You can win a settlement through an agreement with the defendant’s insurance company or a civil lawsuit. Different things come into play once you’ve won a settlement. Here are answers to some common questions about what to do after winning a settlement.
In This Article
- Should You Accept the Settlement at the First Offer?
- What Kind of Settlement Can You Get?
- How to Pay Your Lawyer After a Settlement
- How to Ask for More Money in a Settlement
- How Long does It Take to Get Your Money?
- What Documents do You Need to Get Your Settlement?
- What if the Defendant doesn’t Have Insurance?
- Your Options if the Defendant doesn’t Pay
- Get Pre-Settlement Funding from High Rise Financial
Should You Accept the Settlement at the First Offer?
As tempting as it is to accept a settlement offer for an injury or accident, you should not take the first offer that you get from an insurance company. The money from the settlement may help you settle your bills, but this is not the best offer you can get. The first compensation offer from an insurance company is usually lower than the value of your damages.
If you receive a check from the insurance company, don’t cash it. It’s in your best interest to speak to an attorney to discuss your injury case and learn how much you should demand from the insurance company. They can also write a demand letter indicating how much you want.
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What Kind of Settlement Can You Get?
There are two types of settlements: structured and lump sum. In a lump sum settlement, you’ll receive all the monetary compensation from the defendant in one hit. In a structured settlement, the defendant or their insurance company will make regular financial payments over time, based on an agreement you’ve made with their attorney.
In a structured settlement, you’ll have to come up with an agreement that details the payment terms. This includes when the defendant’s insurance company will pay the amount and how much money they will pay over that time. What you should note about this kind of settlement is that the money doesn’t fluctuate based on inflation, and there’s little you can do to negotiate the terms.
How to Pay Your Lawyer After a Settlement
Many lawyers are paid through contingency fees. This means that you’ll have to pay them after receiving your compensation. Conversely, if you don’t win a settlement, you don’t have to pay them any fee.
The contingency fee percentage ranges between 30% and 40% of the money you’ll recover from the settlement. Your contingency fee agreement will set the exact rate. This percentage is usually staggered, so the lawyer can get a higher rate if the case goes to trial, as it requires more work and time from their law firm.
How to Ask for More Money in a Settlement
You have the right to ask for more money if you feel that the money offered by the insurance company is below your expectations. All you need to do is send a detailed demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company. The demand letter should detail the nature of your injuries and the cost of the medical treatment you’ve received, ongoing health issues, and losses you’ve incurred.
It should also tell the company how much money you expect from them due to the circumstances. You must have relevant evidence and documents to back up your demand letter. Otherwise, you may not get the offer you deserve.
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How Long does It Take to Get Your Money?
Getting your money after a settlement may take a few days to weeks. It depends on how fast you complete the few steps needed to have the insurance company send your check. The insurance company will send a release detailing everything that needs to be considered before sending the settlement check.
The release usually states that the insurance company has agreed to the said amount, and they will not pursue any further legal actions and don’t expect the same from you. Your attorney will review the release to determine whether it’s worth their approval. If approved, the release may need notarization.
They will then send the release and other necessary documents to get your money. Once you’ve availed all the documents, your attorney will send the release to the insurance company, requesting the settled amount. The insurance company will then send the check within hours to the law firm.
What Documents do You Need to Get Your Settlement?
You may need to sign two common documents to end the legal process and get your settlement. This includes the settlement agreement and the full liability release. The settlement agreement is a contract between the plaintiff and defendant with the terms of their settlement.
The settlement agreement stipulates the following:
- Your payment limits and plan
- Confidentiality terms
- Other terms related to the claim
The full liability release means you cannot bring the same claim against the defendant. Therefore, you will have no chance to negotiate your settlement based on any facts or circumstances that may arise.
What if the Defendant doesn’t Have Insurance?
It’s rare to have a personal injury case against defendants without insurance coverage for their underlying accident. However, the settlement will still take place, but the defendant will fund the amount you’ve settled on. Your attorney should get a certified bank check from the defendant to turn over a signed full liability release and agree to dismiss the lawsuit.
Your Options if the Defendant doesn’t Pay
If a defendant cannot pay a settlement, there are various ways to recover the compensation. This process is referred to as a collection. You and your attorney can utilize several methods to collect the settlement, using basic communication to more assertive approaches.
Some of the measures that you can take to get your money include:
- Sending a reminder letter to the defendant
- Contacting the defendant’s financial supporter or bank
- Contacting the defendant’s employer
- Seizing their property
- Locating the defendant’s assets, such as vehicles, real estate, financial accounts, safe deposit boxes, and business ownership
- Establishing a payment schedule
- Garnishing their wages
These methods can apply to an individual, organization, or corporation, as long as they are secure and financially fit.
Get Pre-Settlement Funding from High Rise Financial
Agreeing on a specific amount of money in a personal injury lawsuit can take a long time. Getting the amount you’ve settled on can take longer, depending on how willing the defendant is to pay. Meanwhile, you’re at risk of financial hardship while waiting for these processes to complete.
High Rise Financial offers the perfect solution for this situation. We can help you take control of your financial situation as you wait for your settlement with our pre-settlement funding. Apply for funding or contact us today to get the cash you need while waiting for your payment.