How Does Money Rewarded to Accident Victims Get into Their Hands?

Most accident victims seek a negotiated settlement, in hopes of receiving a settlement check. Some victims pursue a lawsuit, with an eye towards receiving a court ordered judgment.  

Process used for issuing settlement check

Confirm with insurance company the expected date for the availability of that same check. Have an injury lawyer in San Ramon examine release form, before the client/claimant signs it; signed form sent to insurance adjuster. The insurance company makes out a check to the claimant and the claimant’s lawyer

If a lawyer has received the check, he/she takes care of any liens and takes the agreed upon fee. Then the balance of the funds gets sent to the client/claimant.  

Process for delivery of court ordered judgment

Plaintiff should wait 30 days, before initiating process, so that defendant has time in which to enter an appeal.

Move to collect judgment

—Write to defendant; say what form or payment is acceptable

—Plaintiffs that would like to receive a lump sum should offer to waive the interest.

—Plaintiffs that are not looking for a lump sum should present a possible payment plan.

If defendant has failed to deliver payment, move to obtain assets

If no funds have been collected at the end of 10 years, the judgment expires. At that point, the person that was awarded the court judgment must file in court for a renewal of that same order. 

Whenever a plaintiff has received the desired payment, he or she must file an Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment. 

Personal injury lawyers often warn their clients about the points where the process could fail to run as smoothly as the client would have hoped.

Sometimes a claimant’s attorney might object to some of the wording in the insurance company’s release form. Consequently, it could take time for the same attorney and the insurance company to agree on the exact wording. That would delay the process of having the release signed and sent back to the insurance adjuster. 

If client has not given the name on his/her bank account to the chosen personal injury lawyer, the lawyer’s check might not have a name that is recognized by the client’s bank. That can be corrected, but it adds to the amount of time that the claimant/client must wait for the desired money. 

Plaintiffs must carry out the work that ensures payment of a court ordered judgment. Any plaintiff that has chosen to wait around for the arrival of the expected money is sure to be disappointed. Furthermore, any plaintiff that has failed to explain what type of payment is acceptable, or to state the details of a proposed payment plan must expect a delay in the process that is used for delivery of funds.

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