Filing a lawsuit allows you to pursue justice if someone wronged you, either physically or financially. A personal injury lawsuit, for instance, means seeking compensation for your injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. But like other legal proceedings, there are many things to consider when dealing with an injury lawsuit, and one of them is the process of claiming your lawsuit settlement if you’re able to win the case.
Typically, with all the paperwork, negotiations, and meetings with your attorney, knowing that you win your case and you’ll get compensation for all your losses can be an exciting feeling. Finally, you can put all the conflict and frustrations behind you and pay all your expenses. But it’s important to know that your injury lawsuit journey doesn’t end there. When you sign the settlement agreement, the money doesn’t appear in your bank account immediately.
As such, you might wonder how the lawsuit statement process works and how long it generally takes for you to claim your settlement. Read on to learn more.
What Is A Lawsuit Settlement Process?
Generally, a personal injury lawsuit can be settled before a formal trial begins. In order to avoid the hassle, stress, and costs associated with a trial, the parties in a personal injury case agree to resolve the issue by offering settlement money to the injured party. In this situation, your lawyer will prepare a settlement letter containing the following details:
- Description of how the accident happened and how the other party is at-fault;
- List of the injuries sustained;
- Discussion of the treatment injury;
- Information regarding lost wages and capacity to earn;
- Documents on medical bills and other forms of documentation.
Once these details are included in the letter, the next step is to state the settlement offer. When everything is ready, your lawyer will begin the negotiations with the other party allegedly at fault for your injury.
What Are The Steps For Claiming Your Lawsuit Settlement?
Now that the parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the steps for claiming your lawsuit settlement. But before that, you might be wondering how long the process takes to claim your settlement. The short answer to this question is it depends. In some cases, it can take four to six weeks, but the amount of time generally depends on the personal circumstances surrounding it that may cause delays.
To better understand the lawsuit settlement process and how long it takes to claim your check, consulting legal professionals can help. You can check out reliable legal resources like https://www.raphaelsonlaw.com and similar platforms to get more information.
But aside from these online resources, here’s a quick look at the various steps involved in the process:
You Sign The Release Form
Under this step, the defendant’s lawyer prepares a release form that provides for the terms and conditions of the settlement. It will indicate the settlement amount and will explicitly state the defendant will be free from any liability associated with the accident. By accepting the terms and signing the release form, you agree that you can no longer sue the defendant over the accident involved or pursue additional compensation once the settlement has been accepted.
In this step, it’s essential that you read and understand each provision stated in this document. You can review the Release Form with your personal injury lawyer to ensure you understand and agree to all the terms stipulated in the document.
The Defendant Processes The Settlement Internally
Once you sign the release form, the defendant will start processing the settlement based on their internal processes. This is where delays in the lawsuit settlement process usually come in. For instance, you’re getting a settlement check from an insurance company. Delays can come in the form of internal approvals and backlogs of the company.
Another cause of delay in claiming your lawsuit settlement is if there are discrepancies in the Release Forms. Or, in some instances, there may also be instances wherein you and the defendant disagree on some of the contents or terms in the document. In such a case, a judge may be needed to preside over and resolve the issue.
The Defendant Sends The Check To Your Lawyer
Once the internal protocols are completed, the defendant will send the settlement check to your lawyer for you to claim. At this stage, delays are still more likely to happen since your lawyer may have to hold the money for a certain period. For example, your settlement check may need to go through an escrow account or a contract whereby two parties assign a third party to receive or disburse the money for the contracting parties.
Another reason is that your personal injury lawyer will have to pay out any claims filed against your settlement money. These can include liens such as unpaid medical bills and child support obligations. Lastly, you may also have to wait for more until your lawyer deducts their fees from the settlement money.
When everything has been deducted, your lawyer will now send the remaining balance from your settlement check,
Claiming your lawsuit settlement may take a long time, depending on various circumstances. But working with reputable personal injury lawyers can help you navigate this journey and could lead to more favorable outcomes. Furthermore, you can keep in mind the insights above to guide you on what to expect when claiming settlement money from your case to cover your losses.