How Long Does It Take to Settle a Motorcycle Accident in California?
When you’re in a motorcycle accident, you need to know how long it will take to settle your claim for financial compensation. In California, it varies, depending on several factors that are specific to the case. This is why it is important to be weary of any attorney that says they have a crystal ball and know exactly how long it can take. Below we discuss the different variables that affect how long it can take to settle your dispute.
The San Bernardino motorcycle accident attorneys at LA Century Law explain how long it may take to settle a motorcycle accident, the process and what may make a case take longer.
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Settlement Take in California?
A typical motorcycle accident settlement in California take anywhere from 4 months to a couple years. In general, the more complicated a case, the longer it takes to settle. For example, if the defendant (other driver) accepts fault for the crash and the injuries are significant, the matter can resolve in a few months. On the other hand, if the defendant driver is disputing that they caused the crash, and we need to prove them at fault, we can be forced to file a lawsuit, which extends the timeline to settle your dispute. However, diligently building your case with the help of an experienced attorney can help speed up your settlement.
Why Do Some Motorcycle Accident Claims Take So Long?
Some motorcycle accident claims may be relatively straightforward. It may be obvious who is at fault, and injuries may be mild or moderate. In these circumstances, resolving the case is a matter of establishing a medical history, valuing damages and approaching the insurance company.
There may be a minor back-and-forth settlement negotiation. However, the parties can easily agree on an approximate case value and the appropriate payment. The parties execute settlement documents, and the case ends in a few months.
Some cases take longer – that’s not necessarily a bad thing or a sign that anything is wrong.
There may be factors that require more time. It may depend on the client’s wishes and case goals.
Process for Settling a Motorcycle Accident in California
The process for settling a motorcycle accident in California always starts the same – an accident has occurred, and the victim is hurt. A claim starts with investigating who is responsible, what insurance policies may provide compensation and the amount of the victim’s damages. This is why it is so important to gather as much information at the scene of the crash, so that this information is mostly readily available.
In some cases, injuries are moderate. Economic damages can be determined in a few months, and non-economic damages can be evaluated. If injuries are straightforward, the process may stop when the insurance company makes a settlement offer. This is the fastest path to a settlement for a California motorcycle accident case. It may be the best path for some victims.
However, there may be reasons to continue the process to a formal claim.
If it’s necessary to file a legal claim or lawsuit, there is still some variation in how long a claim may take. Even among claims that are filed in court, only a small percentage will go to trial.
Most cases proceed through discovery, which can effectively narrow the issues in dispute and clarify the approximate value of the case. Then, strategic negotiations can result in a settlement.
Whether your case settles in the early or the late stages of formal litigation, or if it proceeds to trial, can greatly impact how long your case takes. A formal motorcycle accident legal claim may take as long as two years.
Factors Impacting How Long It Takes to Settle a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Let’s discuss some factors that may impact how long it takes to settle a motorcycle accident claim. In any case, a single factor may matter greatly, or it may not matter at all.
Factors that may make a motorcycle accident settlement take longer in California may include:
- Contested fault: It may be clear that one party is at fault for the accident. Alternatively, the defense may allege comparative negligence, or there may be multiple parties involved in a case. Contested fault can make a case take longer while parties build evidence.
- Pending charges or traffic tickets: Sometimes, a party at fault for a motorcycle accident may face criminal charges, like drunk driving or reckless driving. While a civil claim doesn’t necessarily wait, the presence of criminal charges may add time to a settlement.
- Severe injuries: When a party has severe injuries, like paralysis, burns and brain damage, it can take time to fully value these damages. Future damages are extremely important, and you may need experts to explain long-term consequences and compensation.
- Issues unique to motorcycle cases: There may be issues that are unique to motorcycle claims that take time to address. Road conditions, weather and even the design of the road may uniquely factor into a motorcycle crash. You may require expert medical testimony to explain how the accident resulted in certain injuries.
- Court scheduling: The case may be scheduled for trial quickly, or there may be a long wait for other cases.
Finally, a factor that can make a motorcycle accident settlement take longer in California is failing to start or build your case. To settle your case, you must start your case. Utilizing discovery, production of documents and requests for admission can help you narrow issues in dispute and make settlement negotiations more productive. Working with experienced legal counsel can help you work efficiently and minimize delays as you pursue your motorcycle accident settlement.
Talk to a Lawyer
Do you deserve a motorcycle accident settlement? Are you wondering how long it may take to settle your motorcycle accident claim in California? Contact LA Century Law for a personalized consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney. Use our online contact form or call us today!