The consequences of an accident can be devastating, given the significant injuries and extended periods of pain and suffering. The cost of medical treatment can shoot through the roof, and it’s little wonder victims want to know when they can receive their settlement check for their financial losses.
The time required to finalize a settlement negotiation can vary considerably depending on the case specifics. Once a settlement has been determined, the victim can expect to receive their settlement check in about six weeks. Some exceptions to the rule exist, and delays can happen. A Fresno personal injury attorney can help you understand the standard process and look into your case.
What is a Legal Settlement?
A legal settlement is an alternative to pursuing trial litigation when you have a civil lawsuit. A compensation payment happens when the defendant agrees to part or all of a plaintiff’s claims. That prevents the parties from having a proceeding in court.
Generally, a legal settlement demands that the accused pays the victim in monetary terms. The compensation goes toward medical bills, emotional and physical distress, lost wages, loss of consortium, and ongoing pain and suffering to help the victim live a productive life.
Agreeing to a legal settlement, also known as settling out of court, is beneficial to both parties because it ends the litigation matter. Besides, the accused party can avoid a costly litigation process that can go on for years, depending on the nature of the case. With the help of a Fresno personal injury lawyer, both parties can reach an agreement before or during the early stages of the trial.
What Are the Steps in Receiving a Personal Injury Settlement Check?
Settlement checks for personal injury cases are issued for various reasons, including slips and falls, premises liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and car accidents. Upon reaching a verbal agreement for a fair case settlement, a Fresno car accident lawyer can help you with the additional steps that must happen before you can receive your payment.
Signing a Release
A prerequisite to having the defendant’s insurance provider issue a settlement check is for you to sign a release form. The document states that you won’t take further legal action against the defendant in pursuing additional damages for the injuries. When you sign the release, you also protect the defendant from possible future lawsuits for the same incident.
After signing the release, the defendant’s insurer will process the document and issue a settlement check. In typical situations, the insurance company will send the settlement check to your personal injury attorney. The settlement check is payable in your name and the attorney.
Receiving Your Check
Once your lawyer receives the settlement check, they will deposit it into an escrow account or a special trust. Once the check clears, your Fresno personal injury lawyer can assist you in distributing the settlement money.
However, remember that your attorney will sometimes need to use a portion of the settlement amount to pay outstanding debts or aliens. Consult your car accident lawyer in Fresno in advance to establish if any unpaid liens or debts exist in your particular case. That will help you prepare accordingly.
Deducting Legal Fees and Paying Your Dues
With most personal injury attorneys in California, you pay nothing upfront because they work on a contingency basis. A portion of the final settlement will be deducted from the settlement check to pay the legal fees.
The deductions include private investigator fees, expert witness fees, court reporting costs, and hours attached to your case. Legal charges are crucial to your final settlement, and you should discuss this with your lawyer.
What Happens if I Do Not Receive My Settlement Check Within Six Weeks?
The average time for receiving your settlement check for personal injuries is six weeks. However, each case is different, and some claims may settle faster than others.
Some factors that may impact the timeline for your injury settlement include:
- The type and severity of your injuries
- How long it takes to recover from the injuries
- The parties involved in your personal injury case
- The willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement amount
- Whether your case entails allegations of comparative negligence
- How long it takes for the investigating officers to complete the accident assessment
If you don’t receive it within this timeline, you should talk to your car accident attorney in Fresno to find out why the check might have taken long to get to you.
Possible Reasons for Delay
It shouldn’t take too long to get your settlement check after reaching an agreement, but there are several reasons why delays can happen. These may include:
- Weekends and holidays: When banks are closed, they can put your check processing on hold. If the attorney receives your check on Friday, they may not deposit it in the trust account until the bank reopens.
- Bank delays: Banks may hold large amounts of money for several days to verify their legitimacy, which could delay your settlement money.
- Delays by the insurance company: Delays can arise with the insurance company between when it receives the signed settlement agreement and when they draw your check.
A Legal Professional Helping You Receive Your Settlement Check in Time
It can take more than a month to receive your settlement check after an accident. Meanwhile, you may consider other ways to meet your financial obligations until you get your payment. It would help you manage your expectations and keep them realistic while creating a plan to get you through the wait. You can use the help of a personal injury attorney to speed up the process.
Our lawyers have the experience to deal with insurance companies and understand the laws regarding personal injury cases. We can use our resources to investigate your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a FREE case assessment.