Studies show that almost 95% of car accident cases are settled out of court. This is because reaching a mutual agreement is faster and often less costly than a full trial. Both parties usually have a strong incentive to settle. However, if the insurance agency or the other party denies your claims, a trial is inevitable. that provides plaintiffs with a more suitable way to receive compensation. However, you should consult legal counsel even if you’ve received a dazzling settlement offer.
California accident law can be complex to decipher, and you might need to know the intricacies of local statutes and damages accrued. Did you know that San Jose is one of the cities recording the highest injury from accidents? You could be eligible for compensation if you or a loved one have been involved in an accident. Consult San Jose car accident lawyers to get an experienced legal perspective.
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Car accident cases are diverse, with each case involving different circumstances. Therefore, there is no specific timeline that applies to every case. Nevertheless, it takes approximately 8 to 15 months from filing a claim to when the plaintiff receives compensation. However, this is just an average estimation, and some cases may settle faster or take longer than this duration.
Stages of an Accident Case Settlement
1. Seeking Medical Care
When dealing with a personal injury claim, your health is a priority. An injured victim needs immediate medical treatment, especially if you sustain severe injuries after the accident. Besides, you’ll need medical documentation to prove your injury claims against the at-fault driver.
2. Collecting Evidence
Immediately after the accident, you should collect all the information you can get at the scene. This includes taking photos and videos with your mobile phone, taking the car’s license plate numbers, and exchanging contact and insurance information with the driver.
3. Hiring the Best Car Accident Lawyer
Immediately after the accident, you should contact an established law firm and hire a car accident lawyer. Ensure you do not sign insurance forms or make any statements to an insurance provider before hiring a professional lawyer. A lawyer with excellent expertise in car accident cases will guide you through the complex legal processes until you receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.
4. Filing the Car Accident Report
Most states require reporting all auto accidents that result in minor injuries, property damage, or death. Car accidents in California, in particular, can be pretty complex. This is because state law requires the parties involved in an accident to report accidents that result in bodily injuries, death, or property damage that exceeds $1,000. California public law code sec 16000 requires reporting such accidents within 10 days.
5. Investigating the Accident
Your car accident lawyer will gather detailed information about your case. This includes reviewing your medical records, checking the police report, and interviewing witnesses. On top of that, your attorney may also analyze your medical history. Similarly, the other party’s insurer will also conduct their investigation.
After filing a claim, the insurance company will most likely suggest a settlement offer. The initial offer is, however, typically far less than what a plaintiff deserves as financial compensation. Hiring San Jose car accident lawyers will help you make a counteroffer to help bend the case odds in your favor. A skillful legal team will help you prepare a demand package describing your injuries and physical and emotional damages and specify the amount of financial compensation you seek to compensate for those losses.
7. Filing a Lawsuit and Going to Trial
Your attorney will negotiate with the at-fault party and fight for the maximum possible compensation you can receive. Such negotiations may take even months before reaching an agreement. If the insurance company denies you the compensation you deserve, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party or the insurance company. If the case goes to trial, a judge or jury will hear the car accident case and render a verdict.
Do Not Accept Less Than You Deserve
It is common to receive settlement offers from insurance companies after the accident. It is quite tempting to accept such offers, especially if your bills are stacking up and you cannot pay them. However, you must know that the insurance company will always offer a deal that benefits them the most while reducing your financial compensation. It is best to speak with your attorney before settling for your compensation.