There is no way to determine ahead of time how long it will take to settle a personal injury case. How long a matter takes to resolve depends largely on the facts of the case as well as the willingness of both sides to come to an agreement. In theory, a case could be settled in a day or it could be settled years after a lawsuit is first filed.
Are the Facts on Your Side?
If the facts are on your side, it may be easier to settle a case than if they imply that you caused the accident. However, just because you aren’t at fault for the crash doesn’t mean that other parties will see it the same way. In some cases, the other side may be trying to stall and frustrate you into accepting an offer that is less than what you are entitled to.
Does the Other Side Want to Settle?
The person who hit you may not want to admit guilt in the matter. It is also possible that there are multiple parties who are responsible for damages, and they may not all be able to agree on how much responsibility each party should take for the crash. Larger companies or government agencies may not want the publicity that comes with a settlement, which means that they will fight it with everything that they have.
Do You Want to Settle?
Your willingness to settle a case will play a role in how long it takes to resolve. If you don’t think that a deal is in your best interest, it is generally not a good idea to accept it. However, this doesn’t mean that you will get a better offer or that a jury wil agree with your perspective. It is important to note that your attorney will continue to negotiate on your behalf or represent you at trial regardless of his or her opinion about your decision.
A Judge May Order Continued Negotiations
Even if it doesn’t look like either side is going to come to an agreement, the judge in your case may order additional mediation sessions. This may result in several weeks or months in which no progress is made. In such a situation, your only options may be to wait until you can finally go to trial or accept that it may be necessary to find a middle ground.
Do You Have the Option of Going to Trial?
If you don’t file a lawsuit within two years of your accident, you may not have the option to take your case to court. This may weaken your bargaining position, and it may result in a settlement shortly after the statute of limitations expires. Your legal counsel will talk about the statute of limitations to make sure that a lawsuit is filed in a timely manner.
The Appeals Process Could Be a Lengthy One
In the event that you are successfully at trial, it doesn’t mean that the case is over. Those who are found to be liable for your injuries or other damages may appeal the ruling. As there are several levels to the court system, it may take several rulings in your favor to ultimately end the matter. In addition, you are allowed to appeal any verdict that you do not agree with.
Car accident cases may take many months or years to settle. This is especially true when neither side can find a middle ground that may allow an agreement to be reached. If you have been in a car accident, it is worthwhile to talk to and hire a Los Angeles car accident attorney to help during settlement talks or during trial.
How will I get my car fixed?
An automobile accident is one of those things in life that is inconvenient for you and it will always cause a negative impact on your life in ways unimaginable. Sometimes the impact will be minor, such as a slight fender bender to your vehicle with no physical injury to you and/or your passengers if any; at other times, the accident can be severe with extensive damage to the vehicle, if not totaled with severe physical and mental injuries to you and/or your passengers. Getting your life back to normal is very important to you and an experienced personal injury lawyer can assist with this process. Getting your car fixed is essential; being without your vehicle interrupts your ability to get to work and to commute to other places that you visit in your daily routine. Knowledge is definitely power, and it is important to know your options when it comes to getting your vehicle repaired or replaced.
Regardless of fault, if you have valid and active automobile insurance that includes collision coverage, you will be able to get your car repaired or monetary compensation for the current value of your car, probably the price that is quoted in The Kelly Blue Book for the make and model of your car. Collision coverage covers all damage to your vehicle that results from your vehicle making contact with another vehicle or contact with other property. For example, if your car is damaged by another vehicle, this is covered under collision coverage. If your vehicle hits a guard rail, a building, a tree or anything else, this is when your collision coverage kicks in.
In most cases, you will have a deductible that must be paid before your insurance company will pay. This process includes the following; filing a police report, reporting the claim to your insurance company, an insurance adjuster inspecting the damage and assessing the cost to repair vehicle or the value of the car. In cases where your vehicle is deemed a total loss, the value of the car comes into play. If you do not have a lienholder, the monies will be paid directly to you. In contrast, if there is a lienholder, the monies will be paid to the lienholder for whatever they are owed and you receive the rest.
