You’ve won a lawsuit for personal injury, medical malpractice, defective devices, or for another claim and been awarded compensation for your injury. Your next thought will likely be how soon you can get your settlement check from the defendant. There are probably bills to pay to your medical provider as well as living expenses you’ve incurred. You may want to know how to track your settlement check? There are still several steps between being awarded a settlement and getting the settlement funds from the insurance company or plaintiff.
What Happens After Being Awarded a Settlement?
The settlement money will be for an amount based on your medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses of your personal injury. You may have to go to court to get the judgment or your attorney may negotiate settlements with the defendant on your behalf for compensation of your injury. Settlement checks can take up to six weeks to be issued even with no delays.
Signing the Release
Once a judgment is made for your lawsuit or you were able to settle for your injuries, the next step is for you to sign the release form and other documents. You will be issued a release form within a few days after the judgment from the defendant or their attorney, which releases the other party from any additional lawsuits for this case. Once you sign the release form, you will send it to the at-fault party or their insurance company.
It’s important to read the release form from the insurance company or have an experienced personal injury attorney read it and guide you on whether you should approve it, according to your best interests. Sometimes, you may want to make changes to the wording before signing. Both parties will need to sign the release form to move on to the next step in the settlement process.
You generally have 30 to 60 days to sign the release and other documents. If either party doesn’t agree with the form and cannot resolve it with the other party, a judge may need to intervene. This will add to the timeline for you to receive your settlement check.
Paying Liens and Medical Bills
The lawyer will also wait to see that the bank clears the check before moving on in the settlement check process. This can take up to ten business days before the check can be released. The attorney will pay all the claims against the settlement, including fees for their legal services in the personal injury claim. If there are any medical liens or other types of liens against you, the lawyer will hold the check until the liens have been removed.
After all debts associated with the claim have been paid, the law firm will issue a check for the remaining amount of the settlement proceeds. The final check will be mailed to the address the lawyer has on file.
Tracking Your Settlement Check
Now that you understand all that goes into getting your settlement amount, you have a better idea of how to find out where your check is in the process. If you haven’t received any forms after you reached a settlement agreement, you should contact your attorney to find out why.
Waiting on Release Forms
If you or your attorney requested changes to the form and haven’t heard back, you’ll need to follow up with the insurance company or their attorney’s office. They have a legal obligation to handle the matter in a timely manner.
Once the forms are signed, you should allow at least 30 days before inquiring about the funds for your personal injury case. After that timeline, you can follow up with your attorney. If the attorney hasn’t received the money, they can contact the other party.
Waiting on Release of Liens
You can continue to check in with your attorney to find out if creditors have been paid and if legal fees and outstanding liens have been taken care of. Your attorney can’t release the remaining funds until all debts have been paid. This can take some time, but you face legal consequences if you don’t pay those creditors before getting your money.
If you are concerned about paying your medical bills and other debts, you can request settlement funding to help you get through the difficult time. Unpaid bills can hold up your settlement, which is one issue you want to avoid. Settlement checks must go through the entire process before you will see your payment.
Oasis provides pre-settlement funding, also known as consumer litigation funding, to its customers through different products depending on their state of residence or cause of action. Many consumers will be provided pre-settlement funding in the form of a purchase agreement, which assigns a portion of the pending proceeds from their legal claim. Other consumers, such as those in CO, IL, MN, MO, SC, WI and some OK residents, will be offered a funding in the form of a pre-settlement loan, sometimes referred to as a lawsuit loan. These transactions have important differences, therefore, consumers should carefully review and be aware of the type of transaction that is offered to them by any funding company.