My Case Settled, When Do I Get My Check?

Transcript: When a case is finally settled, the next question we normally hear is, “Great. When will I get my settlement check?” Hi, I’m Indiana personal injury attorney David Holub. First, what normally happens when there’s a settlement is a release has to be signed. A release is something that a plaintiff signs which essentially says that they will drop their lawsuit and they won’t be making a claim against the defendant or the insurance company standing behind the defendant and they will be releasing them in exchange for the agreed upon sum of money. Second, once that release is signed, it’s tendered to the other side in exchange for the settlement check. It could take up to thirty days to get a settlement check once a release is signed and provided to the defense. Third, once we have the settlement check, it has to be endorsed and deposited in trust and held for a minimum of ten business days so that the check can clear. Oftentimes, checks pretty much routinely clear, but there are times when we’ve had checks fail to clear within that ten day period. So the requirement for attorneys is to put the sum in a trust account that’s protected according to Indiana guidelines and wait for the check to clear. Fourth, then the settlement funds are divided up according to an agreed distribution and that distribution is agreed upon at the time of the settlement and it sets forth the portion for attorney fees, the portion for expenses, the portion that goes to the client, the portion that may go to other claimants such as Medicare or health insurance. So all of that is determined and checks need to be prepared to make that distribution. There will be no surprises at the time of the distribution because we’ve sat down and gone through how the settlement is going to be distributed long before it gets time to prepare the checks. Typically, settlements take anywhere between thirty to ninety days to wind down and for proceeds to be distributed. You might wonder, “Well why does it take so long?” One of the reasons is, especially if there are government claims such as Medicare, the government has time periods such as sixty days at a minimum that they have to look at a claim and decide how they want to address their portion of a claim. So, it may be shorter, but it’s usually in the thirty to sixty day range. So this, in a nutshell, is what happens after settlement and the procedure that occurs before you actually get your check. We invite you to check out our many other informational videos at our website.