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How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement Check From a Car Accident?

Posted on April 23, 2020 in Car Accidents

The wait to receive payment for your auto accident settlement can feel never-ending. Going through the insurance negotiation and resolution processes took long enough – now that you have signed your settlement release, you may hope to receive a check immediately. In general, however, you may still have to wait multiple weeks for a settlement check to reach your lawyer’s office and then come to you. Most insurance companies take their time issuing payments.

timeline to get a settlement check after a car accident

3 Months to a Few Years to Resolve Your Case

Before you can wait for your settlement check to arrive in the mail, you must first go through negotiations with an insurance provider. The car insurance settlement process takes around three months from start to finish, on average. Insurance companies in California have strict deadlines by which they must respond to initial claims, complete investigations, decide whether or not to approve the claim, and mail checks. However, your case could take much longer if it has complicated factors.

  • Low-quality evidence or minimal proof of liability
  • Catastrophic personal injuries
  • Uncertain point of maximum medical improvement
  • The death of a loved one
  • A liability dispute
  • Multiple defendants
  • Trouble determining damages

If you have to go to trial to fight for fair financial compensation, it could take a year after your crash or longer to reach a resolution. Hiring a Los Angeles car accident lawyer could expedite the claims process wherever possible, potentially cutting weeks or months off your wait time. Only after you sign an insurance settlement agreement or a judge grants you a verdict award will the wait to receive your actual settlement check commence.

On Average: Checks Mailed Within 30 Days

Upon successfully settling car accident claims, most insurance companies will mail out checks within 30 days. The typical wait for a settlement check after the resolution of a claim is one to two weeks. In some situations, however, it could take months for the insurance company to send your check. If the insurance company requires all parties involved to first sign a release, for example, this could lead to stalls in payment. Other factors that could delay the payout of a settlement are medical bill payments, subrogation liens, attorney’s expenses and court costs – all of which the settlement check will need to cover before you receive your portion.

The Answer Depends on Your Case

Although you may be able to get a rough estimate of how long the wait will be before you receive your car accident settlement check based on averages, every case is different. You could receive your payment much sooner or much later than the average claimant in California. Several factors could impact how long it takes to obtain the check. Speak to an attorney for the most accurate timeline based on the elements of your case.

  • How many releases the insurance adjuster needs you to sign.
  • How long it takes each party to sign the releases and send them back.
  • How long it takes an accountant to cut the check and put it in the mail.
  • Whether the insurance company is using an out-of-state bank.
  • Whether your settlement check has to pay off medical liens first.
  • Whether you used an attorney to handle your claim and settlement payout.

A car accident lawyer can navigate these factors on your behalf while keeping efficiency in mind. A law firm can handle your injury claim as quickly as possible by minimizing wasted time. With a lawyer filling out claims forms and gathering evidence on your behalf, you can avoid common mistakes that could make your settlement take longer, such as missing information on the original paperwork.

Hiring an attorney can make the window between getting into an auto accident and obtaining compensation as small as possible. Most Los Angeles injury attorneys can get settlement money sent to your account as soon as 10 days after receiving your check. Discuss your unique case with a lawyer for more information.