Personal Injury Settlement: How Long Before You Can Get the Check?
It is always a nice feeling when you finally agree on a personal injury settlement. It means you do not have to keep on dealing with the legal battles all the time. So, now that you have agreed on a settlement, what is next? Some think that they might just get their check straight away, but that is not always the case.
What is for sure is that the check will not be issued in hours after the settlement, even sometimes days after the agreement. This is where you have to involve your attorney to handle the overall process of getting your check signed and delivered.
Sign the release form
Once you have agreed to the personal injury settlement, signing the release form is the next immediate step to undertake. The release form simply states that the settlement between the two parties is complete. As a result, you will no longer have the right to sue the other party for any additional damages.
Before you sign it, just make sure you understand its contents. This is because the release form protects the other party at fault from dealing with other lawsuits from the same accident.
The release form and check are processed
Your attorney delivers the release form to the at-fault party insurance company. The company will now proceed to process the release form and then issue a check for the settlement. The check will be sent to the attorney, but still payable to you and the attorney.
The attorney handles any liens
The attorney at this point deposits the check into an escrow account or special trust. This is for the protection of both parties. Once the settlement check clears, then your attorney is responsible for distributing the money based on the case specifics.
In most cases, the money will be used to clear any liens or unpaid debts. The attorney will then take his share of legal fees from the money. Whatever remains after all the fees have been handled is what you get as your share of the settlement proceeds.
Can there be delays in receiving your settlement?
Unfortunately, sometimes that is the case. This is where the defendant is supposed to sign an additional release form or might decide not to sign the form right away. For cases that involve estates, you might have other complications coming up, making it hard to complete the process on time.
For a good attorney, he or she should be prepared to handle any delays that might come up. The attorney also needs to communicate with the client to inform him of the potential delays and how long they are likely to last.