How Long Does It Take to Resolve a California Car Accident Claim?
If you are one of the three million people injured in car accidents every year in the US, you may get some comfort from knowing that you do have legal remedies for recovering compensation from the at-fault driver. However, despite the common perception that you sue in court, the first step in the legal process typically involves filing a claim with the responsible motorist’s insurance company. One of the most important reasons that the California Department of Motor Vehicles implements minimum liability insurance requirements is to provide options for victims who sustain tremendous losses because of a driver’s carelessness.
Knowing this key detail about the process for obtaining monetary damages, you will probably also want the answer to a critical question: How long does it take to resolve a California car accident claim? The response depends upon numerous factors, so it is wise to discuss your situation with an Oakland car accident lawyer. In short, timing is related to how your claim proceeds through these basic stages:
Investigation and Gathering Evidence: You cannot expect to receive compensation simply by filling out some claims forms, as the insurance company will need strong evidence before paying out under the responsible driver’s policy. The insurer will focus on two key issues:
- Who was at fault in causing the accident; and,
- The nature and severity of your injuries.
Therefore, you will need solid evidence regarding the other motorist’s fault, such as pictures of the scene, images of damage to vehicles, and witness accounts. Regarding your injuries, you must collect your medical records, invoices, and receipts for all out-of-pocket expenses. This stage of the claims process may take just 7-10 days.
Filing an Insurance Claim: Once you submit your forms and supporting documentation, the insurance company will conduct its own investigation regarding the two points above. The results of this probe are likely to be very different from your own, since the insurer will be looking for reasons to deny your claim or make a lowball counteroffer. As grounds for its determination, the insurance company may try to blame the accident on you or contest the seriousness of your injuries. Therefore, be weary of giving recorded statements to insurance companies because they will try to use anything you say to deny or minimize your claim.
For small claims, you may be able to reach a settlement with the responsible driver’s insurance company and resolve your claim through direct negotiations. Though the details will vary based on your case, you could receive payment within weeks or a few months. If you have a significant injury, or suspect that this may be the case, you should not aim for an early settlement because it is almost certain to be unfair to you.
When to Get an Attorney: If you are unsure about the extent of your injuries, or you suspect that your injuries may not heal quickly, it is advisable to contact an attorney to protect your rights. Without an attorney, the insurance company is likely to low-ball you and pressure you into a quick settlement that does not adequately compensate you for your losses. It is important to hire an attorney early so that they can handle the claims process and any litigation so that you can focus on getting better. Legal resolution of significant injuries typically requires more time because we need to determine and document the full scope and duration of your injuries.
Settlement Negotiations: After the insurer investigates and responds to demand for compensation, your attorney will still have the opportunity to engage in settlement negotiations. Your attorney will diligently work to get sufficient compensation for:
- Your medical costs;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering; and,
- Losses related to your diminished quality of life.
Our Oakland Car Accident Attorneys Will Assist Throughout the Process
From this description, you can see that there is no definite time within which you can expect to resolve your claim. Sometime getting fair value for significant injuries requires time. Our Oakland car accident lawyers at Venardi Zurada, LLP strive for the best possible outcome in recovering damages, while also balancing your legal rights and interests. For more information, please contact our offices to set up a free consultation.
You can be confident in relying on our zealous and effective Oakland personal injury lawyers:
We have served Northern California for over 35 years.
Our attorneys have been honored with numerous accolades, including SuperLawyers, AV Rating, and Top 100 Trial Attorney Awards.
In our decades of legal service to the community, we have garnered a substantial reputation. We are respected by opposing counsel, feared by insurance companies, and followed by jurors.
We combine Big Firm experience with boutique office attention and care. Several of our attorneys have experience working for the biggest law firms in the country, including the most prominent maritime defense law firm. Our attorneys rely on that big-firm know-how but prefer the personal touch of a smaller firm, allowing us to provide individualized and attentive representation to each of our clients.
We’ve been through it, too. Attorney Mark Venardi had to personally deal with a medical malpractice injury he suffered at a time when he was working a blue-collar job on an offshore oil rig; he knows what it’s like to be a working man dealing with a personal injury. He built his way up to working for the biggest maritime defense firm in the country, before deciding to focus on helping people like himself who were hurt by negligence and mistreatment from others.
We like to fight for the underdog. Attorney Martin Zurada is an immigrant and the son of immigrants who tirelessly worked his way up through education and experience to attain the American dream. Even though he has served in large, high-level litigation law firms, he prefers helping clients directly, fighting against injustices, and securing victories for the little guy who has been wronged.
We win. We have secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. In our combined tenure, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients across our broad areas of practice.
We care first and foremost about our clients. We dedicate ourselves to serve each and every client personally, and we make ourselves available to our clients around the clock.
There is no cost to you until we win. If we don’t make a recovery for you, we will not collect a fee. And all initial consultations are free of charge.
Dedicated Areas of Practice
We offer a wide range of litigation services for Oakland personal injury and employment law clients. Specifically, our areas of dedicated practice span the following issues:
Employment Law. California employers must assure proper pay to employees and comply with a variety of rules and regulations to prevent discrimination and unfair treatment of employees. We represent victims of wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and any other form of California workplace mistreatment. If you believe you were treated inappropriately at work, we can help.
Personal Injury. If you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. That’s where we come in. As Oakland personal injury attorneys, we right the wrongs done to our clients. And we do it at our cost during the entire duration of your case. There is never any fee until we win. Give us a call if you have been hurt in a car accident, by a toxic spill or contamination, as a result of medical malpractice, due to abuse or neglect, in a maritime accident, by a vicious animal attack, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence.
The Sooner You Speak to an Oakland Injury Lawyer, the Stronger Your Chances for Recovery Will Become.
Contact the Oakland injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada today, and let’s get started. We are available to talk any time, so whether you call, email or chat online, we’ll respond and set up an appointment to meet you. We have several Spanish speakers in the office and welcome the opportunity to cater our services to Oakland’s Spanish-speaking population. You pay no fee until we win for you, so you have nothing to lose by contacting our office for a free consultation. The sooner you call, the faster we can start getting results for you. Call 925-937-3900.