Muhammad Ramadan | May 22, 2023 | Personal Injury
How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check in Chicago, IL?
After suffering a personal injury in Chicago, you probably have mounting medical bills, missed workdays, and ongoing pain and suffering. It’s only natural to wonder about the timeline for receiving your settlement check once you’ve reached an agreement with the insurance company.
The following steps include the process of collecting a settlement check and an explanation of how long it could take.
Step 1: Investigation and Evidence Collection
Once you’ve hired an attorney, they will begin a thorough investigation of your case. Your Chicago injury lawyer will collect medical records, police reports, and any other essential documents pertinent to your case. This step can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Step 2: Negotiations With the Insurance Company
After your attorney has gathered all necessary evidence, they will send a demand letter to the insurance company outlining your compensation requirements. Negotiations between your attorney and the insurance adjuster will then take place. This phase may last several weeks to a few months – and in some cases, even longer.
Step 3: Agreeing and Accepting the Settlement Amount
Next, you must agree to a settlement offer. This is the time to consider whether the compensation offered is fair and reflects the pain, suffering, and financial losses you experienced due to the injury.
Step 4: Choosing the Type of Settlement Payment
Once you’ve agreed on an amount, you must decide between two primary options for receiving your settlement:
Lump Sum Payment: The entire settlement amount is paid to you in one payment. This option provides immediate access to the funds, which can be beneficial in covering medical expenses and lost wages.
Structured Settlement: The settlement amount is paid in installments over time, based on a mutually agreed-upon schedule, usually spreading over several months or years. This option may be suitable for those who prefer to receive smaller, periodic payments and can help manage financial stability in the long run.
Step 5: Signing the Settlement Documents
After agreeing to the amount and type of settlement, the next step is to sign the necessary legal documents representing your agreement with the other party. These documents will include provisions such as a release of liability and agreements regarding the payment terms.
Step 6: The Insurance Company Closes the Claim and Sends the Check to Your Attorney
After the insurance company processes the paperwork and confirms that all necessary steps have been taken, they will close your claim. At this point, a settlement check is issued and sent to your attorney.
Step 7: Funds Are Placed in an Escrow Account, and Medical Liens Are Paid
Next, your attorney places the settlement funds in an escrow account. Any outstanding medical liens (claims that medical providers may have on your settlement) are paid from these funds.
Your attorney will work diligently to ensure all balances owed are accounted for and paid off. This step can also take a few weeks, and possibly months if the circumstances are complicated.
Step 8: Attorney’s Fees Are Deducted, and a Final Check is Sent to the Injured Party
After medical liens are paid, your attorney will deduct their fees as agreed upon in your retainer agreement. Once this is complete, the remaining balance will be sent to you. You should receive it within a few weeks from when the insurance company sends it to your attorney.
How to Maximize Your Personal Injury Settlement in Chicago
If you’ve experienced a personal injury, one of the most important steps is maximizing your settlement. Here’s how you can do that:
Act Quickly: Don’t Wait to Seek Legal Advice
Time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury cases. It is crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible after your accident. This ensures that evidence is preserved and vital information is gathered promptly. You also want to meet the applicable Illinois statute of limitations.
Gather Strong Evidence
Evidence is key in personal injury cases. Be proactive in collecting essential documents, including medical records, photographs, and witness statements. Your attorney can help you build a solid case by gathering and preserving evidence that supports your claim.
Seek Medical Attention and Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Seeking medical attention promptly after your accident is not only essential for your well-being but also crucial for your personal injury claim. Your medical records will provide the foundation of your case, substantiating your injuries and their severity.
It is also essential to follow your doctor’s orders and continue with recommended treatments, as this can significantly impact your settlement.
Be Patient and Willing to Negotiate
Personal injury cases can be a lengthy process. It’s essential to remain patient and let your attorney handle negotiations on your behalf. Insurance companies often make low offers in the hopes that claimants will accept a quick settlement. However, a skilled attorney knows when to push for more and when to accept an offer that is truly fair.
Contact Our Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Chicago, Illinois, and need legal help, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.
We proudly serve Cook County and its surrounding areas: