What Can I Do With My Settlement Award?
You and your attorney have worked hard for this day to come. Now, all of your hard work and patience have finally paid off. You’ve either won your court case or you’ve reached a settlement. It’s finally all over, right? Not quite. Just because the court decided in your favor doesn’t mean that the judge hands you a check and you pack for Vegas.
Winning a settlement isn’t usually the end of the process. Even though a settlement has been awarded, there are often still obligations that have to be met. There are several steps that have to be taken to ensure that everyone involved in the case, that is entitled to compensation, receives it.
How Do I Get My Money?
In a perfect world, a plaintiff receives a settlement check, they go to the bank and issue money orders to everyone that has a legitimate claim to their part of the proceeds. Unfortunately, this isn’t the way the world works. Since the court system knows this, they have developed a series of steps that must be taken in order to protect the interests of everyone involved.
The first step involves physically being able to put your hands on the check. Since it will be coming from either the defendant or an insurance company, this could take some time. Unless a specific time frame is stipulated, they could decide to take their time in issuing your payment.
Who Will Pay My Doctors and Other Medical Costs?
The direction of the next step is determined by whom the check is made out to. In most instances, the check will be made out to the awarded parties and the law firm that is representing them. In this case, the check will have to be signed by the client or clients and deposited into the firm’s trust account. Once the check clears, checks are made out to whomever has a vested interest in the case, such as doctors, hospitals, and others who have been waiting to be paid.
Sometimes, several checks will issued: one for the individual and one to the other parties. This takes the burden of disbursing funds off of the individual and his attorney.
Can I Spend My Settlement on Anything I Choose?
Once the debts to all other parties have been satisfied, the individual is free to do as he wishes with his portion of the settlement.
Anytime a settlement is involved, you need to be sure that you’re getting accurate information, and that all funds are handled appropriately. Some individuals believe that it’s better to represent themselves so that they are not required to split the settlement with an attorney. While this might save you some money, if everything goes well, this can be a costly decision. With so much potentially at stake, you would be wise to engage the services of an attorney who can see to it that your claim, and your needs are sufficiently met. The portion that is paid to an attorney will almost always be more than made up for in knowledge, experience, and negotiating skills.
Let Robert Mandell Help You Navigate the System
Robert Mandell is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney at The Mandell Law Firm. He is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of personal injury law. Let him evaluate your case. It’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who has demonstrated a determination to fight for his clients. Robert Mandell and the team at Mandell Law will fight to protect your rights. To arrange a free consultation, contact Robert Mandell at The Mandell Law Firm in Northridge. 818.886.6600.