How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in California

how much to expect from a car accident settlement California

Car accidents can be devastating and life-changing. There were 15,342 serious injuries on California roadways in 2020, and the number is expected to increase. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Most people involved in car accidents have many questions about their legal rights. You may be wondering about how much to expect from a car accident settlement in California, how long the process takes to receive funds, and if it is necessary to hire an attorney. Though the answers to those questions are unique to each situation, we can help you understand your options.

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How Long Do Car Accident Settlements Take?

Once you have filed a claim with the insurance company, it must accept or deny your claim within 40 days, though this deadline may be extended if the company deems it reasonably necessary. Take into consideration that an adjuster will conduct an investigation into the value of your claim.

Adjusters often undervalue the future expenses associated with your injury, leaving you with a settlement that does not cover the extent of what you need. An experienced California car accident attorney can negotiate on your behalf. Once a settlement is accepted, the insurance company has 30 days to issue payment. If you accept a settlement, you cannot go back and ask for additional funds

In a situation where a fair settlement cannot be reached, it may be best to file a lawsuit. The California statute of limitations extends two years from the date of your car accident. Under this rule, you must file a lawsuit within that time frame or be barred from doing so. 

It can be intimidating to consider the amount of time you are waiting for compensation, but in determining how long car accident settlements take, your legal strategy will have a significant impact. For example, it will take much less time if you’re open to a fair settlement than if you go to trial.

How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in California

There is no average settlement amount for car accidents. The amount of compensation you are entitled to depends on a number of factors, including: 

  • The severity of your injuries;
  • Current and future medical expenses;
  • Current and future lost wages and earning potential;
  • Your degree of physical, mental, and emotional pain; and 
  • Whether you shared any fault in causing the accident. 

When considering how much to expect from a car accident settlement in California, it is important to know that you can be partially at fault and still recover damages.

California follows a rule of modified comparative negligence. Under this rule, your degree of fault is taken into account in determining your compensation. For example, if your award was $100,000 and you were found 20 percent at fault, you would still receive $80,000. 

Is It Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident?

Many victims without attorneys accept the first settlement offer provided because they want their funds quickly. But they often do this without understanding the value of their injuries. An experienced attorney can conduct an independent investigation into your accident. This will serve the purpose of determining fault as well as the value of your claim.

In some cases, this may require testimony from a medical expert who can provide an injury prognosis. If you are seeking justice and to get the most out of your car accident settlement, you would be wise to have an experienced attorney in your corner. 

Contact Us

Unlike other firms, the attorneys at Starpoint Law are selective in the cases we choose to pursue. We are confident in our ability to help victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Not only do we have an impeccable record, but we have also earned multiple million-dollar awards on behalf of those injured in California car accidents. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation. 

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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