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California Car Accident Settlement Timeline [2024 Updated]

California Car Accident Settlement Timeline [2024 Updated]
Christian J. Amendt

Car accidents happen every day for various reasons, and the state enforces the fault rule to resolve these incidents. This means that an injured driver will need to prove fault for their accident before they can recover compensation for their losses. The California car accident settlement timeline can vary based on multiple factors, and it is important for any injured driver to have a personal injury lawyer they can trust to navigate this process successfully.

What to Do After a Car Accident

The first steps you take immediately following a car accident can impact your car accident settlement timeline in various ways. If you are severely injured, you should wait for first responders to arrive and provide medical treatment. If you are able to get up and move around, do so carefully, report the accident to 911, and while you wait for first responders, document what you can from the accident scene.

Taking photos of the positions of the vehicles on the road, the damage to your vehicle, and your injuries could all prove invaluable to your recovery efforts. When police arrive, answer their questions concisely but do not say anything that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Once they allow you to leave, you should seek medical treatment immediately, even if you think you suffered only minor injuries.

Once you have addressed your medical concerns and gathered whatever evidence you can from the scene of the crash, you should reach out to an experienced attorney before discussing an insurance settlement or exploring any further recovery options. Your attorney can help gather any evidence you will need to firmly prove fault for the accident and determine your optimal path to recovering all of your damages.

Resolving Your Car Accident Claim Quickly

It is natural to want to resolve your case as swiftly as possible, and securing legal counsel you trust as quickly as possible after your accident is one of the most effective methods of accomplishing this. Your attorney can guide you through each phase of the insurance claim process, and you are more likely to secure a fair settlement offer from an insurer when they see that you have legal counsel.

If you cannot fully recover your damages through auto insurance, you will need to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident. This will take longer to resolve than your auto insurance claim, but it is still possible to streamline your case when you have legal counsel representing you. They can help build a compelling suit that encourages the defendant to seek a settlement as quickly as possible.

Settling your personal injury case may require only a few weeks to a month or two, but if you need to litigate the case, it will take much longer. Ultimately, whatever your case requires, having an experienced car accident attorney on your side will dramatically reduce the time it will take to resolve your legal proceedings.


Q: How Much Is a Car Accident Settlement Worth?

A: The total value of a car accident settlement in California depends on the severity of the victim’s damages. You may be able to recover compensation through an auto insurance claim, but any damages you cannot recover through insurance can be claimed in a personal injury suit. You have the right to seek compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and your pain and suffering resulting from a car accident.

Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

A: You have a limited time to file a car accident claim. When it comes to filing an auto insurance claim, you should do this as quickly as possible. The statute of limitations for most car accident claims will be two years, and this time limit starts on the date an accident occurs. However, it is always in the interests of the injured claimant to file their case as quickly as possible to ensure the evidence they will need to prove fault is as reliable as possible.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Car Accident Claim?

A: You need a lawyer to file a car accident claim if you want to reach the optimal outcome of your case as quickly as possible. While hiring legal counsel is not strictly required by law, you will be better prepared to handle the challenges your case presents and more likely to maximize your total case award if you have legal counsel on your side. Your attorney can streamline your recovery and reduce the time required to resolve your case.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Personal Injury Claim?

A: If you need to file a personal injury claim in response to your car accident, the time it could take to resolve the case will largely depend on whether the defendant accepts liability and the scope and severity of the damages you suffered in the accident. If you are able to resolve your case through auto insurance alone, it may take only a few weeks, but a personal injury claim could take several months or more than a year to complete.

Q: When Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney?

A: You should contact a car accident attorney as quickly as possible after an accident so they can immediately begin working on your case. You may need several forms of evidence to succeed in your recovery efforts, and it is important to begin recovering this evidence as quickly as possible. After receiving medical treatment for the injuries you suffered, you should contact an attorney immediately, and it is always advisable to consult an attorney before speaking with an insurance company.

The team at Amendt Law wants to help you resolve your car accident case as swiftly as possible with the optimal outcome. When you hire our firm for your case, you will have a dedicated legal team ready to address your concerns and answer your questions as they arise, and we are confident in our ability to resolve the most challenging cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the legal services we provide.

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