Good news! You have gone through the arduous process of negotiating with the insurance company and finally agreed on a fair settlement. Now that you’ve signed the settlement release, you’re probably wondering how long it will take for the check to arrive in the mail.
On average, you can expect it to take approximately five to six weeks from the day you sign the settlement release to when you receive payment. However, several factors can affect this general timeframe.
In this article, we’ll share some insight into this process and alert you to circumstances that can cause delays.
Follow the Money
Clients are often curious to know what exactly happens after they sign the settlement release. Before receiving a check, there are a few loose ends to tie up:
1. The release gets processed. Your signed settlement release first goes to the insurance company for processing. Basically, they close your claim and write a check. The check will be made out to your attorney.
2. The check goes into an escrow account. By law, personal injury attorneys have to settle any liens before you can receive your payment. A common lien would be a medical lien, which occurs when you receive care for your injuries with a promise to pay once you receive a settlement.
Your medical or car insurance companies may also have liens if they were making payments while your claim was being negotiated. If you owe other debts, such as child support, funds may be deducted from your settlement as well.
3. Attorney’s fees get deducted. Per the agreement with your attorney, a portion of your settlement will be deducted. The amount may be based on a percentage of the settlement or an hourly fee arrangement.
4. The check’s in the mail. Once everything is processed, and the appropriate fees have been deducted, your attorney will mail you a check.
This entire process may be completed within a couple of weeks, but there’s usually not a cause for concern unless more than six weeks have passed, and you still have no check.
Several issues can arise that result in a delay:
– The insurance company is moving slowly. A delay could be as simple as a claims processing agent being on vacation, or there could be a deluge of paperwork. Or, the insurance company may delay cutting checks as a tactic. If they take too long, you can be sure that your attorney will be following up.
– There are additional liens. If lienholders come out of the woodwork, it can take some time for your attorney to verify the lienholders’ claims and then remit payment.
– Your attorney is negotiating. To help keep more money in your pocket, your attorney may negotiate with lienholders to request that they agree to accept less than the stated debt.
Have More Questions? Contact Us for Answers
Navigating personal injury claims can be a challenge, and it’s recommended to seek the advice of an attorney to understand your claim. At the Law Offices of Bryan Garrett PLLC, we are here to help. If you have any questions about personal injury settlements, please feel free to get in touch.