When we get behind the wheel of our vehicles, we rarely think about winding up in an accident. Unfortunately, car crashes can and do happen, leading to severe injuries that require lengthy recovery timelines, unanticipated costs, and other stressors. If you have suffered an auto accident injury in Riverside County or Southern California, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the days, weeks, and months ahead of you. However, you do not have to go through this challenging period alone. Enlisting the support of an experienced auto accident attorney is the best way to ensure you secure the compensation you need to help you get your life back on track. Below is a brief overview of the auto accident claims process and how long it typically takes auto accident victims to recover the compensation they’re owed.
Understanding the Car Accident Settlement Process in California
If you’ve suffered an injury due to another driver’s reckless or negligent actions, you have the right to pursue compensation to assist with the costs stemming from the accident, including the medical bills, physical therapy costs, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses related to the incident. In the weeks after the collision, insurance adjusters will investigate the claim and attempt to understand the events and actions preceding the accident. Next, the insurance adjuster from the at-fault party will contact the injured individual and make an initial settlement offer. However, this offer is nearly always a lowball offer, as the insurance company hopes that people will accept this amount out of eagerness to access compensation. In most cases, the insurance company will negotiate a more equitable settlement offer to prevent the matter from moving to litigation. Your attorney can also help you determine whether to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to obtain additional compensation to assist with your recovery.
Timeline for Personal Injury Claims in Riverside County
Auto accident claims are a type of personal injury claim. Since car accidents tend to cause less severe injuries than other types of personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice or trucking accidents, they often move forward more smoothly and efficiently than other cases. However, several factors influence the auto accident settlement timeline. Below are just a few considerations that may impact how quickly you can secure the compensation you need to support your recovery.
A Willingness to Compromise
If you and the other party involved in the car accident are willing to compromise, the settlement timeline shortens considerably. However, be wary of proceeding too quickly, as you may forfeit your opportunity to recover a more favorable settlement. Insurance companies often attempt to take advantage of an injured party’s desperation to obtain compensation as quickly as possible, rushing them into accepting a lowball offer. Your attorney can help you navigate this negotiation process to ensure you maximize your auto accident settlement.
Disputes About the Material Facts of the Case
Auto accidents that involve one clearly at-fault party often conclude more quickly than those where the details surrounding the incident are unclear. For instance, if you were rear-ended by a driver who was texting and failed to slow in time, you will likely recover compensation within a short period of time than in a case where both you and the other driver contributed to the accident. Under California’s rules of comparative fault, auto accident victims who played some role in the accident will only be entitled to recover a percentage of the total compensation awarded to them. It can take time for investigators and insurance adjusters to determine each party’s share of responsibility in the accident. Additionally, if the parties dispute the extent of the victim’s injuries, the settlement recovery timeline can be delayed.
Other Relevant Factors That May Delay the Settlement Process
There are several other factors that could affect how quickly your auto accident claim moves through the system. For instance, insurance companies often differ in how they approach and process claims. Additionally, car accidents in which one or both parties are uninsured usually take much longer to resolve. Disputing parties who decide to take the matter to court may face a backlog, forcing them to wait for weeks or months before the court can assess the case. Talk to your attorney to understand how these factors may influence your auto accident settlement timeline.
How a Temecula Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve suffered a car accident injury in Temecula or Murrieta, reach out to a dedicated and compassionate personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Together, you and your lawyer can assess the specifics of your case and determine the most strategic path forward. Whether your case is relatively clear-cut or involves multiple parties and unique considerations, your attorney will represent your best interests and work hard to secure a fair and favorable settlement.
Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to speak with a trusted and experienced Temecula auto accident attorney.