If you were injured in a car accident, construction accident, or other type of accident, you may have incurred significant losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Trial may be an option, but you may be eager to collect a settlement check to compensate you for your losses.
What Is a Legal Settlement?
Many people associate legal claims with court proceedings. However, according to the Bureau of Justice, only 4% of personal injury cases go to trial. Instead, the majority of disputes are resolved through out-of-court settlements. This contract is also referred to as a legal settlement.
A settlement ends a legal dispute. In exchange for the agreed-upon terms, the plaintiff agrees to dismiss voluntarily all claims against the defendant. A settlement can occur at any point during the litigation process, and occasionally even after the trial has begun. However, most settlements occur prior to the filing of a lawsuit.
Typically, the insurance company and the plaintiff’s attorney engage in multiple rounds of negotiation to reach a settlement. The insurance company may attempt to settle the claim for less money, whereas the plaintiff’s attorney will seek the maximum settlement amount possible.
Once the plaintiff accepts a settlement, he or she may forfeit the right to pursue additional compensation, so it is crucial that they understand the value of their claim. Working with a personal injury attorney during this process can help safeguard your legal rights.
What Are the Benefits of a Settlement?
When settling their claim, the plaintiff can realise several important benefits, including:
- Receiving their lawsuit settlement payment more quickly
- Eliminating the unpredictability of a trial
- Trying to avoid the publicity of a lawsuit
- Not being concerned whether a defendant will pay a judgement
- Having cheaper legal fees
If you decide to settle your case, you will likely be required to fulfil a number of conditions.
What Are the Requirements for a Settlement in New York?
Before you receive your settlement check, you will likely be required to sign the following release forms:
- You absolve the defendant and their insurance company of further responsibility in this matter.
- The defendant does not admit guilt.
- You release the defendant and their insurer from any additional claims related to the same incident.
- You agree not to seek further compensation from the defendant or their insurer.
The insurance company may also require you to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that you are prohibited from disclosing the settlement check amount to others.
In addition, your personal injury attorney may need to file paperwork with the court to report the settlement. If you are submitting a claim on behalf of a minor or an incapacitated person, you may be required to comply with special provisions.
What Happens Once the Settlement Is Agreed Upon?
Once you have agreed to a settlement, you may not be concerned about the length of time a lawyer can hold your settlement check. First, it is important to understand that you will likely not receive a check on the same day you sign the release form.
The insurance company may take a few weeks to mail your attorney’s check.
Before issuing a check, the insurance company may need to complete a number of internal procedures, including:
- Examining the settlement accord
- Assuring that the release form is in order
- Examining any mandatory confidentiality agreement
- Obtaining final settlement approval from a third party or department
The insurance company sends the settlement check to your attorney, who then deposits it into an escrow account. Your attorney must settle all outstanding liens. Before issuing you a check for the remainder of the funds, your attorney will deduct their fees and legal costs.
The terms of a settlement can have a significant impact on your legal rights, so you should seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney throughout this process.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.