical injuries. Understandably, you’d like to settle as quickly as possible. However, don’t settle a car accident claim without first seeking the advice of a personal injury attorney. You’re more likely to receive a fair and just settlement when you have a legal advocate to negotiate on your behalf. 

Read ahead to learn more about how long it takes to get a car accident settlement and what you can do to help your situation after a car accident. 

What Factors Affect Average Car Accident Settlement Time?

Multiple factors affect the value of your car accident settlement claim. One part of how long it takes to settle your car accident claim is understanding the value of your case. Most personal injury attorneys hesitate to provide an average value for car accident settlements. They know that each case presents its own unique set of facts. Once your attorney adequately reviews the facts of your case, they may provide you with a range of values for your claim. 

Injury Severity

Injury severity impacts the average car accident settlement time. More serious injuries may need to resolve or obtain a full assessment before you can negotiate an accurate settlement value. If you’re still undergoing treatment or are unsure of your final prognosis, you will want to wait to gain the full picture of your injuries before reaching a settlement. 

Liability

When the parties dispute liability and the evidence is unclear, settlement negotiations may stall. The defendant, in this case, may be unwilling to accept any fault and therefore unwilling to pay any sum to the victim. Or they may claim that you were partially at fault for the accident and that you should therefore receive less compensation. When the defendant’s fault is clear, negotiations may proceed more efficiently. 

Negotiations 

Your personal injury attorney conducts settlement negotiations at different points throughout your case. These negotiations are never over until a settlement is reached. In some situations, settlement negotiations may occur before a lawsuit is even filed. Reaching a favorable settlement expedites the average car accident settlement time. However, in some cases, insurance companies may fail to take your claim seriously until you file a lawsuit. 

Filing a Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit increases how long a car accident settlement takes. Procedural rules require certain requirements to be satisfied upon filing. For example, upon filing, the defendant must be served a copy of your lawsuit within 60 days. After that, the defendant is permitted 30 days to respond to your case. After that, the court will issue a scheduling order providing time for both parties to gather evidence and seek information from one another.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Many parties may opt to participate in mediation or alternative dispute resolution. Participating in mediation can avoid the time and expense related to trial. Additionally, it permits the parties to control the outcome of the case by negotiating a favorable settlement.

Trial

Although personal injury cases rarely go to trial, a trial usually occurs more than a year after filing your lawsuit. In some cases, it may take longer.

The reality is that there is no real average car accident settlement time. Each car accident lawsuit is different and comprises various specific factors that may impact the length of time it takes to settle. Your personal injury attorney adequately equips you for this range of scenarios so you don’t feel blindsided by a lengthy outcome. 

How Can Insurance Companies Affect Average Car Accident Settlement Time? 

A car accident almost always means you will need to deal with insurance companies. Insurance companies may delay settlement and negotiations to push you into accepting an offer to receive financial assistance. They know you have bills to pay and that waiting to receive your compensation can pose a challenge.

If you are facing financial hardship while waiting for your settlement, your attorney may be able to advise you of strategies to stay above water. Settling too early just to get your money faster may leave you with insufficient funds to take care of yourself and your loved ones as time goes on. With an attorney on your side, the insurance company is less likely to pressure you into an inadequate settlement.

How Long Does It Take for an Insurance Company to Send a Settlement Check?

Once you’ve reached a favorable settlement, you may wonder, How long does it take for an insurance company to send a settlement check? 

Upon successfully settling, most insurance companies mail out checks within thirty days. However, you still may not get your check right away.

Typically, the check will go to your attorney’s trust account first. They will take care of paying any claims on the settlement, such as medical liens set up with healthcare providers. They will also take court costs and attorney fees out of the settlement. Once all necessary expenses are paid, your attorney will send you a check for the remainder of your settlement.

Contact Us

The aftermath of a car accident may leave you with debilitating injuries that prevent you from working while your medical expenses and household bills continue to mount. Understandably you may feel overwhelmed by your financial burden as you move toward a physical recovery. Questions like, How long does a car accident settlement take? may consume your thoughts as you try to find a way to get ahead of your finances. Even if you face financial difficulties, it’s important not to rush into an unfavorable settlement. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, you can rely on Joshua Glotzer and Daniel Leib of Glotzer & Leib, LLP. We represent clients the same way we would represent our own family members. We know how to negotiate favorable settlements for our clients, so they receive the financial support they deserve. Contact us today for a free virtual consultation!

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      “Mr. Glotzer represented me after I was involved in a car accident. I was badly injured,but the insurance company refused to offer me a reasonable settlement. I decided to find an attorney and decided to hire Josh.

      His law firm did a great job on my case. They were very responsive to all my questions and obtained a great resolution for me. I received way more money than was originally offered. I would recommend their firm to friends and family.”

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      “Mr. Josh Glotzer is a great attorney. Over the last 15 years he has helped me on a number of cases with professionalism, and more importantly a positive outcome in my favor. I have referred him to a number of friends and colleagues, all of which have been equally as happy with his legal representation. I trust him and confident in legal ability. I highly recommend his law firm.”

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      “Don’t try to deal with insurance companies on your own. They strung me along for almost two years before I gave the case to Glotzer & Leib. Josh and his team quickly obtained a settlement that netted me many times what the insurance company was offering. Thank You!”

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