How is a Plaintiff Paid Once a Personal Injury Case is Won?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on December 9, 2020 and updated on March 15, 2022.

payment after a claimOnce a case has settled, injury victims are usually eager to receive funds and many have questions about that process. Will I get paid right away? Will I receive my settlement check in the mail? A lawyer may be able to provide an estimate of when you can expect the check to arrive, but there are several steps that must take place beforehand. This includes paying anyone owed money from helping with the case.

Below, we discuss how settlement funds are generally distributed after a case is won. One of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Maryland is prepared to provide answers to your legal questions during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Settlement Distribution Process

Prior to any funds being distributed, the plaintiff must sign a release agreeing that he or she will not pursue further legal action against the other party for the incident. Your lawyer may also need to sign documents to dismiss any court action if the process was already started on your behalf.

After the necessary documents are submitted, the settlement funds will be released to your lawyer’s trust account. These funds cannot be given to you until all expenses related to your case have been paid.

Outstanding Medical Bills

If you sought medical care and have outstanding bills from being hospitalized, using emergency services, or requiring surgical procedures, these expenses must be paid from the settlement check.

Should your health insurance policy not cover everything and your medical bills are high, you may be able to settle your bills for less than the full amount. However, negotiating with the insurance company or hospital can be difficult. It is important to have any reductions agreed upon before reaching a settlement.

Legal Costs and Fees

If you hire a lawyer, the fees and costs will be taken from the settlement funds. At Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices, we work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront costs for our legal services. You do not pay us anything unless we help you obtain compensation via a settlement or jury verdict.

Costs of a case, however, are different from lawyer fees. Costs are payments for goods and services and not included in the fees for your lawyer’s time. For instance, most health care providers may charge a fee for providing a copy of your medical records. The filing fee paid to the court to start a lawsuit is also considered a cost. These costs are typically paid by your lawyer up front, but you are legally responsible for those costs if the case settles.

Your Financial Compensation

After any medical bills, legal services and other related expenses from the case are paid, the remaining funds will be released to you. If there are special circumstances, such as if the plaintiff is a minor, your lawyer will be able to explain any additional procedures required. Most injury victims who retain legal representation often obtain much higher compensation than those who do not.

How Long Does the Entire Process Take?

The entire process from start to finish will be based on a multitude of factors and entities, but the majority of payments are processed within a few weeks. Delays can happen if you must wait for the other party’s insurer to issue payment or are still in the process of negotiating your medical liens.

Maximize Your Recovery Today

If you have questions about what comes after settling a personal injury case or another legal issue, we encourage you to contact Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices. We are ready to offer assistance in a complimentary consultation. You are under no obligation to hire our firm if we determine you have a viable case. We charge nothing up front and only get paid if we obtain a recovery on your behalf.

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