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 800-724-6529 or complete our contact form for a free case review.