New York’s personal injury law firmClick For Your Free Consulation
Posted in Car Accidents on May 6, 2022
Receiving a settlement check from a car accident in New York is the last step in the personal injury claims process. Generally, you can expect a settlement check within 30 days after signing a final settlement agreement. However, getting to the point of signing a settlement agreement can take several months to more than a year, depending on the facts of your case.
After a car accident, you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The company opens a case file and begins investigating the car accident. Your personal injury lawyer also investigates the cause of the accident.
If the insurance company accepts liability for the car accident, your lawyer prepares a settlement agreement. However, if the insurance company fights the claim, it could raise various issues, such as failure to mitigate damages, pre-existing conditions, and comparative fault.
Your attorney attempts to negotiate a fair settlement amount. However, if the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith, your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit can take more than a year to go to trial.
This article focuses on settling your car accident claim without going to trial.
A final settlement agreement releases all parties from future claims for damages. In other words, when you sign a car accident settlement agreement, you release the at-fault driver, the insurance company, and all other parties who could be liable for your injuries and damages. You also release all parties, known and unknown, from liability for the car accident.
A settlement agreement is enforceable in court. Therefore, before signing the settlement agreement, you need to be sure the settlement amount covers all your damages, including economic and non-economic damages. The settlement is your one shot at getting as much money as possible for your injury claim.
The insurance company processes the final settlement agreement and issues a settlement check. The check is sent directly to your personal injury lawyer. If the insurance company has a local office, your lawyer may courier the settlement agreement to the local office and pick up a settlement check.
Your lawyer deposits the settlement check into an escrow account. The attorney must wait until the check clears and the bank releases the funds before distributing any settlement proceeds from the escrow account.
You do not receive the entire amount of the settlement. First, the attorney must pay medical liens and subrogation claims.
A skilled, experienced car accident lawyer negotiates liens and claims against the settlement proceeds. The parties are not required to negotiate lower amounts to pay off liens and claims, but the parties often do so when the injured party does not receive full compensation for all damages.
After deducting medical liens and subrogation claims, the attorney deducts attorneys’ fees and costs of the case. Most personal injury lawyers accept car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. The attorney agrees to accept a percentage of the settlement amount as their fees.
For example, let’s assume the settlement amount is $500,000. If the contingency fee is 30%, the attorney deducts $150,000 for the attorneys’ fees. In addition, the attorney deducts the costs of the case from the settlement proceeds. The costs of the case could include postage, copies, travel expenses, deposition fees, expert witness fees, and investigation costs.
After deducting necessary liens, attorneys’ fees, and costs, the attorney cuts a check to you for the net settlement amount. The entire process could take two to three weeks, depending on whether the attorney is still negotiating with medical providers and your health insurance company to lower the number of claims and liens against your settlement proceeds.
Each personal injury case is different. You should not base your case on another personal injury case. Some claims settle quicker than other claims.
Factors that impact the timeline for a personal injury settlement include, but are not limited to:
Your personal injury lawyer works as quickly as possible to settle your case and put money in your pocket. However, an experienced, skilled car accident lawyer understands that settling too early could result in a much lower payment for the client. Therefore, the attorney balances speed with quality to obtain the maximum amount of compensation available for a car accident claim.
If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City car accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.
We have two convenient locations in New York:
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #409
New York, NY 10123
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242