It can take a few weeks to get money after reaching a settlement in your Pittsburgh personal injury case. By most estimates, up to six weeks may pass before the settlement is finalized, and money is in your hands. There are a few steps left to complete in the settlement process, even after you reach an agreement. Only after these steps are complete will the insurance company send the check to us, and we will get you paid as soon as possible.
Understanding the Settlement and Payment Process
Even after we agree to a fair settlement offer with the insurance company, there are additional steps in the process that must occur before you receive your money. We will need to review and approve the proposed release, and make appropriate changes before you can sign the release. A release generally states:
- We accept the settlement offer in the agreed-on amount; and
- In exchange for this compensation, we will not pursue any further legal action related to this incident or injuries.
The Insurer Must Receive the Agreement Before Issuing a Check
The insurance company will not start the process of sending a check until it has this release in hand. Then, it will request a check for the amount we settled on. Getting this check issued may take a few hours or a few weeks.
When the check is ready, they will send it to us if we represent you in your case. We will process the check, depositing in our client trust account. After the check has cleared, typically 5 business days, we issue funds to you, any lien holders, and take out the attorney’s fees and costs.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Common Delays in Getting Your Money After a Settlement
While it should not take more than a week or two to get your check after we reach a settlement agreement, there are many points in the settlement and payment process when delays can occur. This may include:
Weekends and Bank Holidays
When the bank is closed, it puts the ability to process your payment on hold. If we receive your check on Friday, we will not be able to deposit your check in our trust account until the bank reopens.
Insurance Company Delays
There are often delays between the time the insurance company receives the signed settlement agreement and when they write a settlement check. This can happen for several reasons. Some insurance companies only write checks on certain days of the week or process payments only a few times a month.
How to Prepare for the Wait Before the Settlement Check Comes
Since it can take up to a month and a half to receive your settlement funds, you may want to think about what you can do to meet your financial obligations until you receive your money. It helps to have realistic expectations and a plan that can get you through the wait.
You may be able to use a savings account you had before your case to help you meet expenses. You could use credit cards or receive personal loans from relatives or friends to help you ease financial obligations while waiting.
You also may be able to use your health insurance, a Medicare or Medicaid plan, or another type of insurance, such as your car insurance policy, to cover the medical bills you have. When you receive your settlement, you may be required to repay your insurance and others you received money from.
Presettlement Loans are One Option
You also may want to consider taking out a presettlement loan, which can help you pay your bills until your settlement clears the process. Make sure you understand all loan terms and fees you would be required to pay.
Things to Know Before You get Your Settlement Check
Your attorney may have to send payments from your settlement to satisfy unpaid debts, which are known as liens. This includes payments to medical providers, government agencies, insurers, and others. Your lawyer will also take out legal fees and costs for payment before you receive your check. The fees deducted should match the agreement between you and your lawyer.
You should receive a distribution to sign that lists all the deductions from the settlement amount, and also list the exact amount you will receive. If you do not, ask for a list of deducted expenses and look it over to make sure everything checks out. Ask questions if something is unclear or you don’t recognize an itemized expense.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Call Us Today About Your Pittsburgh Personal Injury Case
If you suffered injuries in a Pittsburgh personal injury accident, the team from Berger and Green can pursue compensation on your behalf. We will investigate your accident and build a strong case to support the damages you deserve. We may be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the insurance company or liable party, or we can file a personal injury lawsuit for you.
Call us today at (412) 661-1400 for a free case review.