After a serious car crash in Long Beach or elsewhere in Southern California, you are likely facing astronomical medical bills and significant lost wages. Not to mention the emotional and psychological stress associated with a severe auto accident. When you are dealing with the aftermath of a collision, you need to get compensation from the responsible party.
Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may open a claim with the negligent party’s insurer, which is a third-party claim. Or, if the other driver does not have auto insurance then you would bring a claim against your own insurance company, a first-party claim. There are many different factors that go into car insurance claim settlements. We will discuss some of the key issues with you. No matter what, it is important to have an experienced California car accident attorney on your side. To assist with the negotiation process and to ensure that you are taken care of by the insurance company.
Insurance Requirements Under California Law
When you file a car insurance claim—whether you file with your own insurance company or with the negligent party’s insurance company—one of the first major issues that can affect the timing of a settlement offer is the size of the policy limits that are covering the negligent driver.
Under California law, drivers must carry the following types of coverage:
- Bodily injury liability of $15,000 per person;
- Bodily injury liability of $30,000 per accident;
- Property damage liability of $5,000;
Even though it is not mandatory under:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury of $15,000 per person; and
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury of $30,000 per accident.
The size of the policy limits of the negligent driver may affect the timing of the settlement. If the policy limits are too small compared to the injuries, the insurance company may want to complete a settlement quicker. Compared to, where the policy limits are bigger than the injuries.
If you file a third-party claim and the negligent driver does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your losses. The case may take longer because you may have to file an underinsured motorist claim through your insurance company for compensation.
Negotiating the Insurance Claim Settlement
Typically, the longest part of an insurance claims process is negotiating a settlement. After finishing medical treatment, a demand claim is filed with the negligent insurance company. From here the insurance company can take anywhere from a week to months to make a first settlement offer. Afterward is where negotiation begins.
If you and the insurance company cannot agree on the compensation, the only option may be to file a lawsuit. Litigating a lawsuit in courts may take years. From when the case is filed to when a jury decides the outcome of a case.
It is extremely important to have an attorney on your side who can help to navigate your case.
You should also remember that the California Code of Regulations involves fair claims settlement practices. Which means that insurers offer a fair settlement after acknowledging a claim and conducting an investigation in which it determines that the claimant is due.
Discuss Your Case with a California Car Accident Attorney
Depending upon the nature of your case, the settlement process can take weeks, months, and sometimes even longer. In particular, in cases where injury victims must file lawsuits to get compensation, the case can last for years. To seek help with your claim, you should get in touch with a California car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Beliz Law Firm for more information.
To seek help with your claim, you should get in touch with a California car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Beliz Law Firm for more information.