How Long Does It Take To Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check in California?
David Muñoz | March 3, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you were injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, you might be anxious to get the money you need to pay for medical expenses and make up for lost wages. You might be wondering, “How long does it take to get a personal injury settlement check in California?”
In this blog post, Mission Personal Injury Lawyers explains the settlement process with the intent of giving you a better idea about when you might be able to expect a settlement check in your case.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
The sooner you hire a personal injury lawyer, the sooner a legal professional can start helping you. A lawyer can assist you in filing your claim and with all phases of your case.
Filing a Claim
Filing a claim generally involves reporting the accident to the at-fault party’s insurance company or your own insurance company, depending on the circumstances.
Investigating the Claim
Next, the insurance adjuster and your lawyer may investigate the claim. This may involve:
- Reviewing the official accident report
- Examining pictures and/or videos of the accident
- Reading witness statements about the accident
- Reviewing applicable rules
- Reading insurance policy language
It is important to understand that your lawyer and the insurance adjuster have different goals for the investigation. The insurance company will do anything possible to try to blame you for the accident so they can deny the claim and save money.
In contrast, your lawyer’s goal is to show the at-fault party was negligent in causing the accident and is responsible for the full extent of your damages.
Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement
Our personal injury lawyers generally do not recommend attempting to settle a claim until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Maximum medical improvement in California is defined as a point in your treatment when your condition is stabilized and is unlikely to improve in the next year.
We recommend waiting until you reach maximum medical improvement because then a doctor can assess whether you are permanently disabled and, if so, to what extent. We can add up all of your medical expenses and consult with doctors about your anticipated care for the future to determine the medical expenses aspect of your claim. We can also determine if your long-term earning potential will be affected because of your injuries.
We want to know the long-term effects the injury had on your life so that we can negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Preparing a Demand Letter
Once we know how the injuries have affected you, we can prepare a demand package that states:
- How the accident happened
- Why the insured is responsible for the accident
- The damages you sustained
- A statement that if you do not receive fair compensation, your case may go to court
California law governs how long the insurance company has to respond to such communications.
Negotiating for Fair Compensation
The insurance adjuster might not agree to the amount we first demand. They may come back with a lower number. We may engage in several rounds of negotiation before we reach an agreeable number.
Time Limits Under California Law
Under California’s Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, insurers must comply with various deadlines, including:
- 15 days to acknowledge your claim
- “Promptly” providing necessary claim forms, instructions, and reasonable assistance after receiving the claim
- 15 days to respond to all pertinent communications from you
- 40 days to investigate the claim
- 40 days to accept or deny your claim from the date of receipt of your claim unless you receive written notice of the need for more time
Your lawyer will be familiar with these timeframes and can ensure insurance companies follow them and that your claim is treated seriously. Contact a knowledgeable lawyer for help with your case.
Contact the San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm of Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Get More Information
Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108
We also serve the state of Texas. Contact our personal injury law office in El Paso for legal assistance today.