Having to wait for a settlement check you desperately need after a car accident can be stressful. You may be facing extensive medical bills and lost income from being unable to work and need cash in hand.
Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to how long it will take to get a settlement check from a car accident since various factors can speed up or delay the process.
California auto insurance companies attempt to resolve car accident claims within 30 days. After a collision is reported, an insurance adjuster will reach out to you to evaluate your claim, investigate the accident, and determine the amount of compensation you should recover.
The adjuster will need to review the police report, photos of the scene, damage to the vehicles involved, medical records, witness statements, proof of lost income, receipts for accident-related expenses, and any other pertinent documentation.
To speed up these steps, try to compile as much relevant information as possible to provide to the insurance company. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can also help accelerate the process.
They will help you gather the necessary evidence the insurer needs that proves the other driver is at fault. They will handle speaking to the adjuster, negotiations, and ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Complicated claims where the fault is disputed or multiple parties are involved can take significantly longer before a fair settlement is reached, particularly if the available evidence does not clearly support your claim.
In California, anyone who contributes to a car accident can be held responsible for damages. Each party’s percentage of the fault must first be established and accepted by an insurance company before an injury claim can be resolved.
Severe injuries can delay the settlement process even further. It is in your best interests to wait on accepting a settlement until you understand the full extent of your injuries and the treatment you will require in the future.
If you take a settlement and release the at-fault party from liability too soon, you risk accepting an amount lower than what you need to recover fully.
Once you have healed or reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), your attorney will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
If the insurer refuses a fair agreement, you and your attorney may decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In general, it takes one to two years before a case makes it to trial. However, most civil suits settle before they reach the courtroom, so there is still a chance that a settlement check can come sooner.
If you come to a fair settlement agreement, the insurer will require you to sign a release of liability before issuing your check. A release waives your right to pursue any other claims against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company.
Once the insurer receives your signed release, it will take a week or longer for a check to be mailed to either you or your attorney. Your attorney will then pay your debts, such as unpaid medical bills and their legal costs and fees before you will be sent a check for the remaining amount.
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a car accident, contact CaseyGerry. Our San Diego Car Accident Lawyer will help you obtain maximum compensation as quickly as possible.