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Posted in Personal Injury on October 20, 2022
Were you in an accident? Was it someone else’s fault that it happened? Quite possibly, you’ve suffered physical injuries and property damage, and have had to miss time from work. You wisely hired a personal injury lawyer to help you recover compensation for your losses. What happens next?
In most cases, the relevant insurance companies can work out an agreement for payment. This is called a settlement, and the payment you will receive is called a settlement check. If you file a lawsuit and the case settles before going to court, that payment is called a lawsuit settlement check.
In New York, it is typical to receive a settlement check within 30 days after signing a final settlement agreement. Of course, every case is different – so there isn’t a hard and fast rule when gauging how long the settlement check process will take.
Step One: File a Claim
To get the ball rolling toward getting your compensation, you’ll need to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. The company will then open a case file and begin looking into what happened. If things go smoothly, the company will accept liability for the accident, your lawyer will prepare a settlement agreement, and you’ll be in the home stretch.
Be warned, though, the insurance company could deny the claim and argue that you failed to mitigate damages, that you had pre-existing conditions, or that you were also to blame for the accident (comparative fault).
If your attorney manages to negotiate a fair settlement amount on your behalf, you will then sign a settlement agreement.
You and the insurance company have come to an agreement on the sum of money you will be paid for your losses. The next step is to sign the settlement agreement.
It is vitally important to understand that once you sign it, you release everyone involved with the accident and your injuries from future claims. You only get one shot at the settlement agreement. Be sure that the settlement covers all of your damages, both economic and non-economic.
Once the final agreement is processed by the insurance company, they will issue a settlement check and send it to your attorney. Your attorney will then deposit the check in an escrow account. You may be wondering, how long can a lawyer hold your settlement check?
When the check clears, the attorney has to pay the parties who provided medical care or services to you regarding the accident that have yet to be paid. This would include medical liens and subrogation claims.
Most attorneys will approach the parties who are owed money and try to negotiate a lower payment amount to satisfy the lien or claim.
The attorney will next deduct their agreed-upon fee and any other costs of the case that they paid. Other costs would include postage, copies, expert witness fees, and court fees.
Most New York personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they take a percentage of the settlement amount as their fee.
After all outstanding payments have been made, your attorney will issue a new check to you for the remaining amount from your settlement check. The time it takes from issuing the initial settlement check to receiving the final check typically takes two to three weeks. Ultimately it will depend on the unique circumstances of your case.
After an accident, you could have a lot on your plate to deal with, between recovering from injuries, dealing with property damage, and the stress of lost wages from missing work. An experienced attorney can walk you through the process of getting compensated by the insurance company involved.
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 #1605
New York, NY 10123
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242