Many personal injury cases end with either a settlement or a judgment in favor of the victim. But, even if the at-fault party agrees to or is ordered to pay the victim, this doesn’t mean they will simply write a check right then and there. Here’s how to collect the money awarded in a personal injury settlement or judgment:
Collecting A Personal Injury Settlement
Read the settlement agreement to determine how long the insurance company has to pay you. The timing can vary, but many insurance companies give themselves 20 to 30 days to send a check to the victim. The agreement should also outline consequences for missing this deadline. For example, the insurance company may have to pay interest on missed payments or the plaintiff may have the right to move forward with a lawsuit if the payment is not made on time.
Insurance companies will typically send compensation on time in order to avoid these consequences. But if they fail to do so, meet with your attorney to determine your options. Sometimes, it’s best to have your attorney send the insurance company a letter that demands payment and reminds them of the consequences. In other cases, an attorney may think it is in your best interest to opt out of the settlement and go to trial to teach the insurance company a lesson.
Collecting A Personal Injury Judgment
It can take much longer to collect compensation awarded to you in court. This is because the defendant may choose to appeal the decision, which means the case will go to the appellate court where it will be heard by a different judge. The defendant will not pay the judgment until he has exhausted all of his appeals, which means you could end up waiting for years to collect the money.
If the defendant does not pay after the appeals are over, work with an attorney to enforce the judgment. If the defendant was an individual, the court may enforce the judgment using wage garnishment. This means a portion of each of the defendant’s paychecks will be automatically withheld and sent to you until the defendant has paid the total judgment. Insurance companies typically pay on time, but if they don’t, the court can either order them to pay the judgment in full with interest or begin garnishing the company’s bank accounts.
Have you been injured by the negligent acts of another person? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will ensure that the defendant compensates you as soon as possible after a settlement or verdict is reached. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.