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Does filing a claim after a car wreck automatically mean going to trial?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

You’ve been injured in a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, and you’d like to hold the other party accountable for your losses. However, you dread the idea of filing a lawsuit and ending up in lengthy litigation.

Well, there’s good news: The majority of car accident claims are settled well before a lawsuit ever gets filed.

It can take 2 years to file a lawsuit, and you’ll probably settle first

In California, you have two full years to file a lawsuit after a car wreck — and you can wait until the very last day of those two years to do so.

In reality, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that only 3% of civil injury claims end up being adjudicated at trial. Most claims are settled through negotiations with the insurance company without the involvement of a judge or jury,

Naturally, insurance companies aren’t exactly eager to hand out large settlements. If they think they can devalue your claim, they will. Some of the negotiating points you can expect to hear could include:

  • Any evidence that you may have contributed to the accident through a mistake of your own
  • Any evidence that you may have contributed to the severity of your own injuries, such as failing to wear your seat belt
  • Questions about the true severity of your injuries and how they actually affect your life
  • Doubts about the true extent of your other losses, like missed wages and medical expenses

Understanding what you should and shouldn’t say when you speak to an insurance adjuster (or whether you should speak to them at all) can be very confusing, especially when you’re struggling with your injuries. Reaching out for legal assistance may be the wisest move to make.

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