Car Accident Settlement Payouts in California
Most car accident claims resolve with a settlement. That makes it essential for car accident victims to understand what a settlement is and how settlement payouts work in California.
LA Century Law has recovered millions of dollars for our clients in verdicts and settlements. It’s easy to work with us. We explain car accident settlement payouts in California.
What Is a Settlement in a Car Accident Case?
A settlement in a car accident case is an agreement to resolve the case. The parties reach a mutual agreement on how to resolve the case, usually with the defendant paying an amount to the plaintiff.
The defendant or their insurance carrier will pay a settlement amount in exchange for a release against the party responsible for the crash or incident.
What’s included in a car accident settlement?
A car accident settlement may include all the losses and damages you have due to an accident. Physical injury, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and property damage may all be included in a car accident settlement. Each car accident settlement should specify what is included and whether it is a complete resolution of the claim.
Is a settlement the same thing as a judgment at trial?
A settlement is an enforceable judgment, just like a trial verdict. It is harder for either party to appeal than a trial verdict because the parties enter into it voluntarily. Once it’s entered, a settlement is binding on both parties, and the defendant or their insurance carrier must pay the agreed-upon amount.
What Damages Can Be Part of a California Car Accident Settlement?
Damages that can be a part of a California car accident settlement may include:
- Emergency medical bills
- Medical bills for treatment, including in the future
- Physical therapy
- Prescriptions, mobility support
- Property damage
- Lost wages and benefits
- Incidental financial expenses
- Replacement household services
- Pain and suffering
- Mental health injuries and treatment
- Emotional anguish
- Disfigurement and lifestyle limitations
- Wrongful death damages
Does the other side have to make a settlement offer?
Neither side has to make a settlement offer. When the victim prepares a strong case, the other side is more likely to approach settlement negotiations seriously as an effective way to resolve the case.
Do you have to accept a settlement offer?
Just like neither side has to extend a settlement offer, accepting a settlement offer is not mandatory. You may reject the offer and proceed with the case. If the parties are unable to resolve the case through a settlement, the case is resolved at trial.
Are settlement negotiations a part of every car accident case?
Usually, the courts facilitate the parties to participate in settlement negotiations. Rest assured, you’ll have opportunities to discuss settlement. In addition to formal proceedings like mediation, you may also approach settlement negotiations directly with the other party as you choose.
How long does it take to get paid once you have a settlement in a car accident case?
A settlement offer should contain a timeline for finalizing payment. Typically, you should expect to receive compensation within 30 days of finalizing the settlement.
How do you create a settlement for a car accident case?
To create a car accident case settlement, the parties must reduce the agreement to writing. They should state all the relevant terms in the document. Both parties should sign the agreement and date it. If the case is active in the courts, the settlement should be entered as a court judgment for a signature from the presiding judge.
What Should You Do If the Insurance Company Offers a Low Settlement?
If the insurance company doesn’t offer you a fair settlement, you should continue to build your claim and pursue it in the legal system. Review any reasons the insurance company gives to see if you should respond with more information or a counteroffer. Continue to build your case to put you in a strong position to take the case to trial, if necessary.
Does a settlement offer extend the statute of limitations?
No. A settlement offer does not extend the statute of limitations. Beware of the timelines that exist in the case, especially if you are approaching the deadline. The defense may try to stall the case, hoping you’ll miss the deadline. The statute of limitations is the same even if a party extends a settlement in the case.
Can you get a car accident settlement without filing a legal claim?
It is possible to get a car accident settlement without filing a legal claim. It may or may not be possible to receive a fair settlement without filing formally. Sometimes, formal legal proceedings are necessary.
Does a car accident settlement resolve the case faster?
Settling usually resolves the case faster than having a trial. You don’t have to wait for a trial date and take the time to present the case at trial. You may resolve the case by settlement at any time in the process.
If there are multiple defendants, can you reach a settlement with just one or some of them?
If a case has multiple defendants, you may reach a settlement with just one of them or some of them. The case proceeds with any parties who have not settled their legal claims.
Who decides the appropriate settlement amount?
No judge or third party decides the amount where the parties should settle the case. The parties each approach settlement negotiations with their impression of the value of the case. They discuss the appropriate settlement among themselves, although a neutral third party may facilitate negotiations.
How Can a California Lawyer Help With Car Accident Settlements?
As you pursue a car accident settlement in California, it’s important to know the approximate value of the case. It’s critical to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case. In addition, it’s important to present the information strategically in negotiations. An experienced lawyer can help you approach your settlement effectively to maximize results.
Lawyers for Car Accident Settlement Payouts
At LA Century Law, we are experienced in negotiating car accident settlement payouts. See if you may qualify for a settlement and how we can help you receive a fair amount for your damages and suffering. Contact us today for a consultation.