The Process of Receiving a Settlement Check in Texas
David Muñoz | May 9, 2023 | Personal Injury
After the process of a personal injury lawsuit concludes, the plaintiff will receive a settlement check if they are victorious at trial or if the other party agrees to the terms of the settlement beforehand.
Most plaintiffs are eager to receive their settlement payment, especially if they have been delaying replacing a totaled vehicle or have made a payment arrangement through a Letter of Protection with their doctor. To that end, join us as we discuss the length of time it takes to receive your settlement check and the process for obtaining the award.
Legal Settlements — Details You Need to Know
It may come as a surprise to you that only 4% of personal injury cases actually go to trial. Almost all of them are settled out of court, which expedites the process, especially if both parties can quickly agree to the terms of a settlement, which is an agreement that resolves the case and releases the defendant from any further injury claims by the plaintiff.
The main component of a personal injury settlement is the payment of compensation from the at-fault party to the aggrieved one. Other elements of a settlement may include a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which is common in cases where the defendant is a corporation or other entity with a reputation to protect.
You may know already that the defendant’s insurance company will offer a lowball settlement, hoping to settle the case quickly and cheaply. But an experienced El Paso personal injury attorney can properly value your case and advise you whether the first settlement offer by the defendant is one you should accept (it likely isn’t).
As trial preparations continue, though, the facts of the case become clear, especially after the depositions of witnesses. At this point, a settlement becomes much more likely, especially if the facts are indisputably in the plaintiff’s favor and the defendant’s misdeeds are likely to be exposed in court.
What Happens After I Accept a Settlement Offer?
Once you receive a fair offer, getting the money isn’t immediate. The settlement check is part of a legally binding agreement, and certain documents must be drafted and signed by all parties to complete the legal transaction.
The paperwork needs to be completed within either 60 days or 30 in some instances. One of the documents is a release of liability, absolving the defendant of further liability to the plaintiff. Your El Paso personal injury attorney should always review a release before you sign it.
There may be classes specific to your case, but in general, the form has a few main components:
- Release of further liability
- Release of the defendant from any other claim by the plaintiff for the incident in question
You’ll sign the form and have it notarized, as will the other party — both the defendant and their insurance company — responsible for paying the claim.
Releasing the Settlement Check
Once the release is signed, the insurance company will review it and then distribute the funds. Settlements that are above $1 million are often reviewed closely by the insurance company, meaning the time it takes to receive your settlement can be prolonged if such is the case.
Don’t Settle Without First Seeking Legal Advice from an Experienced El Paso Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of another, you will likely have a better outcome for your case if you work with an El Paso personal injury lawyer than if you try to negotiate with the insurance company alone. Never hesitate to seek legal advice and help in receiving a payment that is rightfully yours.
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