How Will I Get Paid After Settling My Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Having a winning personal injury claim is one thing. Successfully recovering compensation from it is another. While resolving an injury claim with a mutual settlement usually results in getting paid without any serious hurdles, some cases can drag even after a settlement is reached.
There are specific steps you and your New York City personal injury lawyer can take to prevent delay after you agree to a settlement. These include promptly completing settlement paperwork and following up with the other party’s insurance company, among other things. When delays occur, it can take more aggressive actions from your legal counsel to obtain the money you are entitled to.
When to expect a settlement check
There is no firm timeline on how long a settlement will take to complete, but the length of time depends on several variables. When everything goes smoothly, settlement checks typically arrive within four to six weeks.
However, things do not always go smoothly. One of the biggest hurdles you might face when wrapping up a settlement involves the execution of mutual releases. Before the defendant or their insurance company ever writes a check to resolve your claim, they will require that you sign a release waiving your case against them. Often, the language of these releases is standard fare. There are times when the two sides fundamentally disagree on the nature of the release, which can lead to additional negotiation.
Most of the time, the two parties hammer out the language of the release on their own. These documents range from a single page to dozens of pages in length. In the rare cases where the two parties cannot agree, the court may get involved to resolve the issue. Once the language is agreed upon, the defense counsel will finalize the document and forward it to you to sign.
Other delays involve the process of executing the release itself. All of the parties to the settlement must sign, and the failure to do so can hold up the process. If a party to the lawsuit suddenly becomes unavailable, it can stretch out the process indefinitely. This can be particularly complicated if there is an additional plaintiff in your case that is unreliable.
In some cases, the degree of the delay caused by the defendant is unreasonable. When you uphold your end of the bargain, and they fail to complete the settlement, your New York City personal injury attorney can pursue legal action. This option, known as a motion to enforce settlement, can result in a court order that requires the defendant to meet their obligations.
How settlements are completed
In most cases, monetary settlements resulting from a personal injury claim will involve the defendant’s insurance company writing a check. Typically, the check is addressed to you and your attorney. After all, if your legal counsel worked on a contingency basis, they have a lien on their share of the recovery.
Other parties might also be entitled to some of your recovery as well. Your attorney is required to settle any other liens before passing the remaining money on to you. The most common form of liens involves any unpaid medical bills you might have accumulated from your injury. Once your attorney takes out their fee and resolves your liens, the rest of the settlement is yours.
Contact us at Douglas and London for a free consultation
While most settlements go smoothly, there are always unusual cases that drag on far longer than expected. Some delays can be unavoidable, but others can be managed with the right personal injury lawyer.
At Douglas & London, our representation of you does not stop when we reach a settlement agreement. We will continue to aggressively advocate for you until the funds you deserve are in your account. To discuss how we can use our extensive experience to fight for your claim, schedule a free consultation with us as soon as possible.