The first thing you’re probably wondering about is when your settlement check will come once you hear that your case has finally settled and you have won. Your lawyer may be able to give you a good ballpark figure as to when you will receive your check. That said, keep in mind that there are a number of other factors that will influence your check’s arrival time. These include the total amount of insurance that the defendant is carrying, what the nature of your case was, and if there are other factors that will influence payout, among other things.
You will need to sign a release form before you can receive your settlement check. You’re essentially promising that you won’t take further legal action against the defendant once you have received your settlement check.
The release form will be very specific regarding the claims that you are agreeing to release the defendant from if the lawsuit is to be ongoing. Your personal injury lawyer will send the signed release form back to either the defendant or his or her insurance company along with any other legal papers.
The internal process is the procedures and the date at which the defendant will release the funds to you. Some states have a deadline for the internal process, while others don’t. Some states require the defendant to start saving up for interest payments on the settlement starting from the day he or she receives the signed release form. The intent is to discourage the defendant from dragging his or her feet on sending you the check.
There are some loopholes though. For example, insurance companies can take as long as they want to process the release form. That can and will buy the defendant some time in terms of accumulating the funds and sending the settlement check to you!
Keep in mind that there may be other reasons that you may not get your settlement check right away. Suppose the defendant has his or her own release form. If this is the case, then expect both your lawyers and the defendant’s lawyers to revise the form many times until its terms and conditions are acceptable to both you and the defendant.
You may have a case that requires your personal injury lawyer in Thousand Oaks to take more time when prepping the release form. These cases exist with minors and estates. You may also have a medical lien or other liens against your settlement. Keep in mind that these must be paid off before you can receive a penny of your settlement.
You may also owe child support. If that’s the case, then you will have a lien against your settlement. Generally speaking, you won’t receive any settlement money until and unless you have paid all of your liens off.You can have your attorney negotiate to try to reduce the value of these liens, but keep in mind that doing so will delay your receiving your settlement check.The defendant’s internal processes can also delay your check. It’s especially true if the claim is processed in one state and another state issues the settlement check.
Your Lawyer Getting Involved
The settlement check will generally be sent to the lawyer you have named on the record. Expect that person to hold the check in an escrow or special account until the funds clear. That process may take many days if the check was written for a lot of money. Your lawyer will take his or her share of the money before you receive a cent.
You can have your attorney draft an acceptable release form once you’re sure that you’re going to be getting the settlement money. You can ask for a partial distribution once the defendant receives the necessary forms. That will give you some funds while you’re paying off your creditors.