Process to Receive Your Settlement Check in Los Angeles

settlement check for car accident

The primary purpose of a car accident settlement check in a personal injury case is to compensate the injured party for their damages. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

Receiving a personal injury settlement check in California typically involves several steps to ensure that the process is handled correctly and smoothly. It is crucial that you contact an attorney to expedite and streamline this process. 

Steps to Getting a Settlement Check for a Car Accident 

Receiving a settlement check in a personal injury claim can provide a sense of closure for the injured party. It allows them to move forward, knowing they have received compensation for their injuries and losses.

This closure can be particularly important for emotional and psychological healing. Here is a general overview of the auto accident settlement timeline in California.

Negotiation and Agreement

Before receiving a settlement check, you and the responsible party (or their insurance company) must negotiate and agree on the settlement amount. This may involve back-and-forth discussions, legal advice, and documentation of the terms.

Drafting the Settlement Agreement

A formal settlement agreement is drafted once both parties agree on the settlement terms. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the settlement, including the amount to be paid and any other relevant details.

Approval and Signatures

The settlement agreement is reviewed and approved by both parties’ legal representatives. Once everyone is satisfied with the terms, the agreement is signed by all parties involved.

Release and Waiver

In most cases, you must sign a release and waiver of liability before you can receive the settlement check.

This document states that in exchange for the settlement payment, you waive your right to pursue any further legal action related to the incident that caused your injury. It is essential to carefully review this document with your attorney to ensure you understand its implications.

Working with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney is essential at all steps of the process. 

Settlement Check Timeline California

The timeline for receiving a settlement check in California can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the parties involved, and the court system’s workload. Settlement checks are typically disbursed after a legal case has been resolved through a settlement agreement or a court judgment.

Resolving Outstanding Litigation

If you have already filed a lawsuit, you will likely need to submit the settlement agreement to the court and ask it to dismiss the case or the party you’ve settled with. The court will then enter a judgment of dismissal.

Processing the Settlement Check

Once the settlement agreement and release are signed, the responsible party or their insurance company will process the settlement check. This might take some time, depending on their internal processes.

Distribution of Funds

After the settlement check is issued, it will typically be sent to your attorney’s office if you have one. Your attorney will deposit the check into a trust account, a secure account used to hold funds related to legal matters.

Clearing Funds

The settlement funds need to clear before they can be disbursed to you. This ensures that the check is legitimate and won’t bounce. The clearing period can vary depending on the bank and the check amount.

Attorney Fees and Costs

Your attorney's fees, as outlined in your representation agreement, will be deducted from the settlement funds. Any outstanding medical bills or other agreed-upon costs may also be paid from the settlement at this stage.

Disbursement to You

Once the settlement funds have cleared and all necessary deductions have been made, your attorney will disburse the remaining amount to you. Depending on your preferences and the attorney’s practices, this might involve issuing you a check or transferring the funds electronically.

Working closely with your attorney is essential to expedite this process. 

How Long to Get a Settlement Check from a Car Accident?

The timeline to receive a car accident settlement in California can vary widely. It depends on factors such as the case’s complexity, negotiation time, insurance processes, and any necessary court approvals.

In straightforward cases, you might reach a settlement within a few weeks to a few months after the accident. However, more complex cases involving severe injuries or factual or legal disputes can take significantly longer, potentially extending a year or more.

Once you reach an agreement, the settlement check might take several weeks to process and clear. Remember that each case is unique, and unexpected delays can occur, so your timeline might differ.

It is crucial to work closely with your attorney throughout this process to ensure everything is handled correctly and that California’s legal requirements are followed. An attorney can guide you through each step, answer your questions, and help ensure you receive the settlement funds to which you are entitled.

Are You Looking for a Settlement Check for a Car Accident?

If you or a loved one was recently injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party.

At Starpoint Law, LC, our dedicated team of California personal injury lawyers has decades of combined experience pursuing compensation on behalf of accident victims. We understand the challenges you face in the wake of an accident.

We have developed an effective system for resolving our clients’ cases through settlement negotiations without the need for a lengthy and stressful trial.

To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with a California car accident lawyer today, call Starpoint Law at 310-906-4967. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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