It’s a relief when you’ve agreed to a settlement for your personal injury case. At this point, the end of the legal phase is in sight. However, you are probably wondering when you’ll have your check and how much will end up in your pocket.
In this post, we’ll arm you with some basic information about settlement checks, dispersals, and what happens next. Of course, you should always rely on your attorney for details about your case.
In this blog post, we’ll cover:
In general, the insurance company will issue a check about 30 days after you’ve arrived at a settlement agreement. But this does not mean you’ll have your portion of the money that soon. There are a few steps that need to happen before your lawyer delivers your check. Those steps could add a few more weeks. Given this, it may take around 60 days from settling your claim until you have a check in hand.
You should be aware that hiccups can happen that are outside your lawyer’s control. Unfortunately, these can delay the process further. Examples include:
Your lawyer knows that you’re keen on getting your money quickly. It’s reasonable to expect to hear from your lawyer or their team more frequently during this stage. However, please know that you can always reach out and ask for updated timeframes on your money.
Once your settlement check arrives, your lawyer takes on crucial responsibilities. One of the most significant tasks is ensuring that all parties owed money in connection with your case are paid. This process is called disbursement, and it must be completed prior to you receiving your check.
While every case is different, here is the typical process of how an injury settlement is dispersed:
You will receive the portion of your settlement remaining after attorney’s fees, liens, and other costs are deducted. As you might imagine, this can vary greatly from case to case.
Here is a hypothetical situation, to give you an idea:
Tom’s case settles for $25,000. He agreed to pay his lawyer the standard 33 1/3% fee, and his medical costs were $7,500. His lawyer paid an additional $250 in costs related to Tom’s case. Here’s how this would breakdown:
An experienced lawyer can do a few things to put more money in your pocket. For instance, they can negotiate a higher total settlement and negotiate a reduction in your liens. When a lawyer presents you with a settlement offer from the insurance company, make sure to know what portion of that you would receive.
Most personal injury victims receive their settlement check in one lump sum. However, there are times when it may be beneficial to receive your settlement in multiple payments, spread over time. This is referred to as a structured settlement.
Here are three instances when it may be in your best interest to talk to your attorney about setting up a structured settlement:
Once you’ve deposited your settlement check, usually there is nothing further you need to do. However, there may be a few things you’d like to consider:
Finally, if a lawyer did a good job on your case – and we hope they did! – consider giving them a positive review. Trust us, this always means a lot.
Were you hurt in an accident that someone else caused? If so – you can reach out to us at any time for a free consultation. Call us at (253) 272-5226 or fill out the short form on our website.