When you hire an expert lawyer, chances are that you will win your lawsuit settlement against the negligent party. Unfortunately, this is usually not the end of the compensation process. For a victim to be able to access the funds and pay impending bills caused by the defendant, they have to wait for an additional set of processes, deductions, and legal documents to be signed.
What most people don’t know is that sometimes, these deductions can deplete your settlement to the last cent. Winning a lawsuit does not always guarantee that your settlement will show up. If this has happened to you, contact your attorney to find out whether there is anything you can do to slash down the deductions.
However, it could also be a simple delay that is causing a backlog in your compensation process. Let’s first look at some of the reasons your settlement check is taking too long to reflect:
- There may be delays in internal processing of the documents within the negligent party’s insurance company. Some states regulate how long an insurer can hold lawsuit settlements after signing of the legal release, while others do not.
- Each lawsuit settlement is different and the process might take longer than anticipated. For instance, lawsuits involving minors and estates comprise a lot of entities, which further delays the settlement.
- Some insurers may process a settlement in one state while the check cashes out in another, complicating the entire case.
If you are experiencing unforeseen delays with the settlement, your attorney can explain the reasons for the same. When this happens, getting pre-settlement funding can help you take care of urgent bills, especially if you are incapacitated from working. Sadly, this could also mean that your settlement is never showing up.
Could My Settlement Never Show Up?
It is unlikely that a victim will receive the exact amount of settlement they were awarded. When your attorney receives the check, they have to make several deductions that will significantly affect how much money you receive in the end.
If this total expense amount supersedes your compensation, then your settlement might never show up. Some of these deductions include:
Police Reports, Medical Records Expenses, Court Fees, and Other Case Filing Fees
Normally, your lawyer’s firm will pay for these expenses and later deduct the total amount when they receive your settlement check.
Some lawyers work on a contingency basis, while others charge per hour. Most firms will also charge a higher amount if your case went to trial, as opposed to an out-of-court settlement.
Child Support Arrears
The federal Treasury Offset Program permits the treasury department to deduct any child support arrears from lawsuit settlements and tax refunds.
A lien refers to a legal document that guarantees the payment of services or goods offered. In this case, liens could come from a hospital that offered you medical care, your insurance company, Medicare, and Medicaid. The law allows all these parties to place a claim on your lawsuit settlement, and if the amount is high it could use up all the funds.
The Issue of Subrogation
In a majority of instances where the victim does not receive their settlement, the issue is always with their health insurance company.
The subrogation clause gives insurance providers the right to claim third-party compensation after funding their client’s damages that were caused by another person. It further argues that failure to reimburse this amount after receiving the settlement means that you get compensated for your damages twice.
Some states impose regulations on what stage the insurance provider is supposed to deduct the money. However, if you are self-insured, the insurer might still take their share from your settlement despite the state laws.