KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers | April 28, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you’ve been injured through the negligence of another party, whether in a car wreck, slip and fall accident, or by a defective consumer product, you may have filed a personal injury claim for damages.
And if your suit was successful, you’re probably eager to receive your settlement check, especially if you have medical bills to settle after arranging a Letter of Protection or other debts incurred because of the accident.
Learn what happens after the conclusion of your case and how long it may take to get your money.
What Are Legal Settlements?
Nearly all personal injury cases are settled out of court — fewer than 5% actually go to trial. Settlement agreements expedite the claims process, and if both parties can quickly compromise, you may get your settlement within a few months of the incident.
A legal settlement is an agreement to resolve the case and release the defendant from future claims brought by the plaintiff. Paying compensation is the main part of a settlement agreement, although there could be other considerations depending on the case.
For example, if the defendant is a large corporation with a reputation to protect, the plaintiff may be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) to prohibit them from talking about the case, their experience with the company, and the amount of the settlement.
Avoid Accepting an Offer Without Legal Guidance
The defendant’s insurance company is interested in settling cases as quickly and for as little money as possible. Right after your injury, you may get a call or letter offering you money to settle — but don’t sign this or accept it without first consulting a Stuart personal injury lawyer.
Once you agree to a settlement, your options dwindle — you cannot seek a second settlement if it turns out that the money you receive doesn’t cover all your medical or other needs stemming from the incident.
As both parties prepare for a trial, the facts and liability in the case become clearer. At this point, the defendant may be more amenable to settling for more money, especially if there are facts they don’t wish to come out in a trial.
What Happens After a Plaintiff Accepts a Settlement Offer?
Once you and your Stuart personal injury attorney receive a settlement offer you both agree is fair, you don’t get the money right away. There are a few steps between agreeing and getting the check.
A settlement is a legal transaction, so certain documents must be properly drafted, signed, and in some cases, notarized. The settlement check itself is part of this legally binding agreement.
The parties have between 30-60 days to complete the settlement process, including drafting the Release of Liability of the defendant.
Before signing the Release of Liability, have your Stuart personal injury attorney review it. Once you release the defendant from liability, you cannot seek further compensation from them.
The release may have specific clauses that pertain to your case, but all forms have the same general components:
- The defendant is released from future liability
- The defendant is released from any other claims by the plaintiff relating to the incident in the suit
The form is signed by the plaintiff before a notary public, then submitted to the defendant’s insurance company.
When Will You Receive Your Settlement Check?
The timeline for receiving your settlement check depends on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, the defendant’s insurance company examines the signed Release of Liability; the higher the settlement, the longer it usually takes to review. Your attorney will be able to give you an estimate of when to expect your check.
There are many steps between agreeing to a settlement and getting your money. The help of a Stuart, FL, personal injury attorney can ensure you take the right ones.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers in South Florida For Help Today
For more information, please contact the Stuart, Port St. Lucie, or Palm Beach Gardens personal injury law firm of KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers, at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers – Stuart
73 SW Flagler Ave
Stuart, FL 34994
KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers – Port St. Lucie
1100 SW St. Lucie West Blvd. Ste 202
Port St Lucie, FL 34986
KW Stuart Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers – Palm Beach Gardens
300 Avenue of the Champions Ste 220
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418