Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers | February 3, 2023 | Personal Injury
One of the most common questions our Vista personal injury lawyers answer is, “How long does it take to get a personal injury settlement check in California?” But, unfortunately, there is not a one-fits-all answer to that question.
The circumstances and factors in your case impact the timeline for a personal injury settlement. Each personal injury case is unique. Therefore, your case could settle within a few months, or it could take more than a year to receive a personal settlement check.
The key is patience. Rushing to settle a personal injury claim typically results in a lower settlement amount. The insurance company may offer a quick settlement, but the amount is probably far less than your claim is worth.
What Factors Affect How Long It Takes To Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check in California?
When an experienced Vista personal injury attorney evaluates your case, the attorney explains the various factors that could impact your case. Unfortunately, most of the factors are not within your control. However, experienced injury lawyers understand how to maximize personal injury settlements while working to put money in your pocket as soon as possible.
Factors that impact how soon you can expect to receive a personal injury settlement check include:
Your Injuries and Recovery
Settling your personal injury case before you reach maximum medical improvement could mean leaving thousands of dollars in the insurance company’s pocket. Maximum medical improvement, or MMI, is when your doctor states you have fully recovered or sustained a permanent impairment.
Until you reach MMI, you cannot know the full extent of your damages. It is impossible to know how much your medical bills and lost wages total. Furthermore, you could be entitled to future damages if you have a disability because of the injury or accident.
Sustaining Permanent Disabilities and Impairments
Personal injury cases involving disabilities and permanent impairments can take longer to settle. In addition to economic and non-economic damages from the injury date until the present, you could also receive future damages.
Future damages include, but are not limited to:
- Ongoing medical and/or personal care
- Long-term nursing and skilled care
- Continuing pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- A decrease in future earning capacity and future lost wages
The injured victim has the burden of proving they will incur future damages and the value of those damages. Therefore, attorneys hire financial professionals, medical specialists, and other expert witnesses to calculate future damages. It takes longer to obtain expert opinions and reports, but it could result in millions of dollars in future damages.
Disputes About Fault and Liability
California is an at-fault state for personal injury cases. The victim has the burden of proving the legal elements of a personal injury claim to receive financial compensation for damages. The legal elements in most personal injury lawsuits include:
If you cannot prove the other party directly and proximately caused your injury, they are not responsible for your injuries, losses, and damages. You must have sufficient evidence proving causation to establish liability.
When the other party disputes fault or liability, it could take longer to settle your case. Your lawyer may need to hire expert witnesses to gather evidence to build a strong case. Also, your attorney might need to fight allegations of contributory fault, which could reduce your settlement amount.
Additionally, the type of case can increase the time it takes to settle the claim. Complex personal injury cases take longer to settle. Medical malpractice, product liability, and premises liability are cases that could increase the time it takes to get a personal injury settlement check.
The Insurance Company and Parties Involved in the Case
Personal injury cases involving multiple parties can take longer to settle. First, we must sort out liability for damages. The parties might argue and dispute liability by blaming the other parties for the cause of your injury.
Some insurance companies can be easier to work with than other companies. The insurance company’s willingness to negotiate in good faith is a factor when you get a settlement check for a personal injury claim.
If the insurance company or at-fault party refuses to negotiate a fair settlement amount, the best option might be to file a personal injury lawsuit. Lawsuits can take more than a year to go to trial after filing the lawsuit.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check After Signing a Settlement Agreement?
The good news is that most personal injury cases are settled through negotiations between the parties instead of going to trial. When you sign a settlement agreement, the insurance company sends your lawyer a settlement check. It could take a few days to a few weeks to receive the check.
Your lawyer deposits the check into their trust account. Once the check clears, your attorney disburses the funds. The law firm receives the contingency fee and reimbursement for costs.
Your attorney must pay medical liens and subrogation claims. Then, you receive a check for the net settlement proceeds.
An experienced Vista personal injury law firm has the resources to pursue cases in the most expedient means possible. That is an advantage of hiring an experienced lawyer to handle your case.
Contact the North County Personal Injury Lawyers at Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
We serve in North County, CA and its surrounding areas: