Filing a personal injury claim is all about getting to a settlement agreement. Most defendants do not want to take a case to trial if they can avoid it. A settlement agreement tends to work out for both parties involved because they can avoid the expense of trial litigation. However, many plaintiffs do not understand how a settlement check is distributed, with many believing that they receive the entire amount before being asked to pay any debts. However, that is not the case.
Getting the Check
When a settlement agreement is reached, most defendants will make out the check to your attorney and you, meaning that it requires both signatures before the check can be deposited. On the off chance that you are the only person listed on the check, your lawyer will ask you to sign the back of the check so they can deposit it for proper disbursement.
Depositing the Check
After both parties have signed the check, your law firm of choice will deposit the check into a trust. The trust allows both parties to feel secure in how the money will be dealt with. Before anything can happen with the funds, the check must clear, allowing the funds to be accessible to the attorney’s office for payment of any existing debts.
Dividing the Check
When funds are available, you will not be the first person to receive payment. Instead, the law firm will take their portion of the settlement as per your agreement. Most firms receive between 30% and 40%, depending on the difficulty of the case. Next, the lawyer will pay any third-party debts, like hospitals and insurance companies. Finally, you will receive the rest of the funds.
Timeline to Your Portions
In most cases, the plaintiff will receive their portions of the settlement check in two to three days, depending on the complexity of the case and how many debts they owe. However, sometimes a check takes longer to clear. Speak with your legal team to understand the timeline fully.
When filing a personal injury claim, you are likely eager to get to a settlement agreement because you want access to funds to make your financial situation whole. However, know that getting to a deal is only a portion of the settlement process and that the check is not disbursed immediately to you, regardless of your situation. Contact a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer from David & Philpot, P.L., to discuss your claim and to find out more about the settlement process.