Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers | July 3, 2023 | Personal Injury
Did you get hurt in an accident or other personal injury incident? If so, you may wonder how long the settlement check process takes in Vista, California.
While you wait for your lawsuit settlement or personal injury check, you may also wonder about the details involved in the personal injury claims process as well as how long a lawyer can hold your settlement check. Let’s explore those questions and more.
What Do I Need To Know About Receiving a Personal Injury Settlement Check in Vista, CA?
You need to know two things about receiving a personal injury settlement check. First, you do not receive a settlement check until you agree to a settlement amount and sign a release of liability. Many factors impact your personal injury settlement timeline, so you cannot base your case on another personal injury case.
Second, personal injury claims are complex legal matters. Even a seemingly straightforward personal injury case requires you to go through many of the same steps to reach a settlement. Before you can settle your personal injury case, several things need to happen, including:
- Your attorney must complete the accident investigation to gather evidence proving the other party is responsible for your injuries.
- You must complete medical treatment and receive a final diagnosis and impairment rating from your doctor.
- Your lawyer may need to hire experts to assist in building a case for fault or calculating the value of future economic and non-economic damages for permanent impairment.
- Negotiations with the insurance company could take several months.
Other steps might apply depending on the facts of your case. The complexity of your personal injury case directly impacts the settlement timeline. If you file a personal injury lawsuit in a California court, the trial could take more than a year to reach trial.
After you settle your personal injury claim, you do not receive a settlement check immediately. There are still steps that your lawyer must take before issuing you a settlement check.
Signing a Settlement Agreement in a Personal Injury Case
A settlement agreement refers to the final settlement of your personal injury case. After you negotiate a settlement amount, the insurance company requires you to sign a settlement agreement. Before you sign the agreement, you should know these things about settlement agreements in personal injury cases:
- The settlement agreement is a binding contract for all parties that can be enforced in a court of law.
- The agreement likely contains a release of liability. You release the insurance company, at-fault parties, and all other parties from further liability. The release covers known and unknown parties.
- You also generally release your right to future claims. Therefore, you cannot file additional claims related to the incident, even if you discover a cause of action you did not pursue.
- If you discover that you did not receive a fair settlement amount or have additional damages, you cannot demand more money or take the parties to court.
- The parties who caused your injury do not admit fault for the accident or injury.
Most personal injury cases settle without going to court. The parties enter a settlement agreement resolving the dispute.
A settlement can save time and money. However, most often you are signing a general release of claims. Therefore, you should always have legal counsel to advise you of your rights before signing a personal injury settlement agreement.
Your attorney will advise you if the amount being offered for settlement is fair, given the facts of your case. Unfortunately, many people who handle their own personal injury cases discover after settlement that their case was worth more than the insurance company paid them.
How Long Can a Lawyer Hold Your Settlement Check in Vista, CA?
Your Vista personal injury attorney is not holding your check to avoid giving you your money. There are several things the lawyer must do before cutting a check to you.
First, the check must clear the attorney’s account. A lawyer cannot write checks on funds that aren’t in their trust account.
Second, your lawyer is responsible for paying medical liens and subrogation claims. However, your attorney wants to put as much money from the settlement in your pocket as possible. So, they may negotiate with the medical providers and insurance companies to lower the lien amounts.
Then, your Vista accident attorney deducts their contingency fee and costs from the settlement proceeds. That requires the lawyer to prepare the final invoice and accounting for your review.
Finally, your attorney can write you a check for the net settlement proceeds. If you are concerned about any steps required to receive a settlement check, you should discuss your concerns with your Vista personal injury lawyer.
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