When you’re in a serious car accident, it can change your whole life in an instant. And if you’re facing a long recovery timeline or difficult financial circumstances, it’s totally normal to ask how long your car accident case will take to settle or fully resolve– and what you’ll receive in compensation for everything you’ve gone through.
The attorneys at Cohn & Swartzon, a personal injury firm in Southern California, would love to offer one-size-fits-all answers to these questions. But there aren’t any and be careful of anyone that gives a specific deadline. The truth is, the duration of your case and the amount you can receive will depend onthe specific details of your case. That said, there are also time-sensitive aspects of your accident claim that will need to be addressed to proceed.
How Long Does it Take to File a Report in California?
There are steps to take and deadlines to meet if you plan to pursue a car accident claim in California. Filing an accident report is just one part of the procedure.
According to The California Department of Insurance, for example, if anyone is injured or the vehicle damage exceeds $1,000.00, you must report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days using a form known as an SR-1 – which can now be filed online. Failure to notify the DMV may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
You may also need to report the accident to your insurance company but often, we see it is better for an experienced personal injury attorney to do so and state law requires that they respond in a timely manner. And you may need a copy of law enforcement’s accident report, which could take days, weeks or even months to secure.
All of this is just the beginning of the process after an accident. In order to recover the normal life that you had before the accident, there will be more information to gather, costs to consider, and claims to file. In fact, in our experience, most car accident victims don’t resolve their claim for months months after the accident occurs.
How Do You Know if Pursuing a Car Accident Settlement Will Be Worth it?
In most situations, the two biggest reasons car accident claims take so long are recovery and discovery. These are also the two main factors in determining whether your car accident case is worth pursuing for most personal injury attorneys.
Recovery, broadly speaking, is everything that you need to do to restore your normal life – or get as close to it as possible after the accident. Many serious car accidents require months, or even years, of medical treatment including chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, orthopedic treatment or other specialties including neurology. For example, it would be irresponsible to agree to a settlement before current and future medical treatment and costs could be determined.
Discovery in car accident cases can also take some time. There may be video evidence of the car accident to secure, witnesses to interview, evidence to download from vehicles, and much more – all of which can impact the outcome of your car accident claim.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney For Your Car Accident Settlement
The most important benefit of choosing to hire an attorney for your car accident claim is that “discovery” is no longer your responsibility. All you have to focus on is recovery and getting your life back.
The right personal injury attorney will investigate and collect the information necessary to present a strong case on your behalf. They’ll take the lead and streamline the process for you so that you can make informed decisions in these life-altering circumstances.
Also, hiring an attorney is the only way to make sure that you have a dedicated advocate who understands the process on your side. Many people still think that their insurance company will fill that role, only to find out too late that the only side that their insurance company is on is their own.
“I served as counsel for insurance companies before we founded Cohn & Swartzon, and one thing that was always clear is that those companies always try to minimize car accident claims– even if their insured was the victim. Because of that, it’s very difficult to get the best possible settlement without legal representation who will work on your behalf.”
– Jason D. Cohn, Founding Principal, Cohn & Swartzon
Finally, the attorneys at Cohn & Swartzon know how important communication is throughout the whole process, from recovery to discovery and beyond. When you’re trying to reclaim a normal life, it’s a lot easier to focus on recovery when you know that you have a dedicated team getting things done and moving your case forward.