By the time they settle, most accident victims are ready to wrap up their claims, pay their bills, and get the closure they deserve. While most people get their settlement check within six to eight weeks, issues can arise that delay your settlement significantly.
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we understand that our clients are eager to get the money they deserve. However, you’ll need to complete a series of steps before your settlement is finalized. It’s our job to ensure that we protect our clients’ interests at every step.
Below, we explain some common issues and factors that may delay—or speed up—your settlement.
You Must Complete These 3 Steps Before You Get Your Settlement
There’s nothing more satisfying than negotiating a fair settlement for a client. However, you’ll need to do more than say “yes” to the insurance company’s settlement offer to finalize your deal. While every settlement is different, most accident victims must complete the following steps.
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1. Review and Sign Settlement Release Forms
When you settle a claim, you typically give up your right to any additional compensation and withdraw your lawsuit against the insurance company. Because you’re giving up such valuable rights, your lawyer will want to carefully review every settlement document before you sign it.
Sometimes, the forms are relatively straightforward and easy to understand. Other times, your lawyer will need to negotiate back and forth about the releases. Once the forms are finalized, you’ll sit down with your lawyer to review and sign them.
Even if you want your money quickly, take the time to thoroughly read the release forms. If you have concerns about a document, make sure you talk to your injury lawyer about them. Once you sign the forms and send them back to the insurance company, it’s hard to renege on your agreement.
2. Wait for the Insurance Company to Process Your Settlement
The insurance company will not cut your settlement check until they process your signed releases. While most insurance companies process settlements quickly, clerical errors, staffing shortages, and other issues can cause delays.
If you’re concerned about the amount of time your settlement is taking, call your injury lawyer for help.
3. Your Attorney Deposits the Check in an Escrow or Trust Account
In most cases, the insurance company will send your settlement check to your injury lawyer. In Alabama, law firms must have a dedicated escrow or trust account where they hold their clients’ settlement money. Your lawyer will deposit your check in their trust account for safekeeping.
Once the check clears, your lawyer will distribute the settlement money. They will also deduct attorneys’ fees, case costs, and other expenses from your settlement before you get your share.
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Factors That May Impact Your Settlement Timeline
Every case is different, and your unique circumstances may lead to settlement delays. For example, injury claims involving minors or a wrongful death may require more court oversight—and every step and procedure adds time to your wait.
Similarly, medical and child support liens may slow down your settlement. Your lawyer may need to coordinate your settlement with your health insurer, Medicaid, Medicare, or a child support agency.
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Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Accident Victims in Alabama and the Gulf Shore
Numerous factors can impact how long it takes to receive your personal injury settlement money. If you’re working with Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, you’ll have experienced lawyers handling the negotiations and documentation and watching for serious delays in the process.
If you or a loved one needs help negotiating a personal injury settlement, the dedicated team at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys would love to hear from you. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions for our clients and fight tirelessly on their behalf. Please call (251) 888-8888 today for your free case evaluation or complete a simple online form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.