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What Happens After You Settle with an Insurance Company?

Seth Harris

Last modified on September 8, 2023

When you settle with the insurance company after an accident, you are one step closer to receiving compensation. But what happens next? You’re ready to move on, but several steps must happen before your personal injury case concludes.

At Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb, we understand the frustration that often comes with concluding a claim. Our New York personal injury attorneys want to clarify this often misunderstood aspect of the legal process. This guide explains what happens after you settle with the insurance company and offers a timeline for when you can expect to receive your compensation. We hope you find it helpful and are happy to answer any questions.

How New York Personal Injury Cases End

While the end of settlement negotiations is a significant milestone in any personal injury case, certain steps must happen before you receive your check. Here’s a basic outline of what happens after settlement negotiations conclude in a personal injury claim:

  • Consultation with Your Attorney: Before you put pen to paper, discuss the settlement terms with your attorney. This ensures that you understand the agreement in its entirety and that it protects your interests.
  • Signing the Settlement Release: Once you thoroughly understand the terms of your settlement, the next step is signing the settlement release. This is a legal document where you agree to accept the insurance company’s payment and, in return, give up your right to pursue any future claims related to your injury against the at-fault party or insurance company.
  • Processing the Release: Once you sign the release, your attorney sends it to the insurance company. This is an official confirmation that you’ve accepted the settlement terms. After receiving the release, the insurance company will process it. This might involve internal procedures and verifications to ensure the agreement meets all necessary legal formalities and conditions.
  • Issuing and Depositing the Check: After the insurance company processes the settlement release, they’ll issue a check. Typically, this check goes to your attorney, who then deposits it into an escrow or client trust account.
  • Deducting Legal Fees and Expenses: Before you claim compensation, your attorney will deduct the agreed-upon legal fees and any additional costs or expenses related to your case that haven’t been covered yet. This money comes from the compensation you received in the settlement.
  • You Receive Your Payment: Once all the deductions are taken care of, you receive the remaining amount. Depending on your arrangements with your attorney, this could be via a direct bank transfer, a check, or another agreed-upon method.

How Long Does It Take to Settle With the Insurance Company and Get Paid?

It usually takes four to six weeks from the time you sign a settlement release before you receive your compensation. However, many factors can affect this timeline. If this process takes longer than it should, talk to your attorney immediately.

Factors That Can Delay Your Settlement Check

While reaching a settlement agreement brings you closer to receiving your due compensation, there are sometimes unforeseen delays in the final disbursement. Several factors might prolong the wait for your settlement check, including:

  • Discrepancies in Paperwork: Errors or inconsistencies in the settlement documentation can result in processing delays.
  • Bureaucratic Delays: The insurance company’s internal procedures can sometimes be lengthy, causing unexpected waits.
  • Liens or Claims Against the Settlement: If there are claims on your settlement by third parties, such as healthcare providers, these must be resolved before you receive your compensation.
  • Large Settlement Amounts: Settlements with larger amounts often undergo extra scrutiny, adding to the processing time.
  • Change in Adjusters or Staff: A change in the insurance adjuster handling your case or other personnel changes can lead to a review period.
  • Disagreements on Deductions: Disputes over deductions for attorney fees or other expenses can cause delays.
  • Bank Processing Times: Even after the insurance company issues a check, banks may have hold periods for larger sums before funds become available.

The best step to protect your rights and quickly secure fair compensation after an accident is to hire an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney. The Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb team has extensive experience with these cases, and our lawyers have recovered more than half a billion dollars in compensation for our clients. We will do whatever we can to quickly get you the money you need. Call [phone-number linked=true] or complete our contact form for a free case review.

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A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.



Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).



A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage.



A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.



The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.



The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.



Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.



The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.



The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.



The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.



A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.



A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

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Horrible people. I lost complete confidence in this firm. Attorneys dragged their feet for 4 years and my mom died before a settlement could be reached. I advised them several times that my mom was sick to put fire under their feet but the effort was to no avail.
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I am completely satisfied, and recommend Harris Keenan & Goldfarb as Attorneys to represent anyone. Their care for me physically, and overall helped me stay strong in spite of my injuries. Always available to answer questions, and inform.They got me Justice, and achieved a substantial outcome for my case.I am very impressed, and thankful for their outstanding performance on my behalf.I am very pleased, and significantly satisfied with their representation.‐-Sherylon Wilkins
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Gene Matos (fanboye)Gene Matos (fanboye)
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I first crossed paths with Seth Harris when serving jury duty many years ago. He was so professional and personable, that when my mom was seeking legal counsel for medical malpractice, I told her she had to reach out to his firm. We had meetings with a few different firms, but Harris Keenan & Goldfarb was the only firm that did not try to get us to sign paperwork before even meeting. They took the time to listen and understand our situation before we signed anything, and they were transparent and responsive the whole time. I would like to give special thanks to Samantha Walton, Marla Stein, Val Wallace and Seth Harris for helping my mom through this tough time. They were honest and upfront, and even though Seth Harris wasn't personally on the case, he took the time to meet with us and give us his thoughts on it.
Solange IsaacSolange Isaac
17:52 08 Jan 24
I am pleased with the services provided by Ms Sheri on my case. The team at Harris, Keenan, & Goldfarb were very nice and explained everything to me. Everything that I had questions on they answered without frustration and were prompt and knowledgeable.6 years ago I had a slip and fall accident at my employers place of business. I reached out to them because I knew that I was being wrongfully treated. They took care of the case, restored my self confidence, and brought so much peace to my problem riddled life.I can recommend without a shadow of a doubt the services of Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb to anyone who is in need of someone who will have your back!
Brittany DempseyBrittany Dempsey
16:02 08 Jan 24
My mother had an accident with her ankle back in 2019. I immediately contacted Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb on the day of the accident. They were extremely prompt and helpful. They attended to my mother's case beautifully and she's been recovering well. I'd like to thank you for being so diligent, kind and above all professional. I'd recommend this law firm to anyone who are injured and in need of legal assistance. My mother, Andrea, and I thank you for everything.
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