In recent years, California has recorded over 3,500 fatal auto collisions. Many of these types of personal injury cases are resolved in court, where victims fight to recover compensation for damages. However, some individuals may be hesitant to file a car accident claim for the fear of wasting time and money with the risk of little to no reward. Here is a look at how long it can take to settle a car accident claim.
Factors That Affect a Car Accident Settlement
The main objective of a car accident settlement is to restore a victim’s life back to the state they were in, pre-accident. Recovering monetary compensation is meant to provide reimbursement for all accumulated expenses derived from the crash.
Because this financial award can reach high numbers, insurance adjusters will make ongoing efforts to prevent paying out maximum compensation. It is for this reason that settlements can take an indefinite amount of time to resolve. Various expenses that car accident victims can recover include:
Hospital bills to treat injuries
Continuous medical treatment to rehabilitate injuries
Replacement or repair of the vehicle in the accident
Lost wages due to the time that was taken off work
Loss of future earnings due to physical impairments
Pain and suffering
Emotional trauma (PTSD)
Wrongful death, loss of financial provider
Building a Winning Case
The strength of a car accident claim will rely heavily on preparation. First, fault needs to be determined, evidence proving fault must be compiled, the healing process should be underway, and then negotiations can take place. While each step will require invested time and affect how long a personal injury case will take to settle, each is beneficial. Building a winning case will work in an injured victim’s favor when trying to recover maximum compensation from the liable party.
Before filing a car accident claim, an investigation must be conducted. Otherwise, the claim could be filed against the wrong person. Or, not all parties who contributed to the car crash will be appropriately identified and held liable for damages. In some cases, car accidents can be a bit more complicated when attempting to determine liability and
Because Ontario is in California, the city abides by CA’s comparative fault laws. This means that more than one party can be held accountable for contributing to a victim’s pain and suffering, caused by the accident. The greater the contribution of fault, the higher percentage that party will have to pay. During an investigation, supporting evidence proving the involved parties acted negligently will need to be gathered.
Waiting too long to file a car accident claim can result in the loss of valuable evidence, as it can disappear over time. For example, tire tracks indicating the direction where a vehicle lost control can be removed if the street is resurfaced. Therefore, the evidence must be collected as soon as possible, documenting visual proof through pictures and videos of the accident scene and damage to the vehicles involved.
Other supporting details include the treating physician’s health plan. After being examined by a doctor for injury, his or her diagnosis will explain the level of harm sustained, the best treatment plan to help the victim recover, and how much it costs to treat those injuries. The medical records will identify all damages that resulted from the car accident.
Although compiling every bit of evidence will extend the time to reaching a settlement deal, this step cannot be overlooked when collecting data for a case. If the full extent of damages is not determined and there is not enough proof indicating these losses resulted from the incident, the insurance companies will likely reject the claim and not pay out anything.
The timeframe of how long it takes for an injured victim to recover also affects how long it will take to reach a settlement from insurers. In order to determine the extent of injuries, ongoing evaluations and treatment from doctors must be conducted until maximum medical improvement is reached. Similarly, it can take time for the extent of injuries to fully manifest.
It’s vital to wait for the level of harm to become apparent in order to treat it accordingly. Underdiagnosing an injury can also result in asking for an inadequate amount in compensation. For example, being compensated for a medical bill regarding a broken bone with no healing complications versus being compensated for a broken bone that resulted in bone deformities, like malunion, will hold very different case values.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Will Expedite the Process
Attempting to build a case without extensive legal knowledge and while healing from serious injuries will not only be stressful and wearing, but it will also delay reaching a settlement much longer than it would with help from legal counsel.
During an auto accident case, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Ontario, CA can help you with the following aspects of your case:
Investigate all the details pertaining to your accident
Gather relevant information regarding your accident, including pictures, witness reports, police reports, and proof of damage
Build a personal injury claim with the defendant’s insurance company
Negotiate settlement terms with the defendant’s insurance company if they try to lowball you
File a car accident lawsuit if the defendant’s insurance company refuses to negotiate
The car accident lawyer will represent you in the court of law and be with you every step of the way
Win Car Accident Cases Faster
The best and quickest way to win a settlement is to let an experienced attorney handle your personal injury claims. Armstrong Accident Attorneys is here to help you seek compensation for any accident that wasn’t your fault. Our expert local personal injury lawyers will build a strong car accident case for you and try to get you the best financial compensation for the expenses and damages you may have incurred. Schedule a free consultation with our Ontario office today.