California Among Top 5 States With Quickest Civil Lawsuit Settlements

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California Ranks Among Top 5 States With Fastest Civil Lawsuit Settlements

California Ranks Among Top 5 States With Fastest Civil Lawsuit Settlements

Dec 5, 2023

A recent study indicates that while California is the busiest state in the nation for civil lawsuits in terms of sheer numbers, claims are actually resolved much quicker when compared to other locations.

Study: California Among Top 5 States With Quickest Civil Lawsuit Settlements

A Louisiana-based personal injury firm analyzed the latest statistics from U.S. courts to calculate the median time it takes in every state to file a civil case and reach a disposition (or the court’s final ruling), according to a report from KTLA.

The study’s findings confirmed that California records the largest number of civil lawsuits among all 50 states but ranks fourth in terms of how fast those claims are resolved.

For a yearlong period ending on March 31, 2022, California’s civil lawsuit statistics included:

  • A total of 27,788 civil claims resolved
  • Lawyers in the Golden State took an average of only 7.1 months to reach a settlement

According to the study, the only states which reported faster civil settlement conclusions included:

  • Nebraska (an average of 5.2 months)
  • Vermont (an average of six months)
  • Georgia (an average of 6.1 months)

When compared to other large states with high numbers of civil lawsuits, California ranks among the fastest when it comes to reaching a disposition.

How Long Does it Take to Reach a Civil Lawsuit Settlement in California?

The average timeframe for a civil lawsuit to reach a conclusion in California is approximately seven months. That is the fourth-fastest processing time for civil claims in the nation.

By comparison, other populous states such as Florida and New York took much longer to resolve civil claims on behalf of clients. The statistical breakdown for each of those states includes:

  • Florida: 22,631 civil cases filed (attorneys took an average of eight months to reach a settlement)
  • New York: 21,505 civil cases filed (attorneys took an average of 7.3 months to reach a settlement)

Researchers noted that the study analyzing all 50 states included consolidated claims filed in previous years that later became individual cases. The study excluded the following types of claims:

  • Deportation reviews
  • Enforcement of judgements
  • Land condemnations
  • Prisoner petitions
  • Recovery of overpayments

States with lower numbers of civil lawsuits recorded actually took longer to reach conclusions when compared to California, researchers found.

According to the study, South Dakota had the lowest number of civil lawsuits with 209 processed over the aforementioned 12-month period. However, cases in South Dakota took an average of just over a year to conclude (that’s more than five months longer than California).

But some states took even longer for civil lawsuits to be resolved, and researchers identified those ranked worst in terms of time required to conclude civil claims.

States With the Slowest Civil Lawsuit Settlement Process

  • Idaho: civil lawsuits average a 13.6 month timeframe in order to reach a conclusion.
  • Wyoming: although it recorded the second fewest civil cases in the nation, clients in the Cowboy State have to wait over a year-and-a-half to reach a settlement.
  • Louisiana: ranked the worst, with 12,379 civil cases taking nearly two years (an average of 22.4 months) to reach a settlement.

Additionally, Louisiana was considered an outlier when compared to other states given that 64% of the cases there ended during or after pretrial. This contrasts sharply from the majority of states where cases tend to settle before pretrial, researchers noted. In fact, data from the study confirmed that three in every five civil cases end without ever going to trial.

When a civil lawsuit does require a jury trial, outcomes can take much longer. In Nevada, for example, researchers confirmed that clients wait an average of almost four years for their cases to reach a conclusion in jury trials.

However, the study also noted that nearly every state settles the majority of their civil lawsuits without going to trial. While 45 states conclude most civil actions before trial, Wyoming and Minnesota are the two which prefer “taking no court action on most of their civil cases,” according to researchers.

What are Some Examples of California Civil Lawsuits?

Civil lawsuits are typically filed in an effort to obtain financial compensation for someone who has been harmed due to negligence or carelessness. Some of the most common types of civil claims are brought due to personal injury matters or assaults, such as:

  • Car accidents (motor vehicle collisions/crashes)
  • Dog bites
  • Slip or trip and falls (premises liability cases)
  • Medical malpractice
  • Sexual assault, abuse, or harassment
  • Employment cases (wrongful termination, etc.)
  • Assault and battery
  • Product liability
  • Defamation
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Wrongful death
  • Workers’ compensation cases
  • Civil rights

Filing a civil lawsuit can help an injured/harmed victim secure justice through damages, such as:

  • Lost wages/inability to earn future wages
  • Hospital or medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • As stated previously, the majority of civil lawsuits – particularly those involving personal injury matters – tend to settle without going to trial. Many car accident and other types of personal injury claims can be settled quickly through what’s known as pre-litigation (pre-lit).

    This refers to the process of a demand letter being sent to the defendant in an effort to reach a settlement without having to file a formal lawsuit. According to researchers who conducted the above study, the national average timeframe for a civil claim to reach a conclusion is 9.2 months (although it’s important to note that the figure is actually shorter in California – at approximately 7.1 months).

    How to File a California Civil Lawsuit for Damages

    Hiring an experienced attorney to handle your civil case can be advantageous in many ways. The vast majority of bodily injury claims paid by insurance companies (85%) go to victims who have hired private attorneys, according to a study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC).

    Additionally, claimants who hired private lawyers secured cash settlements which were 40% higher when compared to those who represented themselves. And the average insurance payout was actually 3.5 times higher for injured victims who had secured private legal representation.

    Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

    If you’ve been injured in a car wreck, dog bite, slip and fall, or another type of accident, contact the proven Glendale, California, attorneys at Dordulian Law Group today by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM for a free consultation.

    With Dordulian Law Group, you never pay anything upfront for our expert personal injury legal representation – there’s no fee until after we’ve successfully secured a maximum cash settlement for your case. Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to learn more.


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