Suppose you have successfully settled your Florida car accident lawsuit or a judge awarded you damages at trial.
In the meantime, your medical bills have been mounting, and you may have been putting off replacing your car pending the settlement. The next question for your Florida car accident lawyer is how long it will take to get your settlement check.
You can expect to wait about four to six weeks to receive your personal injury settlement check in Florida once you sign the release and your car accident lawyer sends it to the other party. But there are a few factors that could impact the timing of your settlement.
How Long Does It Take to Get the Settlement Money from a Florida Car Accident Claim?
How long you will wait for your settlement depends on how clear-cut your case is and how strong the evidence is in your favor. Defendants who can easily be proven wrong are usually anxious to settle as fast as possible. If your car accident lawyer can settle the claim out of court, the process will be much faster than going through a trial.
The amount of your settlement can also affect the time it takes to get your money. Large settlements — usually over seven figures — often require the insurance company to review the settlement agreement or judge’s verdict before releasing the funds.
How Long Does the Other Party’s Insurance Company Have to Pay a Car Accident Claim in Florida?
If your car accident case involves a personal injury protection (PIP) claim, your insurance company must investigate the case within 10 days of the accident. Once the insurance company opens the accident file, it must conclude the investigation and determine a settlement amount (if any) within 90 days, per Florida Statute 627.736.
Sometimes, damage and expenses far exceed the $10,000 coverage many Florida drivers carry. For example, replacing a totaled car will likely cost more than $10,000.
Medical bills are usually very high after a serious car accident injury, especially those that require a hospital stay. One or two days in the hospital could easily exceed the minimum PIP coverage.
In some cases, the settlement may take longer to conclude because your car accident lawyer is waiting for your doctor to declare that you have reached the maximum medical improvement (MMI) from your injuries.
Reaching the MIM allows your attorney to place a more accurate value on your claim.
You’re entitled to compensation for all your medical costs, so if you require additional surgery or months of physical therapy to recover, your case may take longer to settle.
Signing a Personal Injury Claim Settlement Release
Once both parties agree on a settlement amount or the trial is over, the next step is for the plaintiff to sign a personal injury settlement claim release. This document protects the defendant against further legal action from you, the victim, for the incident in question.
Be careful about signing anything from the other party’s insurance company. The company will likely send the release to your car accident lawyer, but it may send the form directly to you. Always have your attorney review anything the other party wants you to sign.
Once you sign the release, the insurance company will review the claim and the form. Then, it will release the funds, sending a check either to your car accident lawyer or directly to you.
If the lawyer receives the check, they might place it into an escrow account and deduct their legal fees according to your contract. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis and get paid after the case’s conclusion.
The remainder of the check will be sent to you so that you can pay your medical bills, repay any settlement loan you have taken, and replace your vehicle.
If it has been longer than six weeks since your case concluded and you still don’t have your money, contact your lawyer immediately so that they can find out what the delay is.
Do You Need a Florida Car Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and suffered injuries and damage to your vehicle, we can help.
Schrier Law Group is an experienced car accident lawyer team that fights hard to protect your interests after you’ve been hurt. We take on insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate for the maximum settlement for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.