Whether commuting to the market or work, picking up groceries at the store or bringing your kids home from school– or whether driving for fun, profit, convenience of necessity-there’s an understanding that our fellow drivers in vehicles would obey traffic regulations and drive sensibly. But in the crowded San Francisco Bay Area, not all drivers put safety first.

All too likely here are drivers who drive negligently under the influence or speed crazily. In particular, many vehicles need fixing up. Malfunctioning turn signals; broken headlights; and worn brakes are all problems that commonly arise.

Therefore, one needs to be prepared and alert. It is important to know the first steps one should take after being involved in an accident, both for your own safety and so that you can get compensation. This is especially important in the age of distracted drivers.

Did you know that some accident victims settle too quickly and for far less than they deserve?  Auto accidents generally take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to settle in California.

There are studies that say that personal injury cases tend to take around two years. However, these studies only time how long it takes cases to go from being filed to a resolution.

In California, nearly all cases are not filed right after the accident. Therefore, many personal injury lawyers estimate that it can take closer to 3 years.

The National Center for State Courts looked at 925,344 civil lawsuits filed in 152 different courts in 10 urban counties from July, 2012, through June, 2013. It found that the average personal injury case took 486 days, or 1 year and 4 months, to go from being filed in court to a “disposition.”

Of these dispositions, only 10 percent were settlements. The study also found that certain types of lawsuits, particularly medical malpractice and products liability claims, tended to take longer.

In California, car accidents generally settle slightly faster than many other kinds of personal injury claims. This is because car accidents tend to cause less severe injuries than certain other types of cases, like medical malpractice.

Also, car accidents happen all the time. The commonplace nature of the claim can make for a shorter timeline because it is a smoother process.

One factor that can prolong the process is the fact that insurance defense firms charge by the hour, and insurance adjusters get paid a flat salary. Therefore, they are in no rush to pay you what you deserve.

Auto accident lawyers are well-situated to stand up to aggressive and stalling car insurance companies so you get the maximum value of your case as quickly as possible. Note that if your California car accident case does settle and you sign a release, the insurer will typically pay you within 30 days.

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