Your personal injury case is not fully resolved until you have your settlement check in hand. It is legitimate to ask, “How long after settlement do I get my money?” after you and the other party reach an agreement.
However, just as the question, “How long do lawsuits take to settle?” has no clear answer, neither is it easy to say how long you must wait to get your money. The specific facts and circumstances of your case will play a significant role.
Your Settlement Should Specify How Soon You Get Paid
To know when you can expect to receive the money from your settlement, first look at the terms of your agreement itself. A well-drafted settlement agreement will clearly indicate when the other party is supposed to pay you. The terms of your settlement agreement should also specify whether you will receive one payment or multiple payments.
When Your Agreement Is Silent on Timing
Suppose your settlement agreement does not specifically address how long the other party has to make a payment. Even in this situation, there is an implied understanding that the other party should pay you without an unreasonable delay. What constitutes an unreasonable delay would depend on many considerations, such as the amount of the payment(s).
Tracking Your Settlement Payment
Perhaps you are asking, “How can I track my settlement check?” You and your creditors may be interested to know when you can expect to receive your settlement check in your mailbox. Sending a settlement payment with tracking information also helps protect defendants against claims that the plaintiff never received the settlement money.
Unless your settlement agreement states otherwise, providing tracking information is voluntary and not mandatory. If the defendant chooses not to send the settlement funds via a trackable method, you may be able to obtain limited information about the payment status by contacting the defendant or their attorney directly.
That said, your best source of information in this area is your own lawyer. You should feel free to ask your attorney any questions you might have about your settlement check and its progress.
What To Do When The Settlement Check Does Not Come
If you and the other party have settled your personal injury case, it is likely because both you and the other party are eager to put the matter behind you. As a result, in most cases, the other party will make a good-faith effort to pay you the settlement amount they agreed to promptly.
However, if the time for payment comes and goes and you have not received your settlement check, you should ask for tracking information. If none is available, ask when the payment was sent and by what method. This will help you begin to look into what happened with your settlement.
If it has been several weeks since payment should have been made, your legal representation can contact the other party and formally demand immediate payment. If a formal demand does not spur the other party to action, it may be necessary to bring the matter to the court’s attention.
The court has the power to compel payment, levy the defendant’s assets, and impose penalties for willful or unreasonable delays in paying you.
Settling Your Case and Getting Paid Can Both Take Time
“How long does a lawsuit take to settle,” and “How long after a settlement do I get paid?” are two separate questions that can have two very different answers.
When settling your case, it is best to write down when you can expect payment and have both parties sign. It is also helpful to insist that the other party pay you using a method that allows you to track the progress of your payment.
Even without a written agreement that specifies when payment should be made, the other party must still pay you within a reasonable time. Be certain to take prompt action if several weeks pass and you still do not have your settlement check.
Finally, as noted above, you may contact your lawyer at any time to get updates on the progress of your case, including the status of your settlement.
Contact the Undefeated Houston Personal Injury Law Firm of Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact our Undefeated personal injury lawyers in Texas at Zehl & Associates to schedule a free consultation today. We have two convenient locations in Houston and Midland.