How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement Check From a Car Accident in Gainesville, FL?
Bill Allen | May 3, 2022 | Car Accidents
Insurance companies have specific deadlines they must meet regarding car accident claims. For example, Florida insurance laws require the insurance company to pay an insurance claim within 20 days of a final settlement agreement. However, the time it takes to settle a car accident claim in Gainesville depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Timeline for an Insurance Claim With the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Provider
All Florida drivers’ must have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance coverage. Therefore, you file a claim with your no-fault insurance provider after a car accident in Gainesville. Your PIP insurance covers a portion of your medical bills and lost wages.
However, if you sustained serious injuries, you might also have a claim against the other driver. If the driver has liability insurance, you can file an insurance claim with the insurance provider.
The insurance company begins an accident investigation when you file a claim. An insurance adjuster gathers evidence to determine whether the insurance company is liable for your damages. If you retained a car accident lawyer, your attorney investigates the cause of the crash to gather evidence proving negligence.
The insurance company may deny your claim or raise allegations of contributory fault, failure to mitigate damages, or pre-existing conditions. Your lawyer negotiates with the insurance provider to settle the claim without going to court. The negotiation process could take several weeks or months to complete.
Signing a Settlement Agreement for a Car Accident in Gainesville
Once your attorney and the insurance company agree to a settlement amount, your lawyer prepares a final settlement agreement. The agreement contains the terms for the settlement and releases all parties from any further legal liability for claims arising from the car accident.
Your settlement includes compensation for economic damages, such as out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and medical bills. It may also include compensation for non-economic damages, including emotional distress, permanent impairments, and diminished quality of life.
Before signing a settlement agreement for a car accident, seek legal advice about your case. When you sign the settlement agreement, you give up your right to sue for damages. Therefore, you want to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of money available for your claim before signing the agreement.
Receipt of a Settlement Check
Your car accident lawyer forwards the signed settlement agreement to the insurance company. The company then forwards a settlement check to your attorney’s office. If the insurance company has a local claims office, your attorney may hand-deliver the agreement and pick up a settlement check.
Funds Held in Escrow
The attorney must deposit the settlement check into an escrow account. He cannot disburse any money until the check clears.
Once the check clears, your lawyer pays medical liens or subrogation claims. These claims must be paid before you can receive money for your damages. Your attorney negotiates with the medical providers and health insurance companies to decrease the amount you must pay to settle these claims.
Your lawyer also deducts his attorneys’ fees and costs from the settlement proceeds. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, the amount the attorney receives for payment of legal services depends on the amount the lawyer recovers for your claim.
If you and your attorney agreed to a 33% contingency fee, the attorney receives 33% of the settlement amount as fees. They also will reimburse themself for any costs the law firm paid while pursuing your injury claim.
Receipt of a Net Settlement Check
After paying attorneys’ fees, costs, medical liens, and subrogation claims, the attorney issues you a check for the net settlement proceeds. However, it could take several weeks after the attorney receives the settlement check before you receive your money.
Factors That Affect the Timeline for a Settlement Check
Each personal injury case is different. Therefore, some cases might settle within a few months after the car crash. However, other cases could take more than a year to settle.
Factors that impact the time it takes to get a settlement check from a car accident in Gainesville include:
- The parties involved in the car accident
- The type and severity of your injuries
- How long it takes you to recover from your injuries
- Whether you are partially to blame for causing the car accident
- The willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement
- The time it takes to conduct an accident investigation
- The complexity of the case
- Whether liability for the cause of the car accident is disputed
A personal injury lawyer works diligently to get money in your pocket as quickly as possible. However, an experienced lawyer understands that rushing to a settlement could cost the client thousands of dollars.
Therefore, talk with a lawyer if you have concerns about the timeline for a personal injury case. There could be one or more reasons why your case takes longer to settle than other car accident cases.
Contact Our Gainesville Truck Accident Law Firm
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