After filing a personal injury claim, and things work in your favor, you are entitled to a settlement check. A settlement check is money that helps cover the losses or damages incurred in your injury. Most times, after the check is sent to your bank, they hold it for obvious reasons. Therefore, if you are expecting a settlement check, you may want to know how long it takes before the bank releases your check.
Banks cannot hold your settlement check forever. Typically, banks hold on to your funds for up to seven days or, sometimes, longer. They do this to ensure that the funds are available in the payer’s account before giving you access to the money.
Before filing a personal injury claim, there are several things you’ll need to know, and one of such things centers around your potential settlement check (should you win the case). Below, I have highlighted a few essential things that may help you understand settlement checks and how they work.
How Long Do Banks Hold Settlement Checks?
The personal injury claim process can take a lot of time to complete. When you include the investigation process, pre-trial negotiations, insurance claims, and medical evaluations, you can look at up to a year or more to get to the end. But, once you finish the claims process, you can receive a significant award, the settlement check.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim, you can receive compensatory damages to recover from losses sustained in your injury. These damages can come with past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, pain and suffering, and possibly punitive damages to sanction the at-fault party.
What Is the Settlement Check Process?
As soon as your personal injury case is settled, you may be wondering what the next steps of the settlement check process are. There is a standard period before you can deposit your settlement check.
The average amount of time to get a settlement check is normally between 30 days to six weeks from the end of negotiations, but many factors can delay or accelerate this process. Ensure you speak with your personal injury attorney if there is a delay in receiving your settlement check.
If you or a loved one are waiting for your settlement check, it’s essential to understand the settlement process and how to deposit your check.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Settlement Check?
If your legal team has a settlement concerning your personal injury case, you are probably keen to receive the money, settle your bills, and forget about the incident. It may have taken some time for the defendant’s insurance company to agree to the settlement amount, so the thought of waiting longer is unpleasant.
How long does it take to receive a settlement check? The answer depends on the various processing steps and payments needed before you get the check, but in most cases, you can expect to get your funds in about six weeks. Knowing the steps that go into processing your settlement check can help you grasp why it takes so long to get it.
Settlement Funds: How Long Do Banks Retain Them?
When you get a favorable decision concerning a personal injury claim, you expect your settlement check to arrive early. Sadly, several settlement checks take too long to direct deposit in a checking account or to arrive at the mailing address provided by the plaintiff. We can blame this on the banks who take a long time to release your funds.
Depending on factors like your average balance and bank policy, your bank can place a hold on your settlement check for seven days or longer. Of course, banks can hold your funds, and you have the right to contact them when you aren’t comfortable with the delay.
Steps in the Settlement Check Process
- Signing the forms:
Before releasing your settlement funds, the defensive attorney at the at-fault party will draft a release form for you to sign. These signatures include:
- Order of Settlement: The order of settlement consists of paperwork that both parties must fill out. The most essential of these documents is the release.
- Release form: The release must be signed for you to get your settlement check. This form indicates that you, the plaintiff, accept the settlement offer from the defendant and understand they are dropping any and all claims against the defendant.
- Insurance processes and release check:
Once the insurance company gets the signed release forms, they will process them and send your settlement check to your lawyer. The check will contain the agreed-upon amount, but there are many steps that need to take place before you can put your check in the bank. Checks are often sent within 7-10 business days.
- Your attorney deposits the check into a trust account:
After your attorney gets your check, they will deposit the settlement offer into a trust account until the bank clears the fund. This will ensure that the insurance company has the money to pay the amount of your check. While the step can be frustrating, it’s required by law to ensure that the money is there.
- Settle debts:
If you have liens filed against you, your attorney will pay those liens first before sending you the rest of your check. This includes:
- Unpaid medical bills
- Attorney’s fees from previous lawyers
- Reimbursements to your insurance company
- Child support payments
- Payment of legal fees and costs:
Your attorney will remove the agreed-upon fees from your gross settlement amount as soon as your debts and liens have been settled. Before hiring your personal injury lawyer, you should have signed a contingency fee arrangement that spells out the percentage your attorney will deduct for legal fees.
- Getting your final settlement check:
Your attorney will write you a check for the remaining funds after these fees are paid; you will likely receive this check within six weeks and can deposit the money into your bank account.