Every personal injury case is different, and so is the time frame for every settlement! It can vary from a few months to many years. In case you're considering accepting a settlement from an insurance company, you must look for the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer. He/she is the right person who can advise you on taking the right course of action.
Reasons for delay:
In general, there are three major reasons why a personal injury case may take a really long time. These include:
- Legal or factual problems with the case
- The case involves a large sum of money
- You are still being treated for injuries or conditions associated with the accident
What are some of the common problems associated with a personal injury case?
In order to determine the liability for an accident or injury, it is to be proved that someone was careless or negligent. In certain cases, the liability is difficult to prove. In such cases, it is unlikely that the defendant’s insurer will make a reasonable settlement offer. Your lawyer might be able to advocate how to proceed in this case. When it comes to determining damages, there are many problems involved.
What if the Case involves huge damages?
Many insurers will not pay out large settlements until they have done their due diligence. This clearly means investigating every facet of the liability and damages regarding the case.
Also, insurers tend to look into the intricate details of a case. They are constantly looking for loopholes. A single loophole in your case can help them turn the table against you! In order to acknowledge liability of their insured, they usually conduct a recorded statement where you, the plaintiff, will need to recall parts of the accident and what injuries you sustained. In cases like these, an insurance company seeks to evaluate damages.
What if reaching maximum medical improvement takes a long time?
A settlement might take a long time if you are still being treated for your injuries. Usually, settling a personal injury case before you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement can be a costly mistake. It is usually recommended for you to wait until you are at MMI before settling your case. This allows you and your lawyer to put the rightful value for your damages. In case you are still being medically treated, you might not know when you will fully recover from your injuries. In case you accept a settlement before you reach MMI, you may not be compensated for additional medical expenses, disability, lost wages or pain, etc.
What if you decide to settle for less?
You must never settle for lesser compensation than you deserve. However, in case you need to settle your case fast, you can consider consulting a personal injury lawyer. He/she is the right person who can advise you of the risks of a great settlement.
How long does it take to get you settlement injury check?
In general, it takes between four to six weeks to complete the settlement process. This, however, varies from case to case.
The insurance company will require you to sign a release that settles your claim. As per this release, you need to give up your right to sue the person, persons or company who are responsible for your injuries. Once the insurance company receives the release, you might receive a proper sum of money in exchange for giving up your claim.
In general, a personal injury settlement check is disbursed to your attorney. First, he/she will pay any liens placed on the settlement funds. Attorney's fees, out-of-pocket expenses, and other relevant costs related to the claim will also be cut down. Once all deductions have been made, you will receive the balance of the settlement in the form of a check from your own attorney's office.
When the insurance company agrees to a personal injury settlement, many victims are eager to wrap up their case and receive their compensation. They tend to start using that money to address their medical bills and other costs.
However, the settlement process is certainly not that simple. The process to get there can be complex. In case you know what to expect, you might find this process easier to navigate.
What are the various steps involved in going for a settlement?
When you reach a settlement with the insurance company, the lawyers draft a series of release forms. Your release forms might be relatively simple. They might contain detailed terms and conditions that your attorney will have to read over carefully.
Processing of Your Release by the insurance company
Your insurance company processes your release and cuts a check. In usual, they make this check payable to both you and your attorney and then send it to your attorney. This process is usually smooth. However, most insurance companies delay payment for a bunch of reasons. In case you go through prolonged delays while waiting for your settlement check, you should consider contacting your lawyer for assistance.
Depositing the Insurance Check
Your attorney will deposit the insurance check into a special trust or escrow account. This is temporary. This is not your attorney’s decision. It is a mandatory part of the settlement process under the State Bar of Texas rules. When the settlement check clears, your lawyer will distribute your settlement money.
Deduction of legal fees and costs
Once your personal injury lawyer pays any liens, he/she deduct legal fees and costs from your settlement. Your lawyer’s fees will amount to a certain percentage of your settlement as mentioned in the attorney-client contract. This contract is signed by you in the early stage of your case.
What are structured settlement payments?
Certain times, a personal injury claim gets paid through a structured settlement. This is an arrangement that involves the victim receiving portions of their settlement over time. In usual, these structured settlements happen when the victim is a minor or has a catastrophic injury claim that involves ongoing, expensive medical and nursing care.