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How Long does it Take to get Settlement Check After Signing Release?

Timeline to Receive Your Settlement Check Post-Release: A Comprehensive Guide

One of the most common concerns of victims in personal injury or car accident cases is how long they will have to wait to receive their settlement check. The settlement process, from negotiation to agreement, can be time-consuming, especially for complex cases. Signing the release form is a relief, however, it’s important to note that the settlement check does not get to you immediately. But, how long does this post release process take?

On average, it takes 3 to 6 weeks to receive your settlement check after signing the release. The exact timeframe can be shorter or longer depending on the nature of the case, the method of payment, and the efficiency of the defendant’s insurer.

If your case is already settled, you don’t need to suffer financial stress while waiting for your settlement check. With our post settlement loans at Stonewood Funding, you can get a cash advance to quickly settle unpaid medical bills and other pressing financial needs and you can pay it back when your settlement money eventually arrives. We also offer pre-settlement loans to help reduce your financial burden while you work towards settling your case. Book a free consultation with us now to discuss your case or apply now to access the funds immediately.

In this blog, you’ll learn when you can expect to receive your settlement check after signing the release form and the several factors that may affect this timing.

Understanding the Settlement Process

Understanding the Settlement Process

A settlement is an agreement between parties involved in a case, such as a car accident or personal injury claim, where the responsible party/defendant agrees to pay an amount of money as compensation to the injured person/plaintiff to resolve the case without going to court. Here’s a breakdown of how the settlement process goes.

Both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s attorneys will examine the strength of the case, the extent of the injuries, and other damages. With this, both parties can negotiate to determine a settlement amount. Hence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to negotiate effectively and secure worthy compensation.

After the settlement agreement, both parties’ attorneys will report to the court, which then issues an Order of Settlement. This order gives the plaintiff and the defendant’s insurance provider a timeframe (usually 30 or 60 days) to complete all relevant paperwork including the release form. The defendant’s attorney prepares the release form, which clearly states the settlement’s terms and conditions. For instance, the plaintiff will not request any additional settlements from the defendant, provided that the defendant or insurance company pays the settlement amount.

Once agreed and signed, the release form guarantees your settlement check and releases the guilty party from all liabilities related to the case. As soon as both parties sign the release form, the negotiation ends, and the payment process kicks off. 

Signing the release form is only the beginning of the waiting process for getting your personal injury or car accident settlement check. The settlement check timeline usually takes up to 3–6 weeks after the day you sign the release form. However, this timeframe can be longer or shorter depending on factors such as the settlement negotiations process, complexity of the case, and administrative procedures.

How Long to Get Settlement Check After Signing Release: The Typical Timeline

How Long to Get Settlement Check After Signing Release: The Typical Timeline

Various actions are taken after signing the release form in a personal injury lawsuit. First, your attorney must send the signed release form and any necessary paperwork to the defendant’s insurance company or legal representative. This process can take a few days or a week, depending on how complex the case is and the workload of the law firm.

The insurance company must receive and then review the release form before sending the check. After approving the release form, they can choose to issue the personal injury settlement check either through mailing or an electronic funds transfer. Payment can take a few hours or weeks depending on the specific procedures and payment processing timelines at insurance companies. 

The check is then forwarded to your personal injury attorney who receives and deposits it in an escrow. The attorney then pays out any debts or claims against your settlement, including medical liens, attorney’s fees, additional costs, etc., before finally releasing the funds to you. In all, the processing timeline may last a few weeks to a couple of months.

Factors Affecting the Settlement Check Timeline

Factors Affecting the Settlement Check Timeline

From delays caused by legal procedures to administrative processes, several factors can affect your settlement check timeline. It’s important to understand the possible causes of delays to prepare ahead of any potential hold-ups. Some of these factors are:

1. Legal Factors and Requirements

The presence of any liens and reductions on your settlement amount, such as those from government bodies and medical providers is one of the factors that determine the settlement check timeline. Because your attorney must pay up these liens before forwarding any settlement to you, the timeline of your settlement check post-release may be extended. 

Some cases, such as personal injury claims involving minors or incapacitated individuals, may require court approval before both parties can agree on a final settlement and get the check issued. This may also add to the overall timeline.

2. Type and Complexity of the Settlement Case

More complex cases require more time to settle, especially those involving multiple parties or extensive damages. Also, each case type may have specific legal requirements and procedures. For example, a personal injury claim may not involve factors that matter in a car accident, such as vehicle damages or impaired movement.