When an accident is not your fault, the other’s party’s insurance company is responsible for paying to get your car fixed. Until liability is accepted by the other party’s insurance, you will not be able to get your vehicle fixed under their coverage. The insurance company will conduct an investigation regarding the accident. They will retrieve a police report if one was filed, statements from the drivers and any witnesses which were present to the accident. In addition, they will usually look at photos and in very severe accidents, they may have a specialist go out to the scene of the accident to recreate what happened. If the accident is a minor fender bender, the process is relatively short. In cases of severe auto accidents, the investigation can take much longer.
Thus, you basically have two options to get you back on the road. The quickest option is almost always going to be to use your insurance company. However, this can result in negative consequences for you. When reporting the accident to your insurance company, your monthly rates can increase and you risk being dropped as an insured.
Once you’ve filed your claim with your insurance company, it’s upon them, once liability has been established that it was the other driver’s fault, to contact their insurance company and have them included, but not limited to have them pay for the damages done to your vehicle which might have been paid for by your insurance company to reimburse them.
But remember, if you are involved in an accident, it’s incumbent upon you that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney that will help you navigate all of the red tape that is involved in getting your car repaired, your medical expenses covered if any, compensation for any lost wages, and future lost wages if the injury was severe enough. And NEVER talk to the insurance company without your attorney present about being compensated for your damages and/or injury, because it’s the insurance agent’s main priority to try to make sure that his company doesn’t have to pay anything more than they can legally get away with. In other words, lowball you, an inexperienced negotiator into accepting whatever they offer you. So make sure that you do your research and find the best Los Angeles car accident attorney and have them handle your case for you.
What Information Do I Need After A Car Accident?
There is a lot that will happen in the moments immediately following a car accident. In fact, it can seem rather overwhelming, but knowing what information you need ahead of time will help you protect your rights from the outset. Naturally, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and any passenger to make sure the injuries are not that serious. As soon as you are able, there is some information that you will want to gather to help you in the days and weeks following the accident. This information will also prove invaluable to an attorney, should you choose to retain one.
Take Extensive Notes
The moments immediately following a car accident from your memory’s point of view. It is amazing how much we tend to forget, or how the facts can become distorted over time. This is particularly true in the aftermath of a traumatic event such as a car accident. In order to ensure that this does not happen to you, write down everything you remember from the accident. Many smartphones today have a digital recording function, so you can make use of this as well. The important this is to write any critical detail you can remember about the accident so that you can get it right when talking to the police, and later to a lawyer.
Gather Contact Information
You will want to begin by gathering as much information from the other party involved in the accident. Particularly helpful will be his or her full name, along with a telephone number. You will also want to exchange any pertinent insurance information as well. This is the data that your lawyer will need to begin working on an effective and swift resolution to your case. Also, if there are any witnesses to the accident who stop to lend assistance, you will want to try to get their contact information, along with an account of what they saw. Remember, this is not a time to argue or try to explain your side of the story. This is a time to just get information, and then allow your lawyer to sort out the other details at a later time.
Pictures truly do paint a thousand words, particularly when it comes to a car accident. With so many drivers today having a smartphone or digital camera with them at all times, it is quite possible that you will be able to snap off more than a few quick pictures almost immediately after the accident. Make sure that both vehicles are in a safe location, and look out for any additional traffic. As soon as it is safe to do so, take pictures of both vehicles from a variety of angles, the intersection, and anything else that you feel might be of value to an investigator or your lawyer. Do not count on the police alone. Take a bunch of pictures and allow them all to be sorted out later as to their usefulness.
Make Sure the Police Are Called to the Scene
Even if you feel that accident is a minor one, the police should still be called to the scene. This is because a police report will be generated, and this is information that will prove invaluable to your attorney as well. The police will write a detailed account of the accident and issue their own findings. They should be your first call as soon as you are confident that everyone is ok, or that medical assistance is on the way.
If you have been involved in a car accident anywhere in the Los Angeles area, contact our office right away to speak to an experienced car accident attorney for a legal consultation.