Settling a claim for injuries sustained in a car accident can take a long time. It is usually a relief to reach a settlement and know that a check for damages will soon be on its way. However, you may have mistaken notions about when and how you will receive your settlement check. It will not come directly to you, and you may need to wait a little while longer before you receive it.
Signing the Necessary Forms
Before you can receive your settlement check, you will have to fill out some paperwork. The most important of these forms is the release. A defense attorney will prepare it, and you and your attorney must review it to ensure that it complies with the terms you have agreed on.
One of the conditions for receiving your settlement is that you must agree not to take any further legal action against the at-fault party in regard to this particular accident. Therefore, it is important to read it carefully before signing. It is also important to return the form within the specified timeframe, usually 30 to 60 days.
Reasonable Versus Unreasonable Delays
It is usually not the at-fault party but his or her insurance company that is responsible for making out your settlement check. Legally, the insurance company must begin to process the check as soon as it receives the release. However, there may be reasonable delays to the process. Reasonable delays include technical difficulties and backup due to a natural disaster.
If the check has been delayed by several weeks, however, it is appropriate to ask your attorney to follow up with the insurance company and find out what has caused it.
The insurance company will not send the check directly to you. Rather, it will mail the check to your attorney’s office having made the check out to both you and the attorney. This is so that the attorney can deduct legal fees and pay any liens. For example, if you received treatment in the emergency room for injuries sustained in the accident, the hospital and treating physician are entitled to payment out of your settlement check.
Once the fees are paid and the liens have been handled, your attorney can then write you a check for the remainder of the settlement payment. Upon receiving the check, it is yours to keep and to do what you like with, as you would with any other check.
The whole check disbursement process can take months to complete. A car accident lawyer in Staunton, VA can walk you through the process and let you know what to expect. Contact a law firm today for more information.
Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and the process for getting your settlement check.