Once your civil lawsuit or personal injury claim has been resolved, you may feel immediate relief. However, your apprehension while you wait for your settlement check to come in could be overwhelming. If you are hoping to track your settlement check, understanding what happens after your lawsuit has been resolved is instrumental.
Your attorney will ensure you are not left in the dark regarding your settlement check. While you wait for your funds to come in, you do not need to continue to struggle with your finances. High Rise Financial can help you obtain a portion of your settlement in advance so you can find financial relief.
What Is a Settlement?
A settlement is a formal agreement that is made after a civil or personal injury claim. Here, both parties have reached an agreement typically involving the liable party or responsible entity compensating the plaintiff for their damages. Settlement can be from insurance companies or liable parties directly.
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How Long does It Take for a Settlement Check to Come In?
The amount of time you can expect it to take for your settlement check to come in will be based on multiple factors. For example, your settlement agreement, how long it takes to negotiate with the insurer, and whether multiple parties share blame for your damages are just a few examples. Other factors could include:
- The circumstances of your case – The type of accident or incident that provoked your injuries or damages, the complexity of your case, multiple parties sharing culpability, confusing or misleading evidence, and a comprehensive investigative process could all contribute to how long it might take before you reach a settlement agreement.
- Documents and claim processing – After filing a claim with the insurance company, the insurance adjuster will need to conduct their own investigation. Throughout the process, they may delay the processing of your claim to tempt you into settling for substantially less than your claim is worth, which could result in your settlement being delayed until negotiations are finalized and an agreement is reached.
- Sharing fault – Do not be surprised if you are accused of sharing the blame for your damages. Depending on your state’s laws, your settlement could be reduced based on your percentage of blame, and the at-fault party will likely attempt to capitalize on these laws to reduce their financial losses.
When Is a Settlement Check Issued?
Settlement checks are issued once the legal matter has been resolved. Generally, victims will be required to prove the defendant’s negligence or liability based on a preponderance of the evidence. They will also be required to prove the value of their damages accordingly.
Once the jury has determined how much the defendant should compensate the injury victim, or once an agreement has been reached between both parties, the court will determine how long the defendant has to write the settlement check. Despite the fact that the court case or insurance claim may have been resolved, the settlement is not final until the victim’s attorney receives the settlement check and the check clears in the bank.
However, you may run into issues if the defendant does not have the funds required to compensate you for your damages. You may need to agree to accept a payment plan if you hope to start receiving your funds sooner. You may also find yourself dealing with procedural issues, document errors, and government bureaucracy before you can access your settlement funds.
How the Settlement Check Process Works
Once an agreement has been reached or the court has issued an order of settlement, the defendant will be required to submit the settlement check within 60 days of the order. However, it is not uncommon for defendants to wait the maximum amount of time possible before sending their settlement checks. You will need to be prepared to sign a release form that details the terms and conditions of your settlement agreement and releases the defendant from any further liability for your damages.
Whether you are receiving your check from the insurance company or the defendant themselves, there could be processing delays. There may also be specific deadlines in place, depending on where you live, that require a defendant to send a settlement check within a certain amount of time after they have received your signed release form. In some states, interest may be added to your settlement amount from the date the defendant receives your release form.
This way, the defendant is encouraged to compensate you sooner rather than later. Once the release form is received, the defendant’s attorney or insurance company will send a check to your lawyer for processing. Your lawyer will then be responsible for distributing your settlement funds as needed.
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How Your Lawyer Distributes Settlement Funds
After the defendant has sent your settlement check to your attorney, your personal injury lawyer will be responsible for putting the settlement funds into an escrow account. This ensures the insurance company has enough money to cover the total value of your settlement check. It is also commonly referred to as “waiting for the check to clear.”
Once your settlement funds have cleared, your attorney can then use the money to cover outstanding liens, including medical expenses and other debts. Your lawyer will then receive their contingency agreement, pay back your pre-settlement loan, and send the remaining balance to you in the form of a check or via direct deposit.
Potential Delays Before Receiving a Settlement Check
It is not uncommon for plaintiffs to find themselves dealing with delays associated with their settlement checks. Other potential issues that could have an impact on whether your settlement check is delayed include:
- The settlement involving a minor
- A dispute involving your signed release form
- The settlement involving an estate
- Issues regarding the signing of your release form
- The insurance company issuing the check operates in a different state
- Your lawyer is renegotiating the amount of your liens
- Insurance companies failing to forward necessary documents for approval
Tracking Your Settlement Check
One of the best ways to track your settlement check is by reaching out to your personal injury attorney for help. Your attorney will be the middleman between the defendant and your settlement funds. Since your lawyer is responsible for the dispersal of your settlement funds, it is important to maintain contact with your attorney.
To track the status of your settlement check, you must begin by determining how long the defendant has to provide you with the release form and submit the necessary paperwork. From there, it is only a matter of time before your attorney covers outstanding debts and gets you the money you are entitled to.
If you remain proactive in pursuing justice and tracking your settlement, you could be a short time away from financial relief. When you are tired of waiting for your settlement check to come in or have been dealing with delay after delay, do not hesitate to contact our loan specialists at High Rise Financial to discuss your options for pre-settlement legal funding.