Usually within a couple of days or weeks aquestion naturally arises. When will I have my money?
We understand why this is such a pressing question. Your medical bills are piling up and you’re facing other costs too, like car repairs and lost days of work. You’re ready to get it all sorted out and move on with your life.
The speed of your payment depends on several factors that are mostly beyond your. So let’s look at what will affect how fast you might receive the money from your accident settlement.
Timing Issues Occur Before a Settlement
Before a settlement isaccepted, there are several factors that impact your timeframe: treatment timeline, documentation access, and negotiation response time. Here’s what each of these means.
In terms of your treatment timeline, it’s important to realize that every injury is unique and every patient heals differently. A 20-year-old patient may heal faster from a hip injury than a 65-year-old patient. Someone with a pre-existing foot injury might take longer to recover from a broken leg in a car accident.
Treatment timeline involves the concept of maximum medical improvement, which is the point at which you have either completely recovered or you aren’t likely to make additional progress with recovery. If you are still having pain and there is no more treatment that a doctor can provide to make you feel better than it is important for a doctor to opine that you have a permanent injury from the car crash. It’s after this point, ideally, that you would resolve a claim. Of course, you can’t wait beyond the statute of limitations for accident claims in Maryland, which is typically 3 years.
You’ll need lots of documentation, including medical bills, medical records, doctor’s reports, accident investigations, police reports, and more. It simply takes time to locate and access these files, which affects the timetable of your case.
Negotiation Response Time
No matter how quickly your side acts, the other side is permitted time to consider and negotiate. Some insurance companies will try to drag this out as long as possible. Oher insurance companies understand that it is important for all parties to get the negotiations wrapped up as efficiently as possible.
How Does Having an Accident Lawyer Speed Things Up?
No lawyer can guarantee that hiring them will speed things up because certain aspects of the case are beyond their control: the legal deadlines, the other party’s speed, the insurance company’s responsiveness, the court’s schedule. However, here’s why having a lawyer usually accelerates the process.
A good accident lawyer has close contacts with medical professionals and other expert witnesses who are commonly called upon to help in cases like yours. For example, your lawyer may know how to work with a doctor to request a report of reasonably anticipated future medical expenses, which allows you to proceed with the claim.
In addition, your lawyer should have a talented staff of people whose job is to request paperwork and ensure your documentation is complete. They’ll also be on the lookout for dozens of small ways to speed up your case, like responding to messages quickly, avoiding errors, preventing duplicated work, and so on.
When Will I Receive a Settlement Check?
Generally speaking, from start to finish, a soft tissue caraccident case that involves a settlement takes at least a few months. Usually once the settlement is done then getting the check to the client only takes a couple of weeks. Of course, there are exceptions as to why it could take longer. For example if someone has Medicare then the final Medicare lien from the federal government must be obtained before being able to issue the settlement check in the case.
Also keep in mind that it takes to parties negotiating in good faith to get a case settled. If the victim and their attorney want to settle the case, but the insurance company makes unfair offers then there is no choice but to go to court. The court process and procedure can take a while. In the District Court of Maryland, it could take 6-12 months. In the Circuit Court in Maryland it could take 1-2 years to get to trial. Keep in mind the insurance company could come back and make a reasonable offer at any point during the litigation process, but you can’t force them to be reasonable. Only a judge or jury can force the insurance company to pay what is fair.
So as you can see, there are numerous factors that impact when you receive a payout. But here’s some good news: Your lawyer will be just as eager as you are to keep things moving swiftly. After all, your lawyer is also waiting on payment, so you have a shared motivation to pursue a fast, successful outcome.
Have a Legal Question? We Have Answers
When you need to learn more about your rights, the attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can help. Contact us or call us at (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced accident lawyers today.