How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take in California?

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take in California?

Money is an immediate concern in every personal injury case. You are likely dealing with the effects of the accident, both emotionally and financially. You could also miss work, with money already coming out of your limited funds. You could be entitled to financial compensation as a result of your accident, although it may take some time. Contact the San Bernardino injury attorneys at LA Century Law to learn more about your legal rights and the possible timing of your car accident settlement.

Deadlines for the Insurance Company to Respond to Your Claim

California law imposes certain deadlines on the insurance company when they are processing and responding to a claim. Insurance companies have been known to find any way to delay your claim to make you more desperate to settle. Here are the relevant insurance company timetables deadlines in California:

  • An insurance company has 15 days to issue a response from the time that they receive your claim. This response is just an acknowledgment and not a decision.
  • The insurance company has 40 days to decide whether to accept or reject a claim.
  • The insurance company can also request an extension if they need more time to process a claim, reporting back to you every 30 days about the status.
  • Insurance companies have 85 days to settle a claim after it has been filed. This does not automatically mean that they will pay you everything that you deserve because you asked for it.

Not only is the insurance company bound by California law, but it must also follow the principles of good faith. If the insurance company unreasonably delays a claim, they can be sued for bad faith.

Your Car Accident Case Can Take Far Longer than Required Timeframes

The reality is that your case will take much longer than the timelines prescribed by California law. The big delay in the process will be the time that it takes to settle the claim. The insurance company is only obligated to make an initial settlement offer within the required timeframe.

Chances are that the offer is going to be very low, and you will have to negotiate with the insurance company.

Negotiations with the insurance company can be painstaking and slow. The insurance company may take its time responding to your counterproposals after you have rejected their low settlement offers. It is not uncommon for the claims process alone to take a year or more in more complex cases with higher damages.

The Timing of Your Court Case May Depend on Several Factors

If your case goes to court, it is hard to give an exact estimate of the time that your case will take.

The exact timing depends on a combination of rules and the court’s docket. If your case goes all the way through to a trial, you should not expect it to be concluded within nine months. Usually, personal injury lawsuits take longer.

Before your case is resolved, you will need to go through the following steps:

  • Opening the lawsuit process by filing a complaint with the court and waiting for the other party to file their answer
  • Defending against any motions to dismiss that the defendant has filed
  • Gathering evidence from the defendant (and them seeking it from you) in the discovery process
  • Arguing your case to the jury, using your evidence to prove your case
  • Defending against an appeal after you win your case

The lawsuit process does not move quickly, and there is little that you can do on your own to make things proceed more quickly.

Factors That Impact the Timing of Your Case

Certain factors could control how long your personal injury case may take, including:

  • The complexity of the facts at issue
  • The amount of time that the court allocates to discovery
  • The court’s docket and when it schedules the case
  • Whether the defendant files an appeal if and when they lose the case

In most cases, there is very little that you can do to control the timing of your personal injury case. You must be prepared to hold out and fight for as long as it takes to get the money that you deserve. You should never be in a rush to conclude your personal injury case, even if it seems like it is difficult for you to hold out financially. The insurance company wants you to be in a position where you feel like you have to take what they are offering. Your patience can turn the tables on them.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in San Bernardino Today

To learn more about how long your settlement may take and the time limit to file a personal injury claim, contact an attorney at LA Century Law today. Although many factors are outside your control, we will do everything we can to keep the pressure on the insurance company to address your claim in a timely fashion. Call us today or send us a message online to discuss your case. You pay us nothing unless we win.

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1700 Post Oak Boulevard Houston, TX, 77056

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