How Long Does it Take to Get A Personal Injury Settlement Check in Florida?

On average, receiving a personal injury settlement check takes four to six weeks after both parties sign the settlement agreement. Sometimes it takes longer, and in rare cases, the check arrives in less than four weeks. You can rest assured that issuing a settlement check takes much less time than winning a judgment at trial.

Delays in Reaching a Settlement Can Be Beneficial

Reaching a settlement agreement with the opposing party typically takes longer (weeks or months) than receiving the money after you sign a settlement agreement. Complex personal injury cases usually take longer to settle. So why would a delay in reaching a settlement be good? Because the opposing party’s first settlement offer is likely to be inadequate. 

The opposing party would love for you to accept a settlement check before you even get out of the hospital. Don’t accept the first offer even if your medical bills are overdue. There are ways (such as medical liens) to handle your medical expenses before you settle. In the meantime, a certain amount of patience is a virtue because you will end up with more money that way. 

Factors That Can Delay Settlement

Life is unpredictable, and hundreds of factors might delay settlement. In March and April 2020, for example, the COVID-19 lockdowns delayed just about every transaction. Following are a few of the most common impediments to a prompt settlement.

Delay in Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

MMI is the point at which further medical treatment is unlikely to improve your condition. Hopefully, this means a full recovery, but this is not always the case. It is usually best to wait until you reach MMI before you file a claim because it is difficult to calculate damages before you reach MMI.

The Need for Expert Witnesses

Lawyers use expert witnesses in two ways: to provide favorable testimony and to educate them on the intricacies of a complex case. For example, the use of expert witnesses by both sides is routine in medical malpractice and product liability cases. Expert witnesses need time to study your case and prepare their opinions. 

The Size of Your Claim

The more money you ask for, the more resistance you can expect. When a lot of money is at stake, the liable party will try every strategy to avoid paying, including delay tactics.

High Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are inherently difficult to quantify. Yet these claims often amount to more than medical bills, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket expenses combined. The opposing party will try to exploit the ambiguity involved in a claim for non-economic damages and may even force you to take them to court.

How the Settlement Process Works 

It is never wise to settle on a handshake, even if one hand is full of cash. 

The process of issuing a settlement check takes several steps:

  • The parties draft a settlement agreement, each party objects to some of the terms proposed by the other, and together the parties work out the precise terms of the agreement.
  • Both parties sign the settlement agreement, sometimes in the presence of a notary public.
  • The opposing party (typically an insurance company) issues your lawyer a check for the gross settlement amount.
  • Your lawyer deposits the settlement check into an escrow account.
  • Your lawyer then deducts any outstanding amounts such as medical liens, case expenses, and legal fees.
  • Your lawyer writes you a check for the remainder of the funds and sends it to you.

The IRS is unlikely to get its hands on any significant portion of your settlement funds unless you win punitive damages.

A Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Can Speed the Settlement Process Up For You

An experienced personal injury lawyer can speed up the process of settling your claim. They can also extract more money from the opposing party than most unrepresented accident victims can. 

Realistically, no lawyer can offer you an absolute guarantee. There is little doubt, however, that your odds of winning a prompt, generous settlement are better with a lawyer than without one, even after deducting legal fees.

Contact the Pinellas County Personal Injury Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg personal injury law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
(727) 796-8282

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728