Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA
Short answer: Most passengers in car accidents in California can expect approximately a $5,000 – $20,000 settlement for their injuries. In more severe cases where injuries are permanent, settlements can be over $100,000.
|Severity of Accident
|Average Settlement Amount
|Approximately: $5,000 – $20,000
|Approximately: $20,000 – $100,000
|Approximately: $100,000 – $250,000+
If you’re looking to calculate what your settlement is worth, use our calculator below designed specifically for injured passengers just like you.
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The duration of a settlement process for a passenger involved in a car accident in California can vary widely. It depends on factors such as the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries, negotiations between parties, and court proceedings if a lawsuit is filed.
Some settlements may be reached relatively quickly through negotiations with insurance companies, taking a few weeks to a few months. However, more complex cases or disputes over liability may extend the process, potentially taking several months to a year or more.
Hiring an attorney can be beneficial for a passenger involved in a car accident in California. An attorney can:
While some individuals may choose to handle a claim without an attorney, having legal representation can enhance the chances of a favorable outcome and relieve the passenger of the complexities involved in the process.
Not necessarily. While passengers in the same car involved in an accident share the same incident, they aren’t required to have the same attorney. Each person has the right to choose their own legal representation based on their individual needs and preferences.
However, it’s essential to ensure that communication is maintained among all parties involved to avoid conflicts of interest. If multiple passengers have similar claims, coordinating with their respective attorneys can be beneficial in terms of gathering evidence and presenting a unified front during negotiations or legal proceedings.
Securing a settlement for an injured passenger in California typically involves the following process:
Obtain prompt medical attention for injuries sustained in the car accident. Document all medical treatments and expenses.
Collect information about the accident, including photos, witness statements, and the other party’s insurance details.
Report the accident to the relevant insurance companies. Provide necessary details but avoid making detailed statements without consulting legal advice.
Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to assess the strength of your case and understand your rights and options.
With the help of your attorney, file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Provide supporting documents and evidence.
Engage in negotiations with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement. Your attorney will advocate for your best interests.
If a fair settlement isn’t reached through negotiations, your attorney may advise filing a lawsuit. This initiates the formal legal process.
Both parties exchange information and evidence during the discovery process. Your attorney will prepare your case for court.
Even after a lawsuit is filed, there may be opportunities for settlement discussions and mediation. This can occur at various stages of the legal process.
Both parties may file motions to address legal issues before the trial. This phase involves legal arguments and decisions by the court.
Your attorney will thoroughly prepare for trial, gathering evidence, identifying witnesses, and formulating legal arguments.
If a settlement isn’t reached, the case goes to trial. Both sides present their cases, and a judge or jury decides the outcome.
The court issues a judgment based on the trial’s outcome. This may include an award for damages if the plaintiff (injured passenger) prevails.
Either party may choose to appeal the judgment if they believe legal errors occurred during the trial.
If you win a judgment, your attorney will work to enforce it, ensuring you receive the compensation awarded.
Throughout this process, having a skilled personal injury attorney is crucial. They can guide you, negotiate on your behalf, and represent your interests to secure the best possible settlement or judgment. Keep in mind that each case is unique, and the specific steps may vary based on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the legal strategy pursued.