If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may choose to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party to recover compensation for your losses. While many injury victims will seek the help of a personal injury attorney in an attempt to collect a higher settlement amount, people are often unaware of what to expect during the process and how long does it take to get a settlement check.
The truth is, each personal injury claim is extremely unique. This means that the settlement process for each case will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the complexity of your caseso here are a few .
How Long Do Settlement Negotiations Take?
As an injury victim, you ideally hope that your settlement comes as soon as possible. However, there are many factors that impact how quickly a settlement agreement is reached and how long do settlement negotiations take. Some factors that can impact the settlement process include:
- The complexity of your case, including if there are multiple defendants involved.
- The strength of the evidence presented.
- The severity of your injuries and time until treatments are completed.
- The availability of insurance policies.
The process of negotiating a fair settlement can take anywhere from several weeks to several years. Some cases may settle more quickly than others, especially if there is clear liability and minimal damages. However, more complex cases with severe injuries or fatalities may take much longer to resolve.
Negotiations with the insurance company, or companies, can involve significant amounts of back-and-forth, and there may be multiple rounds of negotiations before a fair settlement is reached. In some instances, a fair settlement agreement cannot be reached by any party involved and the case will go to trial. Even then, your attorney may reach a fair settlement while in the process of preparing for trial.
Factors That Can Delay Your Settlement
There are several reasons why settlement negotiations may be delayed. Here are some of the most common reasons why your settlement may not come as quickly as expected.
Length Of Medical Treatments
Unless insurance offers the full policy available, negotiations will often not resolve until the injured party completes their medical treatments. Thus, the length of the treatment can greatly impact how long it takes to get a settlement check. It would be unwise to accept a settlement offer before treatment is complete, since you could find yourself in need of further extensive (and costly) treatment.
Delays With The Insurance Claim
Insurance companies will often go to great lengths to avoid a costly payout, which will delay the settlement process. The insurance company may refuse to make an offer or continue negotiation until they have completed a thorough investigation, which is a tactic used to exhaust injury victims.
Severity Of Injuries
The more severe the injuries are, the more compensation you will likely seek to recover for physical and emotional damages. Since the insurance company’s job is to pay out as little as possible to injury victims, they may drag out claims with more severe injuries in an attempt to wear the injured party down, eventually settling for less.
Issues With Liability
Establishing liability and proving negligence is not only integral for a personal injury claim to be successful, but it can be extremely difficult to prove in some cases. In order to win a personal injury case in New York State, you generally must prove through a preponderance of evidence that another party acted negligently. So, if the evidence leaves open a question of whether you were partially at-fault, your case may take longer to settle.
The Case Goes To Trial
If neither party is able to reach a fair settlement agreement, the case may go to trial. Typically, your attorney will recommend this if the insurance company is not willing to offer fair compensation for your injuries. Since a personal injury case can settle at any point in the pre-trial stages — or the stages before the case reaches a judge and jury — this can take anywhere from a few weeks to even years to resolve.
How Long After My Case Closes Do I Need To Wait Until Receiving A Settlement Check?
After the release is reviewed and signed by both parties, the claim will be processed. In New York State, where a case is in suit, once an insurance company receives your signed settlement paperwork and general release discontinuing the action, it will have 21 days to issue a check. Then, you must account for the time it takes to arrive in the mail, which may vary depending on whether the insurance company is issuing a check directly to you or to an attorney.
Typically, an insurance company will mail the check directly to your attorney so that he or she can resolve any liens against the settlement, deduct legal fees, and ensure that you are provided the correct amount you are owed.
The process of receiving your settlement check generally can take anywhere from four to six weeks after the release is signed – although it can take longer in certain circumstances.
Can A Personal Injury Attorney Help Negotiate A Better Settlement?
Personal injury accident claims can be difficult to navigate on your own, especially if you have been seriously injured as the result of someone else’s negligence. Unfortunately, insurance companies are well aware of how confusing and exhausting the process can be and they intentionally use delay tactics to wear down an injury victim into accepting a lowball offer.
A personal injury attorney will have the knowledge and experience necessary to combat the insurance company’s tactics and to help negotiate an optimal settlement for you in your personal injury case. Outside of negotiation proceedings, a skilled personal injury attorney will use their understanding of the legal system to protect your rights, to investigate your claim, and to build your strongest case possible.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, working with a law firm that has decades of experience in handling personal injury claims is imperative to receiving a satisfactory settlement. At Cellino Law, our team has a proven track record of success for our clients, even if it means taking the insurance company to trial. If you still have questions about how long does it take to get a settlement check or any other legal issues related to personal injury cases, contact us at 888-888-8888 for a free consultation.
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