How Long Does It Take to Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check in Philadelphia?
Ryan Zavodnick | October 5, 2022 | Personal Injury
If you were recently injured in a car accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or another personal injury incident, you are probably anxious about your settlement check.
However, getting a check faster may mean that you are leaving money on the table. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement and explain when you may be able to expect it.
What Is a Settlement Agreement?
A settlement agreement effectively resolves a legal claim. In personal injury cases, the injured person agrees not to sue the defendant in exchange for a certain amount of compensation.
Under Pennsylvania law, evidence of negotiations to settle a claim is not admissible.
What Are the Steps in the Settlement Process?
Your case may involve several phases, which may include:
- Investigation – Your lawyer and the insurance company will investigate the situation.
- Demand letter – After your lawyer determines how the accident has affected you, they can prepare a demand letter requesting that you be fully compensated for the losses you have suffered.
- Negotiations – You do not have to accept the first offer the insurance company makes. Your lawyer and the insurance company may go back and forth several times so you can secure as much compensation as possible while getting the insurance company to agree to pay.
- Signing a settlement agreement – Once you reach a settlement, you will typically be asked to sign a release that says you will no longer pursue the legal matter against the defendant.
The length of each step will depend on many factors, including the strength of your evidence and the defendant’s willingness to negotiate in good faith.
Factors that Can Lengthen the Time of Your Settlement
Certain characteristics may delay the amount of time it takes for your case to reach a settlement and for you to receive your settlement check, including:
Liability Is in Dispute
Many personal injury cases are based on the legal principle of negligence, which is when someone’s carelessness causes harm to others. In order to recover compensation, you must first show that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries.
If the defendant or insurance company believes that liability is in dispute – such as if you caused the accident or a third party caused your injuries – the case may not settle until there is strong evidence to show liability.
Severe Injuries Are Involved
Many personal injury lawyers will not recommend settling a personal injury claim until you have reached maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is the point you reach where your medical condition has improved as much as is expected.
Personal injury lawyers often advise clients not to settle before this point because it is a convenient time to add up all of the expenses you have already incurred and estimate the long-term impact your injuries will have on your life. Once you settle your claim, you will forfeit your right to pursue additional compensation from the defendant.
Higher Damages Are at Stake
When potential settlements involve more money, the insurance company may insist on a thorough investigation and assessment of the case – which may take longer.
Pennsylvania Law Regarding Settlement Funds
Pennsylvania law requires a defendant or insurance company to deliver a claimant’s settlement funds after they receive their executed release form.
What Happens After You Sign a Settlement Agreement?
The following steps usually follow signing a settlement agreement:
- The settlement release is forwarded to the insurance company.
- The insurance company closes the claim and forwards the check to your personal injury lawyer.
- Your personal injury lawyer places the proceeds into a special account. Claims against you are paid out, such as medical liens. Fees are also deducted.
- Your lawyer’s fee is deducted from the settlement amount.
- Your lawyer gives you the remaining money in the form of a check.
If you have questions about the settlement process or when you can expect your settlement check, reach out to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.