After you have won your personal injury lawsuit, or have settled it before reaching a trial judgment, your next question is probably, “when will I receive my money?” The answer depends on whether there was an insurance company involved, but it usually takes four to six weeks. The attorneys and staff at the Reiff Law Firm understand you want your settlement money as soon as possible. Below, our Philadelphia personal injury attorney looks at your settlement payment in more detail.
Getting Paid After Settling Your Personal Injury Case in Pennsylvania
In some cases, even if you file a lawsuit, our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney and the opposing counsel will reach a settlement agreement before the trial takes place. Often this is done to limit risk and reduce the legal costs that would affect your net settlement. The attorneys will report to the court that an agreement was reached. At this point, the court will enter an order of settlement, which will require both sides to file certain documents. The key document is the release from all claims.
The release sets forth all the terms of the settlement, including provisions to protect both sides of the agreement. The document is prepared by the defendant’s attorney, usually the insurance company, and will be forwarded to our office for approval. Our office will carefully review the release with you and object to any language we believe damages your position. Typically, this document will release the defendant from all future claims and mark the matter settled with the agreed amount.
Paying Liens and Fees Before Receiving Money After Agreeing to a Settlement in Pennsylvania
The insurance company will forward a check to our office within three to six weeks after the release is signed. This happens after a case has been settled or if there was a judgment award after a trial. Before our Norristown personal injury attorney can distribute your share of the proceeds, some administrative payments must be made. First, all medical liens must be paid. Medical liens are held by medical insurers and healthcare providers that paid for your treatment in connection with the personal injury lawsuit. There might be other liens, such as governmental liens for child support that must be disbursed before you receive your settlement funds.
After all required payments are made, our office will deduct our legal fees and costs from your settlement. Your fees are determined before your case was filed and are clearly listed on the fee agreement you signed at the beginning of the case. Some of the costs involved in a personal injury lawsuit include gathering medical documentation, fees for expert witnesses, and filing fees and court costs. Our office will provide you with an itemized statement listing your total costs.
What Happens to My Injury Settlement if an Appeal is Filed in a Pennsylvania Court?
It is not uncommon for a defendant that loses at trial to appeal the decision. The appeal process could take a long time, depending on the strength of the appeal. On appeal, one of three things could occur: the original judgment is upheld, the judgment is reversed, or the case is sent back to be retried. If a case is sent back for a new trial, it is possible to appeal that decision as well. This process could drag on for a couple of years. Sometimes, our Poconos personal injury attorney will work to settle a case to avoid the potential of a prolonged appeal process.
How Do You Collect from a Defendant Without Insurance?
In most personal injury cases, the defendant has insurance. Unless there are significant assets, our Media, PA personal injury attorney will usually not sue a person without insurance. However, people who do not carry insurance rarely have many valuable assets.
There are cases where a defendant does own substantial personal assets and it is worth following through with a lawsuit. In such a case, the settlement process is similar to working with an insurance company with a few differences. For instance, our law office will insist on a certified check from the defendant before returning a signed release of claims form.
Also, when you receive a civil judgment in Pennsylvania, you get a judgment lien on a defendant’s real estate. Therefore, if you win a personal injury lawsuit against an uninsured person with a house, you will have a judgment lien against it. Unfortunately, it is challenging to collect on this type of judgment lien as there are usually other liens on the property, such as mortgages.
What Happens if My Injury Settlement is Delayed in Pennsylvania?
In most cases, once everything is settled, you should receive your money within six weeks. However, in some situations, the payment is delayed. If it is taking an unreasonable amount of time to get your settlement check, you should call our Lehigh County personal injury attorney. Our office will be able to investigate why your payment is overdue. For example, there could be a discrepancy with a medical expense that is slowing the distribution of your funds. We should be able to determine if there was an unforeseen complication and resolve it.
Call Our Pennsylvania Attorney to Discuss Getting Paid After a Personal Injury Settlement
After you have suffered an injury, gone through your medical treatment and rehabilitation, and won a lawsuit or settled your case, you want to get paid. Typically, you should receive your money in about three to six weeks, but there could be circumstances that increase that time. Our Gladwyne, PA personal injury attorneys are not only committed to getting the most money for your injury as possible, but we also want you to get paid sooner than later. To discuss the details of your settlement payment, call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free appointment.