How Long Does It Take To Get a Settlement Check From a Car Accident in Clearwater, FL?
May 16, 2023 | Winters & Yonker, P.A. | Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident in Clearwater, FL, you may be struggling financially. You’ve finally made it through the settlement process, but now you wonder, when will I get the check?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer. The amount of time it takes to get your car accident settlement check can vary depending on a variety of factors. Most car accident lawyers will work as hard as possible to get you paid as soon as possible.
However, the way that your case proceeds will significantly impact how quickly it settles and the funds enter your bank account.
Car Accident Settlement Process
In Florida, the car accident settlement process depends on the specifics of your case. Most plaintiffs will first file a PIP insurance claim and try to get paid through an insurance policy. However, it’s common for insurance only to cover a portion of the damages and for the remaining costs to be outstanding.
In these situations and cases of serious injury, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This means going to court and through a specific legal procedure to get compensation. That can delay your settlement check.
How Long Does a Clearwater Car Accident Claim Take To Settle?
If your case settles after an insurance claim, then you will receive the money a lot sooner than if your case goes to trial. PIP insurance providers in Florida are required to accept or deny your claim within 30 days. If they don’t, it might be the basis for a bad-faith insurance claim.
However, if you end up filing a lawsuit and going to trial, it may take much longer to receive a settlement check. That’s because a lawsuit jumpstarts a formal legal process with many steps. Your case can settle at any point throughout the process, or it can go all the way to a jury at trial.
In general, the steps in a car accident lawsuit are:
- File a formal personal injury claim
- Enter a discovery period including depositions, interrogatories, and production of documents
- Consult with expert witnesses and prepare for trial
- Go to trial and wait for the jury verdict
If the case is complex, it could take months to go through any single step. Most cases tend to settle after or during the discovery period. That’s when the defendant can see the evidence and recognize the strength of the case against them. However, this isn’t guaranteed. If you are looking for a fast settlement, filing a lawsuit and going to trial may not be the best option.
Common Delays in Getting Your Settlement Check
Once two parties have agreed to a settlement, two common situations can delay the distribution.
Outstanding Medical Liens and Attorney’s Fees
Settlement checks are not paid directly to the plaintiff. Instead, they are usually paid to the attorney to keep in a trust account. While the check is in the trust account, the attorney is responsible for paying outstanding medical liens. The lawyer will also subtract attorney’s fees.
Paying medical liens can take time. Most lawyers will negotiate with medical care providers to reduce the amount of the lien. This could delay the check by a few weeks but usually results in more money in your pocket. If you have one medical lien, you will probably see the money sooner than someone who has many complex liens.
High Settlement Amounts
If you have received a particularly high settlement, this could delay your payment. Depending on the financial status of the defendant, they may or may not be able to afford to pay the full amount. Perhaps they need time to liquidate assets or will have wages garnished.
Contact a Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have any questions about the car accident settlement process in Clearwater, Florida, get in touch with a qualified attorney for legal help. Most car accident lawyers offer free consultations, so you can learn about your options and receive helpful advice free of charge.
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Clearwater today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805