Expectations before receiving a car accident settlement check

You may feel relieved. Your car crash claim has settled and you can anticipate how much money you will receive to compensate you for your accident injuries. However, the money is not yet in your bank account, and you won’t be able to issue that final sigh of relief until the money is officially yours.

What Happens After a Settlement Is Reached?

The settlement check won’t be issued the same day you agree to a settlement. After you reach an agreement, the following steps must occur before you receive your money:

  • You must sign a release. The insurance company won’t issue a check until you sign a release indicating that you won’t pursue any further accident-related claims. Your car accident attorney should review this release before you sign it because it significantly impacts your legal rights. Some terms of the release may need to be negotiated. This process may take several days or more to complete.
  • The insurance company issues a check. The check will be mailed to your lawyer. It could take a week or more for the insurance company to issue the check. The timing depends on the insurance company’s procedures for authorizing, writing, and sending payments.
  • Your attorney pays accident liens and legal costs. Once your lawyer receives the insurance check, it will be deposited in a client trust account. These accounts are tightly regulated and may only be used in specific ways. After the insurance check clears the bank, your attorney is authorized to pay medical liens for your accident-related healthcare. After paying those liens, your attorney may deduct legal costs and your agreed-upon attorney’s fees.
  • You receive compensation. The final step is for your attorney to issue you a settlement check.

These steps may take several weeks or more to complete. The insurance company may not feel the same sense of urgency that you do to issue the check and resolve the matter.

How to Get Your Car Crash Compensation as Quickly as Possible

We understand that you need your car accident settlement as quickly as possible. Financially, you may need the compensation to pay your bills while you are out of work. Emotionally, you may need closure so that you can put the car accident behind you and move on with your life.

While the wait for a settlement check may seem long, the wait is not the most time-consuming part of your claim, and there are things that you can begin doing the day of your accident to get your settlement as quickly as possible. Specifically, you can speed up the settlement process by contacting an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you begin investigating your case, negotiating a settlement, and preparing for trial, the sooner the entire matter may be resolved and put behind you.

Some cases take longer to settle than others. For example, your case may take longer to settle if:

  • The evidence does not clearly resolve liability issues
  • You have severe injuries and your future medical treatment is uncertain
  • Multiple drivers caused your crash and you are negotiating with multiple defendants

Our experienced Midwest car accident lawyers have represented more than 70,000 injured clients over the last 50+ years. We anticipate settlement complications, investigate all of our cases thoroughly, and negotiate fair settlements for many clients. When the insurance company is unwilling to settle fairly, then we don’t hesitate to go to trial.

You deserve a quick recovery, but you also deserve a fair recovery. We won’t sacrifice your fair settlement for a fast one. Instead, we will work hard to get you a fast settlement for all of your past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, pain, and suffering.

Please contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation in any of our Wisconsin, Illinois, or Iowa offices, in your home or hospital room, or by phone or video conference.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.