Brian White | April 24, 2023 | Car Accidents
Once your Houston car accident lawsuit concludes, whether your attorney negotiated a settlement with the other party or you won your case at trial, you’re probably wondering when you’ll get your check.
With medical bills to pay and a vehicle to replace or repair, it’s little wonder that many Houston car accident victims are quite anxious to know when to expect their settlement. The truth is that a few quick steps must generally take place before the money ends up in your pocket; this blog post will fill you in further.
Drafting a Final Settlement Agreement
Once both parties come to an agreement at mediation or the trial is concluded, the final settlement of the case is drafted. Several documents are part of concluding a personal injury case, including:
- A settlement agreement with the specific dollar amount
- Defendant’s release from further liability
- Plaintiff’s agreement not to pursue further legal action
- A non-disclosure agreement (may not apply in all cases)
Once the settlement agreement is drafted and signed by all parties, it’s sent to the insurance company responsible for paying the claim. Remember, do not sign any forms or agreements until your Houston car accident lawyer reviews them first!
The Insurance Company Reviews the Settlement Agreement
Even though the insurance company agreed to the settlement amount for your case, it still takes time to review the settlement agreement, especially if it’s for a larger amount. Settlements under about $50,000 won’t take as much time to review as one for $1 million or more.
Expect the insurance company to take anywhere from two to six weeks to review and approve releasing the settlement funds; if the check takes longer, contact your lawyer immediately.
How Settlement Checks Are Distributed
Sometimes, the settlement check is sent directly to the plaintiff; other times, it’s sent to the attorney.
If you receive the check directly, it may be a good idea to deposit it in a separate bank account from your other funds. You can pay any debts associated with your case, like legal fees, directly from that account or fulfill a letter of protection with your healthcare provider.
This method also creates a distinct paper accounting of your settlement in case questions arise later and can preserve your settlement so that it’s yours alone.
If the check is mailed to the lawyer, they may deduct their legal fees directly from the award, then write a check to you for the balance. It’s still your responsibility to pay any outstanding medical bills or other costs from the case.
If you need additional medical care after the case is resolved, that will also be up to you to pay, although in some cases, the settlement amount includes provisions for anticipated future treatment.
Factors Affecting Your Final Settlement Amount
Don’t start counting your money just yet — a few other factors can affect how much you’ll actually walk away with. Some people may face a lien on their settlement, such as for unpaid child support, unpaid medical bills, or Texas Medicaid reimbursement.
Your case could have required expert witnesses, and these costs are deducted from your final settlement. Your lawyer may have included paying expert witnesses in their invoice for services, but if not, you’ll need to pay them for their time.
Consult With a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Settlement Options
Have you been harmed through the negligent actions or recklessness of someone else? You could be eligible to file a suit for damages and receive a compensation settlement to cover your medical bills and missed wages from work. A Houston personal injury attorney can review your situation and determine whether you have a case.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
For more information, contact the Houston car accident law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054