The process of settling a pedestrian accident case can be complex and time-consuming. In a personal injury case, various factors must be taken into consideration which can significantly influence the timeframe of a pedestrian accident settlement.
Pedestrian accident settlements can take anywhere from months to years to resolve. In this blog, we’ll explore the factors involved to help you better understand how long it might take to settle a pedestrian accident case.
Factors That Affect Your Settlement Timeframe
Several key factors can significantly impact the time it takes to reach a settlement including the following:
The Severity of Your Pedestrian Accident Injuries
One of the most critical factors in determining the settlement timeframe is the severity of your injuries. Typically, the victim’s medical treatment needs to be completed before a settlement can be reached. Therefore, cases involving minor injuries are often resolved more quickly than those with severe, long-lasting injuries that require more extensive treatment.
For example, cases involving minor injuries like bruises, sprains, or minor fractures typically settle more swiftly. When the accident results in significant injuries such as a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or permanent disability, the case may take longer due to the complexity of medical treatment and considerations for the future.
The Strength and Preservation of the Evidence
It’s crucial to preserve evidence promptly after the accident. Substantial evidence can expedite the claims process, while a lack of evidence may require further investigations which can cause delays.
Therefore, if there is clear and compelling evidence establishing liability, the case may be more likely to settle quickly. This evidence could include photographs, witness statements, police reports, and CCTV video footage.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather essential evidence, secure witness statements, and obtain police reports and medical records promptly.
The Determination of Liability
Establishing liability is a critical step in any pedestrian accident case. If the fault is clear-cut, it can speed up the settlement process. However, disputes over liability can prolong the case.
When it’s evident that the defendant is at fault and there is little room for dispute, the case is more likely to settle quickly. Cases with contested liability or multiple parties involved often require an extended negotiation process or even litigation to determine fault.
The Statute of Limitations in California
The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit after an accident. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents, is typically two years from the accident date.
Failing to file within this timeframe can result in your case being dismissed. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a pedestrian accident attorney promptly and ensure your case is filed within the statute of limitations to avoid potential delays.
Your Personal Injury Attorney’s Expertise
Your attorney’s skills and experience can significantly impact the timeline of settlement. An experienced attorney understands the legal process, negotiation strategies, and how to navigate potential roadblocks efficiently.
An experienced attorney can negotiate effectively with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement without unnecessary delays. In addition, their in-depth understanding of local laws can help streamline the claims process.
Negotiations With the Insurance Company
Negotiations with the insurance company can significantly impact the timeline of pedestrian accident cases. While an insurance company’s primary goal is to minimize payouts, effective negotiations can lead to a faster resolution.
Some insurance companies may be more cooperative and responsive, making it easier to reach a settlement. If the insurance company is uncooperative or disputes liability or the value of your claim, negotiations can become prolonged. An experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company and work to resolve your case in a timely manner.
If Your Pedestrian Accident Claim Goes to Trial
In some cases, despite negotiation efforts, a pedestrian accident claim may go to trial. This can significantly extend the time it takes to settle a case. Trials involve court dates, legal proceedings, and potentially a lengthy trial process, adding months or even years to a case’s resolution.
There is also an element of uncertainty, as the outcome depends on the judge and jury’s decisions. A personal injury lawyer has the resources and expertise to take your claim to trial, if necessary, to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Types of Compensation You Can Pursue After a Pedestrian Accident
The types of compensation pedestrian accident victims can pursue in a case include the following:
- Medical Expenses – Compensation for medical bills related to your accident injuries, including hospital bills, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
- Lost Wages – If your injuries result in missed work, you can pursue compensation for lost income.
- Pain and Suffering – Non-economic damages for physical and emotional suffering caused by the accident.
- Property Damage – Compensation for damage to personal property, such as clothing or personal belongings.
- Future Medical Expenses – If you require ongoing medical treatment or future care, your settlement may include these expenses.
- Wrongful Death – In cases involving fatal pedestrian accidents, compensation may be available to surviving family members for their loss.
What is the Average Settlement Amount in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
There is no fixed average settlement amount for pedestrian accident claims, but it’s essential to understand that several elements can influence the settlement value. Some of these factors can include the extent of your medical bills, the severity of your injuries, lost wages, lost future income, insurance policy limits, and liability. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can help you determine the value of your case and help you file a personal injury lawsuit.
An Attorney Can Possibly Help You Settle Your Pedestrian Accident Case Sooner
While the factors discussed earlier can influence the time it takes to settle a pedestrian accident case, having a skilled attorney on your side can expedite the process. Here’s how an attorney can assist you:
Legal Expertise – Attorneys have in-depth knowledge of pedestrian accident laws and can guide you throughout the entire legal process.
Evidence Gathering – Experienced attorneys know how to gather and preserve crucial evidence to build a strong case.
Negotiation Skills – Attorneys are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement. They will help you file an insurance claim and will facilitate all communications with the insurance company on your behalf.
Litigation Experience – If your case does go to trial, an experienced trial attorney can represent you effectively and help you recover maximum compensation.
Contact Our Skilled Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident and are seeking experienced legal representation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled pedestrian accident lawyers today.
At Golden State Accident Lawyers We understand the complexities of these cases and are committed to helping you secure the compensation you deserve. We maintain a 99% success rate and have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Call us or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation today.