Step 10: Getting the Settlement
Congrats! If you made it this far without an attorney, you successfully settled your own personal injury claim! This is a pretty significant moment because not many people actually take on an insurance company without a lawyer, but you did, and you succeeded. Let’s get you that settlement check.
Now, what happens?
Well, most companies will send a release for you to sign and have notarized in order to acknowledge that you settled your case. Read the release carefully as it outlines the terms of your settlement. After you have read the release and are comfortable with what the release states, sign the release and get it back to the adjuster either by fax, mail or email. No matter what, make certain the adjuster confirms that they have received the release so that the adjuster can mail you the check to you.
A check will be sent to you when the adjuster receives the necessary paperwork. When the check is cut, it may take up to 10 business days to arrive. Stay patient. You’ve done all this work, and now you just need to wait. When the check arrives, make sure that you pay the lien amount that you received from the insurance company. By law, the lien must be paid out of the settlement proceeds. If you do not pay the lien, a civil action can and will be filed against you by the lien holder (the insurance company that paid your medical bills) and possibly the insurance company that issued the settlement check. You can try and try and reduce the lien owed by asking the lien holder for a reduction. Once the lien is paid, the rest of the money belongs to you!
Footnote, there may be tax consequences with some of the funds you received. Please check with the attorneys at The Slocum Firm or a tax professional.