Many car accident victims assume they'll receive their check immediately after settling a claim or winning their case at a jury trial. Unfortunately, this isn't how it works.
It takes about four-to-six weeks to complete the settlement process and receive payment.
What Needs To Take Place To Receive Your Settlement Payment?
Sign a Release
The insurance company requires you to sign a release of your claims before issuing a settlement.
By doing so, you agree this is a final settlement of all aspects of your case and that you're waiving your right to pursue further legal actions against the driver and insurance company.
An insurance adjuster prepares this document and sends it to your attorney for review. In some cases, your lawyer may have to negotiate some terms in the agreement to protect your rights, which could delay this step of the process.
If you win the case at trial, this first step may be slightly different. You probably won't sign a release. However, the insurance company has approximately 14-to-21 days to file a motion for a new trial or an appeal.
It will wait until this time period elapses to send the judgment amount to your attorney.
A Check Is Issued
Once the insurance company receives your signed release, an adjuster will follow the company’s procedures for getting a check processed. This could take some time if checks are only issued once a week, or the person responsible for doing so is out sick or on vacation. If a lawyer handled your, case, the check would go to his or her firm first, not to you.
Trust Fund Deposit and Paying Expenses
After your attorney receives payment from the insurance company, he'll deposit the proceeds into a client trust fund. This allows a few days or longer to secure the funds.
Then, the firm will use the settlement to pay all accrued expenses related to your injuries. These often include reimbursement to your health insurance company, an ambulance service, Medicaid, or Medicare, or any other healthcare providers. Your lawyer may negotiate settlements with these creditors, which can take time but saves you money in the long run.
Deducting Attorney Fees and Costs
Your attorney will then deduct fees and expenses advanced during your case development. Often, attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. While this type of agreement allows you to secure legal counsel right away and not have to pay anything upfront, there are still expenses incurred during the case. They may include:
- Medical and other record copying fees
- Filing and service fees for your lawsuit
- Expert witness fees
- Deposition costs
After all these steps, you'll receive your settlement proceeds. Your case is also finally complete.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.