Reaching a settlement for a personal injury is a huge relief. Now you know that you will receive some compensation for the pain and inconvenience you have suffered in an accident. But what is the process for paying out a settlement? You might be surprised to know that the defendant or his insurer doesn’t just send you a check in the mail. Instead, there is a well-defined process that goes into paying out a settlement. Our Ohio personal injury lawyer explains more below.
Agree to the Terms of the Settlement
You are ready to settle when both sides agree to the amount of the settlement and how it will be paid out. Settlements are usually made in a lump sum or structured in installments. The lump sum method is definitely the most favored, but there are advantages to both.
With a lump sum, you get everything you are entitled to all at once. Then it’s up to you to invest the money, pay bills, or do whatever you want. With a structured settlement, you will receive a partial amount upfront and then one or more additional payments. This is a good option if you are not confident you can avoid blowing your money. Discuss with your attorney what type of payout you want.
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Sign Your Release Form
The release is the standard part of every settlement. By accepting a settlement, you agree not to sue the defendant for this accident in the future.
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The Defendant or Insurer Signs a Check
The check should be sent to your lawyer. Once the insurer agrees to liability, it should write a check promptly. Unnecessary delay is a sign of bad faith.
Your Attorney Deposits the Check
Your attorney will deposit the check into a trust account. The check stays there until your lawyer handles any outstanding issues, such as liens on the settlement, medical bills, and other expenses. Those get deducted from the settlement first.
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Your Attorney Makes Deductions from the Settlement
In addition to liens and medical bills, other deductions are for the costs associated with your case, such as photocopying or phone calls. Your lawyer will also take a percentage of the settlement based on your fee agreement. You should have signed this agreement when you hired your lawyer. Please refer to it to make sure your lawyer is not deducting anything not agreed to in writing.
You Receive the Remainder
Once your lawyer has handled all the deductions for things like medical bills, he should send the remainder to you promptly. Always call your attorney if you have questions. Your lawyer can’t leave your settlement in the trust account indefinitely and ignore your phone calls.
Contact Groth & Associates about Your Personal Injury Case
After an accident, you need a seasoned advocate to answer your questions and handle negotiations. It is hard to receive a fair settlement, and no one has your back quite like your own lawyer. Please call Groth & Associates to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys. We offer a free consultation.