The timeframe to receive a settlement check after your personal injury case is settled typically ranges from 3 to 6 weeks after signing your settlement release form. However, the exact duration can be influenced by case-specific factors and circumstances. Factors such as the complexity of the case, negotiation processes, and administrative procedures can impact the timing of the settlement check.
It’s essential to note that while the general range is 3 to 6 weeks, the specific duration can be shorter or longer based on the unique details of your situation. It could potentially take as long as 6 months to receive your check.
What Happens When You Reach a Settlement?
When you and your attorney reach a settlement with the insurance company, your attorney and the insurance company’s legal counsel will report it to the court in your jurisdiction. The court then issues an Order of Settlement, including a release form.
The release form is one of the most important documents related to getting your settlement check. The release form is an agreement essentially stating that if the insurance company pays the settlement, then you will drop the legal action against them.
Signing this form officially ends negotiations and begins the payment process. At this point, you are officially releasing the insurance company of liability in your case, and they are agreeing to pay the damages. You won’t be able to bring legal action against them after this.
While reaching a settlement itself can take time, signing the settlement and release agreement is only the start of the payment process.
Why is My Settlement Check Taking So Long?
When you sign the release agreement, it kicks off a chain of events that involves a variety of stakeholders, including insurance companies, your attorney, the defendant, and so on. All these parties must sign off on the settlement.
After everyone has signed in agreement, the insurance company needs to cut the check. They’ll surely have strict requirements for this process, which takes additional time. It’s a slow process that usually runs without error, but it doesn’t happen overnight. We know that it’s not easy to wait for your check to come, especially after the hardship you’ve been through. Keep your chin up, and trust that your check is coming, slowly but surely.
Can My Lawyer Cash My Settlement Check?
No, your lawyer will not cash your settlement check. However, because your lawyer will be the one dealing with the insurance companies and the courts, your settlement check will be sent to them. After receiving your settlement check, your attorney will place it in a trust account. This is an account affiliated with neither the insurance company nor your attorney that holds the money until all final details are resolved.
Once everything is in order, your attorney will distribute the funds from your settlement. Generally, this means giving you the money, but they may also be obligated to pay other individuals involved with your case or accident. This could include medical bills from treating your injuries, consultations with medical experts, and more.
Finally, your attorney will deduct their fees for handling your case. This won’t be a surprise, as an experienced attorney will have helped you understand their fees and the contingency basis they work on.
Is A Settlement the Best Result For Your Case?
Taking a case to court may offer some benefits, but settlements are far-and-away the most common and most preferable outcome for a personal injury case. In fact, it’s exceedingly rare for personal injury cases to even go to court, with only around 3% of cases being decided in a court, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Despite that, it’s important you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney and prepare yourself for a trial, even though the odds of your case going to court are unlikely. This indicates to insurance companies that you’re going to do whatever it takes to get the compensation you’re entitled to, even if that means a drawn-out court process.
Keep in mind that if your attorney reaches a settlement too quickly, it could be a sign that they’re not invested in your case. This is common among ‘settlement mills,’ or big-name lawyers whose businesses depend on quickly settling a large volume of cases. Negotiating takes time. Remember, the best settlement is the one that properly compensates you and your family—not the one that comes fastest.
Injured? Talk to Pasternak & Zirgibel
Coping with the aftermath of an injury? Frank Pasternak and Jeff Zirgibel are here to help you secure the compensation you’re entitled to. With Frank & Jeff’s experience on your side, you can navigate the complex legal process with confidence.
Whether your case ends up being settled out of court, or is ultimately taken to trial, we’re committed to achieving the best outcome for you and your family. Don’t let insurance companies dictate your future—take control today. Contact Pasternak & Zirgibel today for a free consultation.