Once your personal injury case is settled, you may be wondering what the next steps of the settlement check process are. There is a standard time period before you can deposit your settlement check.
The average amount of time to receive a settlement check is typically between 30 days to six weeks from the end of negotiations, but there are any number of factors that can slow down or speed up this process. Be sure to speak with your personal injury attorney if there is a delay in receiving your settlement check.
If you or a loved one are waiting for your settlement check, it’s important to understand the settlement process and how to deposit your check. All personal injury cases are unique and The Advocates are here to answer any questions you may have.
What are the Steps in the Settlement Check Process?
While the time it takes to receive your check will vary, settlement checks undergo a specific process before your funds are ready to deposit. This process proceeds as follows:
1. Signing the Forms
Prior to the release of your settlement funds, the defense attorney of the at-fault party will draft a release form for you to sign. These signatures include:
- Order of Settlement. The Order of Settlement consists of paperwork that must be filled out by both parties. The most important of these documents is the Release.
- Release Form. The Release must be signed in order for you to receive your settlement check. This form acknowledges that you, the plaintiff, accept the settlement offer from the defendant and understand they are “releasing” are releasing any and all claims against the defendant.
2. Insurance Processes and Releases Check
Once the insurance company receives the signed release forms, they will process them and send your settlement check to your attorney. The check will read as the agreed upon amount, but there are several steps that need to happen before you can put your check in the bank. Checks are usually sent within 7-10 business days.
3. Your Attorney Deposits Check into Trust Account
After your attorney receives your check, he or she will deposit the settlement offer into a trust account until the bank clears the funds. This will ensure that the insurance company has the funds to pay the amount of your check. While this step can be frustrating, it’s required by law to make sure the money is there.
4. Paying Off Debts
If you have liens filed against you, your attorney first pay those liens before sending you the rest of your check. This includes:
- Unpaid medical bills
- Attorney’s fees from previous lawyers
- Reimbursements to your insurance company
- Child support payments
5. Payment of Legal Fees and Costs
Once your debts and liens have been paid off, your attorney will deduct the agreed-upon fees from your total settlement amount. Prior to hiring your personal injury lawyer, you should have signed a contingency fee arrangement that outlined the percentage your attorney will take out for legal fees.
6. Receiving Your Final Settlement Check
Your attorney will write you a check for the remaining funds after these fees are paid. You’ll likely receive this check within six weeks and can deposit the funds into your personal account.
How to Deposit Your Personal Injury Settlement Check
You can deposit your settlement check like any other check you receive. Most personal injury firms, including ours, still issue paper checks to clients. The bank teller may bring over a manager to authorize the transaction, but other than that you should be good to go.
Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney Near You!
If you or a loved one would like to know more about filing personal injury claims and recovering compensation for your injuries, you can contact The Advocates by phone at 307-224-9378 or use our online form fill here. Don’t wait. You deserve an Advocate.