Most times, attorneys find it difficult to determine who is at fault in a personal injury accident. Thus, the defendant’s insurance or legal counsel may offer a low settlement. This may, in turn, prolong the settlement process as the negotiations go back and forth. Additionally, they may demand a doctor’s testimony or medical evidence to determine the extent of the injury, and how it’s related to the accident, and to negotiate a reasonable settlement amount.

3. Insurance Company Processes and Bottlenecks

Insurance companies handle settlement claims and issue checks based on strict internal procedures. Various levels within the company may have to review your settlement agreement before approving it. If there are documentation issues, disputes over who is liable, or other factors that require further review, it may constitute a delay in the process. 

Moreover, note that some insurance companies only issue checks or process payments on specific days of the week or a few times a month. This means that you might have to wait for longer periods. Additionally, if the state where you claim the settlement check differs from the state where it was issued, the check may take a longer time to process.

4. Administrative Processes in Issuing Settlement Checks

Once your attorney and the defendant’s insurance provider or legal representative have reached a settlement agreement, you must prepare the necessary legal paperwork as requested by the insurance company.

Typically, the administrative process before the check is issued includes printing, signing, and mailing or issuing electronic transfers. These processes can take time, especially if there are large quantities of settlements still undergoing processing or in a complex legal process. After the insurance company issues the check, your attorney can then cash your settlement check on your behalf.

How to Expedite the Settlement Check Timeline

How to Expedite the Settlement Check Timeline

While you may not be able to determine how long it takes to get your settlement check after release, there are certain steps you can take to speed up the process. We recommend that you:

  • Understand the Process: Take quality time to familiarize yourself with the settlement process and possible steps involved. Preparing yourself beforehand can help you manage expectations and avoid unnecessary delays.
  • Communicate Effectively: Remember to keep in touch with your attorney to avoid missing out on updates regarding the progress of your settlement. Whenever your attorney requests information or related documents, respond immediately to speed up the process. Also, if you’re unclear or concerned about anything related to the case, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Clear communication helps you avoid misunderstandings.
  • Complete Paperwork Promptly: Ensure all paperwork needed for the settlement is accurately filled out and submitted on time to prevent unexpected delays. Attorneys are often aware of the various documents other parties may require throughout the process. Thus, adhere to their instructions concerning the handling of paperwork. In addition, always keep copies of all submitted documents for personal records and reference purposes.

Potential Delays and How to Handle Them

Potential Delays and How to Handle Them

If you understand the potential causes of delay in getting your settlement funds in a personal injury case, it’ll be easier for you to prevent or manage them. Let’s consider some of them below.

1. Disputes Over Settlement Terms

Ensure that all the terms of the settlement are clearly stated. Be sure to have a clear agreement on the settlement first before signing. However, if disputes still surface, team up with your personal injury attorney to negotiate a resolution. You can also consider mediation or arbitration as a quicker alternative than going to court. But if both parties cannot settle the dispute peacefully, take legal action.

2. Administrative Errors

Cross-check all details in the paperwork, such as names, amounts, and other information to ensure they are correct before you submit. If you discover any error, inform your personal injury attorney and the insurance company about it, and then submit the correct documentation.

FAQs: Settlement Check Process After Signing Release

What if my check is late?

Contact your attorney or the insurance company to learn about the status of your settlement check.  If the check was mailed, request tracking information to know its whereabouts. If the delay is significant and the response is dissatisfying, seek legal advice.

Can I track the progress of my settlement check?

Yes, you can track the progress of your settlement check. If your settlement check will be mailed to you, ask for a tracking number. Most institutions use shipping methods that you can track, such as registered mail or courier services like FedEx or UPS.

Who do I contact if there are issues with my settlement check?

Contact your attorney or the insurance company to resolve them. They can assist you in solving the issues and address any other concerns you may have.

Get Funded Before Your Settlement Money Arrives

How long it takes for you to receive your settlement check depends on several factors, such as the complexities of the injury case, administrative delays, specific internal procedures in insurance companies, etc. Delays and challenges are common, but be patient and understanding throughout the process. It’s best to regularly communicate with your personal injury lawyer to ensure a smooth process.

With our reliable lawsuit loans, Stonewood Funding is here to help you clear your medical expenses and other needs as you wait for your settlement money to come in. Our application process is straightforward with just 3 easy steps. Apply online now or call us directly at 844-544-3863. Do you have some questions or are you looking to discuss your case? Book a free consultation with us today.

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