How long does it take to get a personal injury settlement?
So, you've settled with the defendant for a sum of money in a personal injury case. Despite any obstacles that may have came up for you, you've managed to clear them and at least get part of what you were asking for. At this point, your next question should be: how long is it going to take to get the money that you are entitled to? This is a question with no one answer, and we will spend this article explaining why the answer is not a simple time frame.
How long will it take to get a settlement in a personal injury case?
Getting strung along by the defendant in a case when you are trying to obtain your settlement from them, well, it's not fun, to put it lightly. Some people may be able to deal with this financial burden, but in most people's cases, people dealing with a personal injury case are usually needing money to cover the financial losses incurred both by the injury as well as any following losses due to filing the case or being unable to perform at their place of work. The longer it takes for a settlement to be finalized and actually in your possession, the longer you will be going without the money that you need. Once a settlement has been, well, settled on, the settlement has to then be processed by the court and other involved parties. The length of time is going to vary based on certain circumstances and variables, but if everything goes smoothly, you can expect to receive your settlement as soon as six weeks. The settlement process involves a number of factors, including paying for medical costs for victims in a settlement as well as attorney fees and, ultimately, compensation. In the event of medical expenses, the more information they have access to, such as medical invoices and statements, the faster these payments can be processed.
As far as attorney fees go, your attorney will then write up a statement to help the other side's attorney better understand how much cost the defendant needs to compensate you. Once all of these are taken care of, one must then deal with the final compensation payments to the plaintiff. In general, a lawyer should make sure that all costs that the defendant is going to be expected to cover are well documented, so as to avoid having to get more documentation after the fact, as well as being able to avoid a dispute over what the actual cost of what they are obligated to cover is. At this point, the compensation check will be delivered either directly to you or to your attorney. In the event that the check lands in the lap of your attorney, you should expect there to be some more time before the law firm is able to get around to processing the check and delivering your funds to you. After all, most law firms are going to have many a client where they have to also monitor them and take responsibility that their clients receive all of their money on a timely basis. This ends up making everyone wait a little longer as opposed to having certain people wait less time and certain others wait more.
Your attorney will make sure to double and triple check all of their math and all of the invoices, as making even a small mistake could be used to continue elongating the settlement process. So if it seems like your personal injury lawyer is taking their sweet time to get things done, that is because they want to ensure that the process is done perfectly, with no room for the defendant's attorney to make the process more complicated for you than it actually needs to be. At this part of the process, it should take only a few weeks to get everything finalized and the payment covered, barring extraordinary circumstances. It may seem frustrating to wait these few extra weeks, but hey, it is a much smaller wait to deal with than the months and years that you spent getting to this point in the first place.
Sometimes, however, the last thing a plaintiff will want to have to do is give that settlement far too early. In the case that you are still having to deal with ongoing medical improvement, getting things settled too soon may leave you responsible for costs that are remaining after the settlement has been finalized. So if you can afford to stretch out the settlement, you may find a great deal of benefit from doing so. However, if you need your money as soon as possible, you may find it worthwhile to accept the settlement payment earlier than you usually should. Similarly, you might find yourself wanting to end the settlement process earlier than you otherwise normally would for cost reasons. Rather than accepting a loss because you cannot wait for your medical improvement to be maximized, you may find yourself willing to accept a smaller cash settlement, although be careful that you do not accept too little. If you need assistance, you can contact the accident & injury law office of Terry Bryant, and we will get the ball rolling for your legal needs.
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