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How Long Does It Take to Get a Check After a Personal Injury Case?

How long does it take a client in a personal injury case to get their check after their case settles? Now it came up with this topic because we get a lot of questions from clients calling our office asking where’s their check, where’s their check? And we constantly have to explain the procedure and the process of what happens after the personal injury case settles so that they’re able to understand what all is going on. So I figured, let’s put together a video and informational video where our clients can watch this and then understand completely the process so that they’re dot anticipating a check for example the next day, which by the way, a lot of people do. So let’s go back to the first step in the process. You have a personal injury case. Doesn’t matter if it’s a car accident, slip and fall, truck accident, auto accident, motorcycle accident, whatever the case may be.

The process of the settlement is generally the same. So you agree, you’ve agreed with the insurance adjuster or even in a, um, uh, in a litigated case, you’ve agreed with the other lawyer on a set amount of dollars. Now if the case is in a lawsuit and usually you’ll be dealing directly with an adjuster, but sometimes everything will go through. The lawyer just sort of depends. So you’ve got your dollar figure settlement on your personal injury case. Well it doesn’t happen automatically that you get your check the next day. First the insurance company needs from the law firm a w nine a they’ll watch uh, our tax ID number. They’ll also want to know how the check is to me made payable and that’s usually pretty easy. Now there’s two, there’s two ways that insurance companies handle the next step. Some just mail out the check to us with a release.

Some send the release first, have us review it, have the client sign it and send back before they’ll issue the check. So obviously the first way to sending the check in the release, that’s a lot quicker because all we need to do is get the client in checks already there. We deposit it. The second way, again, may delay the case as long as it takes for us to review the release, get declined in to sign it and send it back. And then they start the, the processing of the check. So insurance company will then process the check, they send it out, we receive it, it’s not as simple as, as soon as we get the check, we turn it over to you. What happens is at least at our office, we deposit every single check and then we have to hold it seven to 10 days.

And that’s just to make sure that it clears. All right, so what should have been happening the, and this is really the next step that that ties up cases and makes our clients very anxious. So once you’re in the process of negotiating the settlement, the lawyer and the staff should be pulling together all of the outstanding medical bills and knowing basically what you’re going to owe, um, as far as paying any of those bills out of the settlement. Uh, generally while this is going on, while the settlement is happening or why you’re waiting on the check, your law firm should be calling the, uh, providers and trying to negotiate those balances so you have an exact amount down to the penny, but sometimes not all providers answer quickly. Sometimes staff gets overwhelmed, maybe they miss a bill here and there, so that can delay the process a little bit.

But that’s not a, a major delay. What we find is the major problems come in personal injury cases when there’s some type of lien. And so getting that final Lien or negotiating that final lien sometimes takes awhile. And so clients get, again, very anxious, uh, because the money is already in the bank, the bank, the check has deposited yet, uh, their money is not available to them because that lien amount has taken so long. Now, the law firm should know generally speaking, the approximate amount of that lien. But I know I personally get very uneasy distributing out money without knowing the exact amount of that lien. So, um, what I like to do after I negotiate all of my bills down, get all the final amounts of the liens and negotiate those, I pay everything at once. So I pay every single lien amount, every single bill and I give the client the check at the same time.

So that’s generally the process. What happens after you settle a personal injury case. So if you want to know the exact timeframe, again, it does depend case by case your major insurance companies, especially in auto accident cases there, they’re usually very quick. Those cases are not normally as complex and they can get done much, much, much faster. But sometimes you’re dealing with an out-of-state insurance company that doesn’t normally do personal injury. They don’t have a high volume of claims. You can really get jammed up and delayed. And I’ll give you an example. I’ve got a case that I settled recently with an out-of-state insurance company on a Florida claim. They don’t do a lot. It was actually thinking the accent was in either Seminole or Largo area. Um, regardless the, they didn’t have a whole lot of familiarity with Florida claim handling. So we settled the case.

They then had to send, they wanted to got all the information, the w nine, et Cetera, et cetera. They then had to send the file down to a Florida lawyer to prepare a release for them. The lawyer then prepared the release, send it off to a Senate off to us. We signed off on it and sent it all back. And then this insurance company had to go through and had a series of supervisors all sign off on the process and the check, this is after the case is settled. So, you know, imagine our, our, uh, anxiousness about getting the check in, especially our clients anxiousness when all of that should have been done much faster. But again, you run into a company, especially an out of state company that’s just not set up for speed or efficiency and that’s the type of situation you run into. But like I said earlier, you really don’t have that problem with a normal car accident case when you’re dealing with a major with the major insurance providers, those names that you would, uh, be very familiar with. So I hope this video answers the questions about, generally speaking, how it works after you settle a personal injury case and how long it takes then to get for the client to get their check.

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