Lawsuits and settlements are happening all the time whether you hear about them or not. They may involve companies, but they also can involve the average person — just like you.
Are you someone involved in a court case? Do you know what to expect when it comes to the end of your case and the legal payout?
To learn about how your legal settlement works and more, keep reading below.
1. How Does a Legal Payout Work?
Most of the time, the insurance company of the party at-fault will be responsible for paying the settlement. That insurance company, however, will not release funds without getting a release form first.
You’ll need to complete and sign the form before sending it back to the company. Once they have it, you can expect that they will start processing your check.
The insurance company is legally required to write the check as soon as the release is received, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get your check quickly. Internal operations may slow down the process.
The check will usually be made payable to both you and your attorney because your attorney will deduct specific funds, which we cover below, before giving you the check.
2. Paying Your Liens, Legal Fees, and Costs
Your attorney will receive the insurance company’s check and will deposit the funds into an escrow account. This makes sure that the insurance company actually has the funds to pay your settlement before proceeding.
If you owe any liens or legal fees, or other additional costs, your attorney can use the settlement funds to pay for those fees.
Before hiring your attorney, you should have signed an agreement relating to the payment for the attorney. This is usually known as a contingency fee agreement and explains this process more thoroughly.
3. Receiving Your Check
Once your attorney has cleared your expenses, the law firm is going to write you a check that is in the amount of the remaining funds from the settlement.
Your attorney can send you the check in the mail to the address they have on file. Depending on how far away this address is from the firm, you can expect to receive the check within a few weeks.
Once you’ve gotten the check, you’re free to use it in whichever bank account you prefer and spend it on what you need! You can check out pre-settlement funding if you need cash now.
4. It May Take a Few Months
Typically, the process of getting the check will take at least a few months. If the party that is at-fault decides to appeal the lawsuit, it may actually take years before you get any type of compensation.
There are some things that you and your attorney can do to make the process a little faster, including:
- Drafting a release form before the case concludes
- Investing in priority or expedited mailings to ensure documents are received more quickly
- Developing a payment plan for liens before they are due
5. What Is the Minimum Settlement Amount?
There is no specific number for the minimum or maximum amount of money you may get in a settlement. Each case is going to be different.
There are a lot of factors that will impact the settlement amount, including:
- The extent of injuries
- The long-term impact of injuries
- The agreeableness of both sides of the case
- The clarity of who caused the accident
Be Prepared for Your Legal Settlement
Now that you know a bit more about what to expect before your legal settlement process begins, you’re ready for what comes next.
Whenever you have questions about this type of information, it is always best to consult with your attorney. They will be able to give you more insight into your specific case and what you can anticipate.
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