What are the Steps Involved in Settling a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury settlement check can be issued for various types of cases, including car accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, product liability or defect claims, premises liability claims, medical malpractice, TBI (traumatic brain injury) or spinal cord injuries, and more.
When a victim is injured in an accident and suffers expenses for maximum medical improvement, lost wages or earning capacity, reduced quality of life, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more, financial compensation via a lawsuit settlement is a means of helping the injured party recovery from a jury verdict and live a productive life following an accident.
The process of obtaining a personal injury settlement includes the following steps:
1. Signed release
In order for the defendant’s health insurance adjusters (or defendant alone) to issue settlement proceeds without delay payment, you will have to sign a form stating that no further legal action will be taken to pursue additional damages for the incident in question. By signing the itemized statement, you effectively protect the liable party from being sued in the future for the same injury or accident.
2. Processing the release
After you’ve signed your own release form in cases involving estates, the defendant's insurance company receives the document and then issues a fair settlement check. In most cases, the settlement check is sent to your attorney, and made payable in both of your names.
3. Depositing the check
Once the check is received, your attorney will deposit it into a special trust or escrow account. As soon as the check clears, your personal injury case attorney will distribute the settlement money. However, it should be noted that in some cases your personal injury attorney might need to put a portion of the settlement money towards various unpaid debts or medical lien.
4. Deduct legal fees and paying you directly
Most attorneys work with government agencies on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing up front, and instead a portion of the final settlement amount is deducted and used to pay the law form. Once your attorney pays off any remaining liens and subtracts legal costs (e.g. hours devoted to your case, court reporting costs, expert witness fees, private investigator fees, etc.), you will receive your settlement money.
Also read: Are Lawsuit Settlements Taxable?
How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check?
A personal injury settlement process refers to the monetary compensation that a victim/plaintiff receives from a defendant in order to prevent the case from going to a jury trial. If you have completed the process of filing a personal injury claim with a health insurance company, you may be wondering, how long does it take to get a settlement check?
It’s true that most injured victims in personal injury cases are anxious to receive a settlement check to pay for mounting medical expenses and gathering medical records received as a result of the accident.
It is important to remember that you don’t have to take the first check the insurance company sends you. In some cases, pushing for a trail, or at least having your own law firm attorney may increase the compensation you can receive from a settlement. This differs on a case-by-case basis.
Most personal injury settlements are determined after both parties have examined the evidence and found a rough estimate of how much the case is worth. Both parties will then sign a settlement agreement after the insurance company processes the claim. The plaintiff also signs legal documentation giving up the right to pursue a future lawsuit.
So how long does it take to get your settlement offer after the release is submitted? It typically takes about six weeks, depending on the complexity of the case.
See all personal injury cases which we're currently handling.
How Does the Insurance Company Calculate an Auto Accident Settlement?
The insurance industry doesn’t have a specific formula for calculating the average settlement amount. If you only sustained damage to your vehicle, you’ll typically be reimbursed based on the policy limits.
Pain and suffering compensation is only given when you've suffered a personal injury. This is why it's important to be examined by a doctor immediately after the accident, even if you don’t think that you’ve been hurt.
Some automobile crash injuries, such as whiplash, may not be noticed until days or even weeks after the crash. If you’ve already negotiated your settlement or waited too long to get medical care, you may be unable to get compensated for the injury.
If you want to get a rough estimate of how much to expect from a car accident case, add up your expenses for medical bills, car repairs and lost wages, and then multiply that sum by 3.
For example, let’s say that you injured your back in a car accident and paid $5,000 in doctor’s bills. You were out of work for a week, which made you lose $2,000 in income.
Your average car accident settlement might be approximately $21,000. It is likely to fall somewhere between $14,000 and $28,000.
The settlement is generally higher for more severe or permanent injuries. You’ll also get paid more if the other driver was found to be driving under the influence.
When you’re filing an injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you’re limited by their policy maximum.
Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Personal Injury Litigation Group at our attorney's office is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. Our law office is handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you think you may have a claim, you should contact Schmidt & Clark law firm immediately for legal representation. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit with the right lawyer and our law firm can help.