No one wants to think about being involved in a car accident, especially one that results in serious injuries or death. While there is nothing positive about a tragic event such as this, filing a car accident claim may provide the financial resources that you need to start rebuilding your life. Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at the law offices of El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can assist you in understanding how the car accident injury settlement process works.
Will I Be Offered a Settlement?
If you are injured by another party and you file a car insurance claim against your own insurer or a third-party insurer, there is a very strong likelihood that you will be offered a settlement. This is because the insurance company does not want your case to go to court, which is expensive for the insurance company and has an unpredictable outcome.
What’s included in a Settlement?
What will be included in your settlement will vary depending upon the extent of harm that you have suffered, but you have the right to seek compensation for the full extent of your economic and noneconomic damages, including medical expenses, property damage expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The insurer will determine the value of your settlement by conducting a car accident investigation, consulting with experts, and reviewing applicable insurance policies (policy limits can affect a settlement).
Keep in mind that while your settlement will likely include compensation for your medical bills, you may not get to keep this money if another party (i.e. your health insurance company) has already paid your bills.
Do I Have to Accept a Settlement Offer?
No – you absolutely do not have to accept a first settlement offer, and should rarely do so. First-time settlement offers are often much lower than they should be; the insurance company is most interested in saving the insurance company money and mitigating costs. It is strongly recommended that you work with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer who can represent you in negotiations and maximize your car accident settlement award.
While you do not have to accept a first settlement offer, reaching a settlement agreement out of court is recommended. Going to trial is an expensive endeavor, and one that may not yield the outcome you’re hoping for.
How Long Does the Settlement Process Take?
Each case is different. How long the settlement process will take depends on a number of things, including how long it takes you to reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), the length of the investigation, the length of settlement negotiations, and more.
Contact Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers Today
Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys have experience working with insurance adjusters and representing accident victims during the settlement process. If you need an advocate on your side who’s interested in ensuring you get the amount of compensation you deserve, call our lawyers today for a free consultation. You can also contact us online by sending us a message directly.