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How To Get Car Accident Settlements In California

Auto Accident Settlement Timeline In California

A settlement is an arrangement made by a victim and the negligent party's insurance provider. Instead of battling it out in court, the parties involved might negotiate a specific amount to compensate the victim.


A court decision is not the same as a settlement for injuries from a car accident. Depending on the victim and the case, deciding whether to settle a personal injury lawsuit or take it to trial might be difficult. However, that choice can be made simpler by seeking the advice of an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney.


car accident settlement timeline

A Typical Car Accident Settlement Timeline In California

Although there is no predetermined formula for calculating your settlement award, there are procedures you should follow:


1. Right After The Accident

Your car accident settlement timeline starts almost right after the accident. This is where you can establish evidence that will help you in the future.

Here are a few tips to ensure your claim is preserved:

  1. Evaluate your situation and call 911. Make sure everyone in the car, including you, is secure. If somebody is hurt, get medical attention right away. Your medical records may serve as proof of your injuries as well.

  2. Make a police call. A police report is an excellent way to support your case. You can request the document a few days after it is filed.

  3. Obtain evidence. Taking pictures and videos after the collision, as well as any physical evidence and witness accounts, are all great ways to gather evidence at the site.

  4. Write things down. Describe what happened in writing, noting any significant information and damaged property.

  5. Inform your insurance provider. Give your insurance company an accident report but wait to sign anything.

  6. Contact a prescreened Los Angeles Auto Accident Attorney. Lawyers will aid you in navigating the settlement and, if required, a legal proceeding.

best car accident attorney in california

2. Sending A Demand Letter

A demand letter is a formal document often made by a prescreened Los Angeles car accident lawyer to demand payment that addresses the other party's fault.


A demand letter, also known as an insurance claim letter, is used in an Auto Insurance Settlement Process to convince the insurance company to provide compensation by outlining the details of the auto accident.

In the best scenario, the insurance company will compensate you enough to cover all your financial and emotional losses. However, it is in the interest of these companies to lowball or refuse a claim. They can do this by trivializing your injuries or deliberately lowering their offer.

3. Response And Settlement Negotiations


After sending your demand letter, you and your Los Angeles car accident attorney will wait for the insurance company to respond. When they do, you can start engaging in negotiations for the total price of the compensation.

Many civil cases involving auto accidents are settled out of court. The settlement is reached and the dispute is settled if the defendant accepts the suggested payment.

The dispute will go to trial if it cannot be settled amicably and one or both parties decide to pursue and defend their claims. You should also go to court if the defendant doesn't respond to your demand letter.


The transition from settlement to trial can be demanding and costly. However, your Los Angeles Auto Accident Attorney will always fight for your interests and ensure the outcome favors you.

How Long Do Most Car Accident Settlements Take?

So, how long does it take to get a car settlement in California? Well, it could take a few weeks to several years.


Since not all auto accident lawsuit timelines are the same, the time you have to wait can vary based on the following factors:

  • The severity of physical and emotional injuries

  • Total financial expenses, i.e., medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, etc.

  • Projected financial expenses, i.e., future medical bills, reduced income, etc.

  • Who and how many parties you are suing/sending demand letters to

Contact a prescreened Los Angeles car accident lawyer to review your case to ensure you're going through the proper process and getting the compensation you deserve.


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