Q. I was just injured in an accident, how long will it take to settle my claim?
A. Unfortunately the answer is, “it depends.” Yes that doesn’t answer your question at all, however you may find following information useful.
For more simple cases with less significant injuries, such as a traffic accident case with no major injuries, where liability is pretty straightforward, your claim can be settled as quickly as in 3 or 4 months. A case with much more significant injuries, and where the party at fault for the accident isn’t so clear, this could take much longer or in a lot of situations, have to be litigated in court.
Usually the determining factor is your medical condition.
Settlement negotiations usually do not start until you have reached a stable medical condition, or maximum improvement. In other words, you have fully recovered or you have reached a point where further treatment will not produce tangible results. You may need future treatment, however if these are foreseeable they can be accounted for in settlement talks.
Always keep in mind the final date that you can file a California injury case, otherwise known as the statute of limitations. Even if you are in settlement negotiations, if this deadline is approaching you must file the case because once it passes, the insurer or other party may be able to back out, and if you are barred from filing suit you may be left without any options. Settlement talks can continue after you have filed suit.