Mark Roman | January 4, 2023 | Personal Injury
If you suffered a personal injury, you may be anxious to get the money you need for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related losses. However, settling your case quickly is not always best, as you might be leaving money on the table you could desperately use.
We explain below what you can expect regarding the settlement process and your payment.
What Is a Settlement?
A personal injury settlement refers to the compensation an accident victim receives from a defendant in exchange for not taking the case any further. As a condition of accepting the settlement check, you forfeit your right to bring any future claims against the defendant related to the accident. This is by signing a settlement release form.
Steps That Follow a Personal Injury Settlement in Florida
Once you reach a settlement with the insurance company or other opposing party, the following process unfolds:
- You sign a settlement release
- The settlement release is forwarded to the insurance company
- The insurance company closes the claim and forwards the insurance check to your personal injury lawyer
- Your personal injury lawyer places the funds into a trust account and pays out claims against the settlement, such as medical liens
- Your personal injury lawyer deducts their fee and costs
- You receive the final settlement check
Florida law requires that you receive your settlement check within 20 days of entering into a signed agreement with the insurance company.
Factors That Affect the Timeline of a Personal Injury Settlement
Before receiving a settlement check, you must settle your case with the insurance company or defendant. Some of the reasons why your claim may take longer to settle include:
Liability Is in Dispute
Before an insurance company or defendant agrees to a settlement, you must usually establish that you have a legal basis for the claim. This usually requires showing the defendant was at fault for the accident.
If someone else caused your injuries or the defendant is arguing you were responsible for the accident, your claim may be delayed until a thorough investigation can establish liability.
The Insurance Company Offers a Low Settlement
You do not have to take the first offer the insurance company makes. In fact, the first offer is usually the lowest. Your lawyer may advise against accepting a settlement if it does not adequately compensate you for the losses you suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Your lawyer and the insurance company may have several rounds of negotiations before ultimately settling the case.
You Are Still Receiving Medical Treatment
Personal injury lawyers typically do not recommend accepting a settlement offer until victims reach maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which the victim has recovered as much as possible, even if they may continue receiving medical treatment.
At this point, the lawyer can better evaluate the full extent of the victim’s damages. Additionally, personal injury victims generally give up their right to pursue additional compensation against the defendant if they later discover a complication or unanticipated expense after settling their claim. Hence, patience is key to ensuring victims receive fair compensation.
You Suffered Substantial Damages
Personal injury victims who suffer substantial damages may have to wait longer for their cases to conclude. Insurance companies may put up a bigger fight if claims are for six or more figures. They want to minimize payouts and may not try to resolve the claim quickly if damages are high.
Personal injury victims may suffer various damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Distress and anguish
An attorney will help you calculate your damages and fight for every penny.
Contact a New Port Richey Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Settling Your Claim
An experienced New Port Richey personal injury attorney can help you with your claim and give you a better idea about when you can expect a settlement check.
If you need help with your injury case or you want to learn more information, please call the Personal Injury law firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers at (727) 815-8442 or visit the nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
If you would prefer to email us, please visit our contact page.