For most personal injury plaintiffs, getting a settlement is a huge source of relief. The case is over, and you finally have the closure you need.
It’s time to move on with your life and put the accident behind you. The only thing left to do is collect your settlement check. So… when can you expect it?
As West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers, this is one of the most common questions we receive.
Understandably, people want to know when they will receive the resources they need to pay their medical bills and cover their other expenses.
Getting the Resources You Need
Personal injury case can take a while to resolve. Depending on the facts of your case, you may have waited months for your Personal injury case to make its way through the legal system and several rounds of negotiations.
When you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s normal to have questions about when this whole thing will finally be over.
Generally, it doesn’t take long to receive settlement money once a personal injury case has been resolved. In most cases, the defendant is represented by an insurance company.
When the insurer has agreed to pay a settlement, it may take a few weeks for the insurance company to process the payment.
Like any large business, payment requests and invoices must go through a certain accounting and approval process before the insurer has permission to release what is usually a significant sum of money.
Once the insurance company has approved the payment, it will issue a check – usually made out to the plaintiff’s attorney.
The attorney deposits the payment in a special account specifically set up to securely hold clients’ money.
The lawyer will then cut a check directly to the client, which can be picked up in the attorney’s office or, when appropriate, mailed to the client. This process should happen swiftly and should only take a few days to a week.
If there is no insurance company involved, the defendant will be required to take care of the payment independently. Depending on the terms of your settlement agreement, you may receive a lump sum or payments spread out over time.
If the defendant unreasonably delays your payment, or fails to pay for some reason, your attorney can petition the court to compel the defendant to pay.
With a judgment in hand, you can also use other methods to enforce the court’s order, such as garnishing wages, filing a property lien, or placing an attachment on the defendant’s bank accounts. In most cases, however, it is preferable to reach an agreement regarding payment without resorting to collection efforts.
Also Read: Top 5 Types of Personal Injury Cases
Signing a Settlement Agreement and Release
Another aspect of personal injury settlements is the settlement agreement and release of all claims. When you settle a case, you agree to give up your right to pursue a lawsuit against the defendant.
In exchange for giving up your right to go to court, you receive monetary compensation. To protect itself, the defendant almost always requires the plaintiff to sign a release of claims as part of the settlement agreement. This is especially true with insurance companies.
Many defendants will use a standard release form, however, the defendant in your case may wish to use a specific form.
No matter what type of injury your case involves, it’s important to run any settlement agreement and release past your personal injury lawyer.
If you attempt to handle this part of your personal injury case on your own, you could inadvertently end up signing something that compromises your rights. This is unlikely to happen, as the defendant’s attorney is equally unlikely to speak to you outside your lawyer’s presence, but it’s worth mentioning.
Discuss Your Case with a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
Do you have questions about a personal injury claim? Don’t wait to speak to a lawyer about your case. Call a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney today.