Car Accident FAQs
When my auto accident case is settled, is the settlement check made out to me or my attorney?
If you have an attorney when you reach a settlement and receive your check, it is usually made out to you and your attorney jointly.
What are the steps involved in getting my funds?
- When you have settled, the defense attorney prepares a release document setting forth all of the conditions agreed upon in the settlement. Your attorney reviews the release to make sure all of the language is accurate. The agreement may go back and forth several times. When it is in its final form, your attorney will have you come in to sign it.
- It may take two to three weeks for the law firm to receive the check from the defendant or the insurance company once the release is in the final form. The firm will contact you to come into the office to sign the check. In some cases, the firm will receive one check made out to a hospital or other medical provider to pay bills and release any medical liens and a second made out to you and the attorney. Some cases may also involve government liens for money owed to Medicare or for child support, which must be satisfied before you receive your funds.
- The law firm deposits the money into a trust account and waits a few days to make sure it clears. The firm can then issue the checks for your portion and to the firm for its fees and expenses. If any third party is due payment, the firm pays them as well.
While this may seem like many steps, the law firm can usually complete them all in two or three business days.
Is the process different if my case went to court?
If you received an award from a judge or jury, it might take longer for you to receive your funds because you may have to wait to see if the other party files an appeal. The appellate process is lengthy and may take a year or more to resolve.
Even once you settle your personal injury case, the process of getting your money is just beginning. A knowledgeable attorney in your area can help you walk through the process from start to finish. If you have questions about how the funds from an accident settlement are handled, contact a car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, who knows the specific laws and processes in your area.
Thanks to Hickey & Turim Attorneys at Law for their insight into who will get the settlement check after a car accident case.