How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement Check?

How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement Check?

If you involved in a car accident, the best-case scenario typically involves the insurance company for the other driver covering your damages. Unfortunately, waiting for a settlement check to arrive can take longer than you might expect.  

It is unlikely that you will receive your check immediately. While there are some limited cases where you might be able to obtain your settlement within a matter of days, the vast majority of settlement checks take 4-6 weeks to arrive. These settlements are a complex matter, and mistakes during this process could leave you open to liability or impact other claims you might hold. It is vital that you speak with a personal injury lawyer before ever settling a personal injury claim. Below, we discuss the steps that are necessary before you will receive your settlement.  

Exchanging releases 

Once the amount of a settlement is agreed on, the first step typically involves a document known as a release. These forms can differ dramatically. In minor cases, you might need only to execute a single page release to bring your case to a close. For complex cases or lawsuits where both parties are suing each other, the releases could be more in-depth. This can include longer releases that must be executed by both parties. In some cases, the insurance companies involved in an accident will also sign the release.  

The release process is primarily to protect the insurance company. By signing, you are waiving your future right to file a suit on this claim. This effectively ends your right to pursue compensation from the defendant or their insurance carrier in exchange for the negotiated settlement amount.  

Issuing the check 

Once the releases have been negotiated and signed, the other insurance company must issue the check. If you have an attorney, the company will typically send the check to your counsel to place in escrow. After keeping their portion of the fee, your attorney will typically forward you the settlement. Insurance companies are enormous and clerical errors can occur. It is not unusual for the company to resolve a claim and then fail to send the check. Typically, a little prompting from your Los Angeles personal injury attorney might move things along.  

If you have liens or other obligations, your attorney might also pay those before issuing you the remainder. This is an important point to discuss directly with your attorney prior to signing the release.  

When problems arise 

In the end, you should typically have the financial compensation you are entitled to within six weeks of executing the release. Like with anything, unexpected issues can arise. In most cases, the other insurance company involved in the settlement is responsible for any lengthy delay.  

To ensure your rights are protected, contact your attorney if the process appears to be moving slowly. Often, a single phone call from your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer is enough to get a settlement moving. Frequently, you may call your attorney only to learn they have already followed up with the other insurance company.  

How Ellis Injury Law could help 

The role as your advocate does not end when your attorney reaches a tentative settlement agreement with the person that injured you. There is a myriad of ways a settlement could get hung up, many of which are avoidable. By staying on top of your claim, your attorney could ensure you avoid any unnecessary delay in receiving your settlement check.  

At Ellis Injury Law, we are experienced at negotiating settlements with the insurance company and seeing them through to the end. By working with our experienced team, you could see the check you are entitled to as soon as possible. To learn more about how we could help, schedule a free consultation with Ellis Injury Law today.