If you have made an insurance claim because of injuries sustained in an accident, then you may be wondering how long it will be before you see any money to compensate you for your injuries. Personal injury cases can take months and even years to resolve. Your medical and other bills can easily mount during this time, so it is important to understand what type of timeline you are looking at for a settlement payout. Generally, you should expect to have a check in hand in approximately six weeks or less once you have agreed on a settlement with an insurance company, depending on a number of circumstances that are discussed below. If you have direct questions about your personal injury case, then it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who can best guide you.
The Settlement Payment Process Generally
Once an agreement has been made for a settlement with an insurance company, there are several steps that will take place before you get paid. As the victim in the case, your settlement check follows this general timeline:
Releases and Other Documents Signed
Once you have made an agreement with an insurance company, you will have to put that agreement in writing before anything else happens. You will also be expected to sign releases for the insurance company to release them from any further liability.
Insurance Company Processes Your Documents and Prepares a Check
Once the insurance company receives your signed documents, they will process them and prepare a check in the agreed-upon amount. This check is typically made payable to both you and your attorney, and the check is then mailed to your attorney.
Attorney Deposits Check into Trust Account and Pays Off Any Liens
Per Florida law, the attorney must then deposit the check into an escrow or trust account. Once the check clears, the attorney must then distribute payments to those who are owed a debt related to the accident. If you have unpaid medical bills, must repay any insurance coverage, or any other type of unpaid debt, then your attorney will clear these liens in this step using the settlement money.
Attorney Deducts Legal Fees
Once your liens are cleared, your attorney will then deduct his or her previously agreed-upon legal fee. Personal injury attorneys are typically paid on a contingency basis, so they take on the risk of not being paid for their work to help win money for their clients.
You Receive the Remaining Balance
Once all of your liens and legal expenses have been taken care of, you will receive the remaining balance of your insurance settlement check. This process can take anywhere from 1-6 weeks depending on your circumstances. If there are delays in this process, make sure you speak to your attorney right away.
Common Reasons for Delays in Payment
If there are delays that cause your check to take longer than expected to arrive, it is usually due to delays from insurance companies or banks. If an insurance company only processes checks on certain days of the week or month, then you can face delays while your check is prepared. If a bank is closed or requires several days to clear a check, then this can cause additional delays in the entire process of settling your debts. If any of these things occur, then it will delay you from receiving your payment at the end.
Understanding Structured Settlements
In some cases, a structured settlement is agreed to. A structured settlement is an agreement that pays the victim of an accident little by little over time. The payments in a structured settlement can be set to any consistent schedule that both sides agree to. Most often, accident victims are paid in either monthly or yearly installments over a long period of time. Structured settlements can be beneficial for people who suffered severe injuries that require long-term care. It is important to understand that some structured settlements are only payable during the accident victim’s lifetime. If you have one of these structured settlements, then your payments will stop if you die before you finish getting paid. It is important to discuss all settlement options with your attorney before deciding on how to proceed with your case.
How an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
If you have been injured in an accident, then you are likely already facing several challenges because of it. It is common to suffer various forms of physical and mental trauma when you have been involved in a serious accident. There are several potential avenues for you to be compensated for your injuries, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help you assess all of them and help you Demand More® for your case. Some of the most common expenses that you can have covered in a personal injury case include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
If a court finds that the at-fault party in an accident acted especially egregiously, then the court can also add on punitive damages. Punitive damages are additional costs that a court will order a party to pay because the court wants to punish that person and deter future similar conduct. If you have questions about your personal injury case, then give us a call at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers so we can help!
The team at Brian Guralnick Injury Lawyers Demand More® and so should you. If you have been injured in a Palm Beach County accident, I encourage you to contact me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call (561) 983-4395 now or contact us online. Isn’t it time that you Demand More®?