Once you have been offered and accepted a settlement offer in your personal injury case, you may assume that you are done. This is far from the truth. The process can be drawn out, but the more knowledgeable you are about what steps to take, the easier and faster it will be. Your personal injury attorney will help you through these steps, but you can also read on to learn about them.
You Must Sign a Release
Before you get a check from the insurance party of the defendant, you must sign a release form. It will state that you will not pursue further damages for the incident that you are settling. This protects the party paying the settlement from owing more money for the same injury. For this reason, you must be sure that settling is the right choice because, by doing so, you are signing away your right to make further financial claims for the accident.
The Release Must Be Processed
You will send your signed release to the insurance company. They will need to process your release and have the settlement check sent. It is common practice for the personal injury attorney to get the check sent to them, though it will be made payable to both of you.
Your Attorney Deposits the Funds and Pays off Your Liens
Next, the attorney is going to deposit the check into an escrow account or special trust that has been set up for you. When the check clears, said attorney will distribute the settlement to the appropriate parties. While it is not always true, in most cases, a victim will have unpaid debts or liens, such as medical debt, which the attorney will pay off from the proceeds of the settlement.
Legal Fees Will Be Deducted from the Settlement and You Will Receive Your Money
Once the liens have been paid, your lawyer will deduct their legal fees. If the case was taken on a contingency basis, this will be a percentage of the total award. The attorney will also subtract certain legal costs, such as expert witness fees and court reporting costs. You will then receive your check.
Delays Can Occur for Several Reasons
The above is a perfect scenario in which everything goes as planned. Unfortunately, that is not always reality. If you have your own release form to be signed, then the other side will need to sit down with your attorney and determine if they will sign it. Some cases require added steps, especially if they involve estates.
When you work with Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn, you can expect that we will keep you up to date from start to finish so you will always know when your check is likely to be coming. Call us now at (310) 209-1600 to request a free case evaluation.