Do You Get Money From a Personal Injury Settlement Immediately?
If you were involved in a car accident, slip and fall injury or even a dog bite case, you may have medical bills and other expenses piling up. You might also have been out of work and lost income because of your injuries, so it’s natural to wonder when you might receive compensation that can help you put your financial ship back in order.
Many people wonder if they will get that compensation as soon as the ink is dry on any type of settlement check. While finalizing a personal injury settlement can certainly provide some relief in your case, you’re unlikely to walk away the same day with money. Find out more about how long it can take to receive money from a personal injury settlement below.
How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Take?
The time from the date you first speak to an attorney about your case to when you walk away with compensation (assuming your lawsuit is successful) can be weeks, months, or even years. How long your specific personal injury case takes can depend on factors such as:
- The complexity of the case. More complex cases can take longer to document and prove. If you rush your personal injury case, you may not have the evidence you need to support your claims. Speak with your personal injury attorney to understand what timeline you might expect.
- Whether you settle or go to court. Settling a case is often faster than winning one in court. This doesn’t mean that settlement is the right option for you; your personal injury lawyer can help you understand what might be the best path for your case.
- The schedule of the court. If you do go to court, you are somewhat at the mercy of the court schedule. With hundreds or even thousands of preventable injury-related deaths and injuries related to accidents of various types occurring daily, personal injury lawsuits can stack up and keep court schedules busy.
Once the Case is Settled, How Fast Do You Get Your Money?
Once you settle a case, you’re in the final inning. That means you can expect your settlement money soon. However, it typically takes between 10 days to a month to receive your funds.
Understanding Medical Liens
One of the first things that’s important to understand about personal injury settlement is that a medical lien may be in place against the funds. When someone holds a lien, it’s like a legal status that puts them first in line for payment.
Medical liens can occur in a few ways in a personal injury case. First, if you have unpaid medical expenses related to the injuries in the case, the medical providers might have a lien. They may need to be paid out of your settlement proceeds before you receive the remaining funds.
Even if your medical bills were covered by insurance or a government benefits program, such as MassHealth or Medicare, a lien may be present. That’s because the public or private health insurance company that paid the medical bills will want to get reimbursed if a third-party compensates you for losses that include those medical expenses.
What Happens Once a Settlement Check Is Deposited?
Settlement checks are written to your attorney and deposited into a client trust account. Once they are deposited, a few things happen. The process may differ slightly depending on the attorney’s preferences and the details of your case, but typically:
- The attorney waits to ensure that the settlement check clears and the funds are available.
- The attorney provides relevant information to any medical providers or insurance companies so that lien totals may be calculated and requested.
- The attorney satisfies any liens with funds from the settlement.
- Expenses related to the case, such as court fees or records fees, are paid.
- The attorney’s fees are paid.
- The attorney’s office cuts a check for the remaining amount to you.
Typically, once a settlement agreement is reached, the insurance company or other party issues payment within about 2 weeks.. Once your attorney receives the payment, you can expect a check in a few days to a few weeks, depending on whether there are liens or other issues to address first.
Communicate regularly with your legal team and ask them to do the same. They should be able to let you know whether you can expect funds quickly following a settlement or whether there are issues that could hold up processing or payment.
Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
One way to ensure your personal injury case is handled in a timely manner and that you may get compensation sooner rather than later is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A strong legal team can help set you up for a better chance at success with your case.
An experienced law office also likely has procedures in place to handle settlement funds correctly and swiftly once they are received. If you have any questions about how these matters are handled by your attorney, ask them. A good personal injury law office will be transparent about such matters and happy to help you understand how settlement funds are treated.
If you’re dealing with injuries from a car accident, slip and fall, premises liability incident, or other potential personal injury matter, work with an experienced legal team to seek compensation. Reach out to Contant Law by calling 617-221-8221 and making an appointment.