What is the Process of Receiving a Personal Injury Settlement in Texas?
If you get injured in an accident, you may feel financially constrained if the injuries put you out of work. The medical expenses can quickly escalate, leaving you worried and unable to meet your financial obligations. However, you may feel relieved if your San Antonio trial lawyer negotiates a fair settlement to compensate you for the injuries.
The question that now lingers on your mind is how the settlement will be paid. While you may hope the settlement amount will arrive immediately, it often doesn’t. It would help to understand how insurance companies pay out personal injury settlements to avoid having your hopes too high and being disappointed in the long run.
Negotiating a Settlement and Signing a Release
You must sign a release once you and your San Antonio personal injury lawyer have negotiated and agreed to a settlement amount. Ensure you review the terms and the details of your payment.
The agreement also lists other parties entitled to your settlement. The insurance will send your payment check to your attorney within five business days, as the law requires.
Paying Outstanding Liens
Your attorney will prioritize payments to any outstanding medical liens and other creditors entitled to the settlement funds. This part of the process ensures all your debts are paid before you get the final settlement. Your personal injury attorney in San Antonio can work hard to negotiate liens and bills so that you remain with a substantial portion of the payout.
Deducting Attorney Fees
The lawyer will then deduct the agreed-upon percentage as their legal fees and pay out the balance to you. Personal injury lawyers in Texas work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t charge or collect any legal fees unless they obtain compensation from the defendant on your behalf. Some can charge higher fees if they expect a case to be more expensive due to extensive investigation.
Contingency-based payments mean that a lawyer will absolve you from paying the case-related expenses if you lose the case. With this arrangement, it’s easier for a lawyer to get paid and enable personal injury victims to access justice.
Settlement Payout Options
You can receive your final payment in one of two ways, as agreed in your settlement agreement:
- Lump sum settlement: You will receive your entire payment in a single payout. The payout arrangement works well for claimants hoping to pay off their past-due expenses and pending bills.
- Multiple scheduled payments: The payment option allows you to receive your payout in a structured manner. It may be an ideal option if you’re looking to properly manage your payout by ensuring you don’t spend it all at once. The payments can supplement your income for several months.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Settlement Take?
How long your settlement takes to be paid out depends on who is paying you. If you’re dealing with an insurance company, the law requires that it pays out by the fifth business day after you accept the offer. Once the insurance company disburses the payment check to your personal injury attorney in San Antonio, the lawyer should write you a check or conduct a transfer.
If you sued the at-fault party directly, how long it takes to get the payment depends on many factors. Their financial situation and whether they have the money to pay are some of them. They may make several payments over several months, depending on the amount of compensation they owe you.
Factors That Affect How Long It Takes to Settle
Your settlement payout should take a few weeks after you agree to an offer. However, if your injuries are more complex and catastrophic, your claim may take longer. Your San Antonio trial attorney can work hard to handle your case as efficiently as possible, but here are some factors that can slow down the process:
Your Treatment Entails Multiple Surgeries and Extensive Medical Treatment
Reaching your maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling is advisable. MMI is when your medical condition can no longer improve, even with continued treatment, and you’ve reached your “new normal.”
Settling your case before this point is risky because you’ve not reached a point where you can make an accurate estimate of your future medical and rehabilitation costs. It might cost you more in the long run, and if you settle for a small settlement amount, it may not adequately cover these costs.
Legal or Factual Complexities with Your Case
If your evidence is weak, the insurance company may complicate issues to offer as little settlement as possible. It may even deny your claim entirely if it’s unclear who is liable for your injuries or if multiple parties are at fault.
In other situations, the insurance adjuster could try to minimize the extent of your injuries, claiming that you’re not as injured as you say. An experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney in San Antonio can respond to these allegations and fight to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. The process can be lengthy.
A High-Value Injury Claim
Small personal injury claims that involve minor injuries can be settled quickly. When insurance companies determine that you have an expensive lawsuit, they will likely use delay tactics to slow you down.
An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Fighting for the Settlement Amount You Deserve
Settling a personal injury claim can be lengthy and complicated, depending on your case specifics. Without the legal representation of a San Antonio trial lawyer, insurance companies can take advantage and undervalue your personal injury case or frustrate you so that you forfeit your claim.
The Law Office of Matthew S. Norris provides aggressive representation for personal injury victims. We work hard to cut through the legal red tape and jargon that can delay your case for years. Despite the complexity of your personal injury claim, we can help you get the settlement you deserve. Call us at (210) 549-7633 to schedule an initial case assessment.