The Process of Receiving a Settlement Check in St. Petersburg, FL
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers | Personal Injury
Receiving a settlement check in St. Petersburg is the goal of every personal injury case. Whether you are injured because of medical malpractice, a slip and fall accident, product liability, or a car crash, you need the money from a personal injury claim to help you get back on your feet after an accident or personal injury.
However, the timeline for a personal injury case depends on numerous factors. It could take months or years to receive a settlement check for your case.
The good news is that most personal injury cases settle without filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, filing a lawsuit lengthens the time it takes to receive a settlement check.
Also, hiring an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can speed up the process. When you hire an accident lawyer, you have someone working on your behalf who understands the process of getting a settlement check. An attorney also understands how to maximize the amount of your personal injury settlement.
What Factors Impact the Timeline for Receiving a Settlement Check?
Several factors can affect how long it takes for you to receive a personal injury settlement check. Those factors include, but are not limited to:
- The duration of your recovery
- The type and severity of your injuries
- The complexity of the case
- The parties involved in the case
- The willingness of the insurance provider and other parties to settle the claim
- Disputes regarding contributory fault, mitigating damages, and liability for damages
- The use of formal mediation or arbitration for settlement negotiations
- Whether you file a personal injury lawsuit
One of the most significant factors impacting the settlement timeline is reaching maximum medical improvement. Of course, that depends on the severity of your injuries and your doctor’s treatment plan.
Settling a claim before you complete medical treatment can decrease the amount of your settlement check. Your doctor cannot give you a medical prognosis of permanent impairments until you finish treatment. If you sustained permanent impairments, the value of your damages could increase significantly.
In addition to economic damages for past medical bills and lost wages, you could be entitled to future damages for diminished earning capacity and ongoing medical and personal care. Furthermore, your non-economic damages increase if you sustain a permanent disability.
Therefore, it’s usually best to wait until your doctor states you have fully recovered or that further medical treatment will not improve your condition to settle your claim. During this time, your legal representation can gather evidence proving fault and liability, document damages, and work with expert witnesses to build your case.
What Is the Process of Receiving a Settlement Check in St. Petersburg?
Typically, when a final settlement is reached, the first step in the process is to sign a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement releases all parties from all claims related to your injury or accident. Therefore, do not sign this agreement until it is assured that the settlement amount is the maximum amount you can recover for your personal injury claim.
Florida law requires insurers to tender payment according to the terms of the agreement within 20 days after reaching a settlement. Issuing a check can be conditioned upon signing a settlement agreement and mutual release.
The insurance company issues the check to your St. Petersburg personal injury attorney. The lawyer deposits the check into an escrow account to hold until the check clears.
When the settlement check clears, the attorney can disburse funds. However, the lawyer must do a few things before handing you a settlement check.
Payment of Medical Liens and Subrogation Claims
Before disbursing any funds from a settlement, the attorney must pay valid medical liens and subrogation claims. Experienced personal injury lawyers negotiate these liens to put as much money as possible in the client’s pockets. Therefore, it could take some time to finalize these payments.
Deduct Attorneys’ Fees and Costs
Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis. They agree to take a specific percentage of the settlement amount as payment for legal fees. Therefore, the lawyer deducts the contingency fee from the proceeds.
Also, the law firm reimburses itself for costs and expenses that it paid throughout your case. The costs of pursuing a personal injury claim could include travel expenses, postage, copy fees, deposition fees, and filing fees.
Release Net Settlement Check to the Client
After paying liens, fees, and costs, the attorney issues a net settlement check to the client. The lawyer provides a detailed itemization of all amounts deducted from the settlement proceeds. If you have questions about the deductions, ask the attorney before signing any documents accepting the settlement check and ending the attorney-client relationship.
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,
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,