In any circumstances, vehicle accidents are distressing. Even a seemingly minor accident can leave costly medical bills and dramatic life changes in its wake. If you were hurt in a vehicle accident, you might be asking yourself what to do next, how you can keep your case moving forward, or even if there is a light at the end of the tunnel for a settlement. You may be wondering what the average time for car accident settlements is, or how long it could be before you receive any compensation.
An experienced Sacramento car accident attorney will can make sure that you not only receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, but that you also receive it in a timely manner.
What is an Average Time for Car Accident Settlements: factors that impact timelines
Car Insurance Companies Can Slow Things Down
While, technically, yes, your insurance company represents you, that does not mean that they always have your best interests in mind. It’s quite the opposite, actually, since insurance companies are in the business of making money and pleasing their shareholders. The way they do that? Minimizing payouts how ever they can get away with it—including reducing, denying or delaying your settlement. No matter what kind of insurance you have, its still imperative to consult with an attorney to make certain someone is representing your best interests, not shareholders. The dedicated attorneys at The Law Offices of Zappettini & Bradley have the experience, skill, and passion to effectively and efficiently direct your case toward its best possible outcome.
Statute of Limitations Can Run Out Quicker than You’d Expect
We must discuss the statutes of limitations in California. In this state, you’ve got exactly 2 years from the date of the incident to bring a claim. This time is reduced to 6 months in cases of city or government entities. Two years may sound like plenty of time, but keep in mind, any extend recovery time from injuries can eat away at that very quickly. Thorough, well researched claims take time to be implemented correctly, and contacting an attorney as soon as possible can get the process started, and the average time for car accident settlements will vary, even if you do consult an attorney.
Your Case’s Individual Timeline is Unique
Car accident claims are all unique, which makes it nearly impossible to estimate how long any individual claim will take to conclude. Sometimes, claims are settled within a few weeks or months, and sometimes they can drag on for years. At the Law Offices of Zappettini & Bradley, we will strive to keep your case moving forward as efficiently as possible, while making sure your interests are protected. Of course, there are factors out there, that the best of attorneys cannot control, but we will help you navigate them successfully.
Your Injuries and Recovery are Major Factors
One of the most significant factors in any personal injury case is the type and severity of injuries you’ve suffered. While some injuries follow a fairly obvious path (such as fractured bones typically do), other common, if less predictable, injuries require careful assessments before you can calculate fair compensation. Such injuries include whiplash and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
If you suffered such injuries, your health should reach your “maximum medical improvement” (MMI), which refers to your fullest recovery, before you attempt negotiating your claim.
Because whiplash injuries and TBIs are so closely related to longer case-resolution timelines, we are going to discuss them a little more.
The neck is the most vulnerable anatomical part of the body, and whiplash can occur with head-on, side or rear impact collisions causing hyperflexion of the neck. Whiplash can also be used to describe lower body injuries depending on the impact and the position of the body at the time of the accident as well as the site of the injury. Whiplash injury can cause joint injury, muscle tears, ligament injury, joint dislocation, and tears to viscera (internal organs) and/or blood vessels.
Whiplash can present instantaneous symptoms, or its symptoms can develop with time. The pain and diminished range-of-neck-motion associated with a whiplash injury can vary from mild to severe, and these injuries sometimes resolve quickly, or may linger for years. In other words, never minimize or disregard whiplash. Your health and your rights are too important to leave to chance—or to an insurance company.
Traumatic Brain Injuries.
The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, especially children and older adults.
A TBI is caused by head trauma, which occurs very commonly in accidents. Your brain is mission control, and even a minor injury can leave long-lasting, highly unpredictable physical and emotional consequences. Traumatic brain injuries can be complicated to assess, and even more difficult to provide an accurate prognosis for. Having specialize care an evaluation is imperative in the case of TBI.
A traumatic brain injury can range in severity, and symptoms, which may include:
- Mood/behavior changes
- Sensory changes
- Sleep changes
- Learning Difficulties
The damage caused by traumatic brain injuries are impossible to exaggerate.
Calculating Individual Your Damages
The legal definition of “damages” is:
Monetary compensation that is awarded by a court in a civil action to an individual who has been injured through the wrongful conduct of another party.
Damages attempt to measure in financial terms the extent of harm a plaintiff has suffered because of a defendant’s actions. Damages are distinguishable from costs, which are the expenses incurred as a result of bringing a lawsuit and which the court may order the losing party to pay. Damages also differ from the verdict, which is the final decision issued by a jury.
Damages include medical expenses
If you are hurt in a vehicle accident, whether your injuries are minor or severe, you will probably see a range of medical expenses, including, but certainly not limited to:
- Ambulance transport from the scene
- Emergency Room care
- Surgeries and aftercare
- Physical Therapy
- Follow-up care and ongoing care
- Occupational Therapy
- Prescription medications
- Adaptive medical devices
- Home adaptations
Medical expenses add up quickly, and you will need compensation to cover them all if you were hurt by someone else’s negligence. Calculating your damages can affect the average time for car accident settlements, but are definitely worth doing correctly. We know that money does not make the pain and suffering go away, but it can help get you the care you need after your accident, and reduce the amount of stress you are under.
If You Were Hurt in a Car Accident, Consult the Law Offices of Zappettini & Bradley
If a car accident left you injured, you’re likely to ask many questions—not the least of which is, “What is the average time for car accident settlements?”
Car accident claims are all unique, which makes it nearly impossible to estimate an average time for car accident settlements, an experienced lawyer, familiar with cases like yours, will help you better understand your case’s probable timeline and will help efficiently navigate your claim toward a fair outcome. At The Law Offices of Zappettini & Bradley we have the experience, commitment, and compassion to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We’re here to help, and we can come to you if you’re still recovering, so please contact us online, or give us a call at 916-457-5022 today.