This is probably one question that we are asked on every personal injury case we handle. It is a great question and clients should know when to expect the money from their settlement.
Generally, you should receive your settlement proceeds within approximately thirty (30) days. In some cases, it may be sooner and others, it may be longer. It really depends on several factors specific to each personal injury case.
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Example 1: A woman was rear-ended and injured in Framingham, MA by a truck. She hired an attorney and filed a personal injury claim in Massachusetts. This woman had MassHealth for health insurance and her total medical bills were $7,500. When someone injured in a car accident in Massachusetts has MassHealth for health insurance, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits from the auto insurance company that insures the vehicle she occupied at the time of the accident will pay the first $8,000 in related medical bills. So, in this example, PIP should have paid the $7,500 in medical bills, which means there are no outstanding medical bills and no liens from MassHealth or any other medical providers. Therefore, once her case is settled, the at-fault party’s auto insurance company will most likely issue the settlement check within a week or two after the settlement. The client will then receive her settlement proceeds (i.e., the gross settlement less the attorney’s fees and expenses) within a few days of her lawyer receiving the settlement check from the insurance company.
Example 2: A man was seriously injured in a car accident in Marlborough, MA. He suffered a broken leg and a lower back injury. He hired a personal injury lawyer and filed an injury claim against the other driver, who caused the accident. After he completed his treatment and reached a maximum medical improvement, all of his medical bills were obtained. His medical bills totaled $30,000. He has Medicare for health insurance. Just like with MassHealth, PIP will pay the first $8,000 of medical bills for treatment related to the accident for Medicare recipients injured in a car accident in Massachusetts. The remaining medical bills were submitted and paid by Medicare. His case was eventually settled. Once the case is settled, the settlement amount and other information must be provided to Medicare, so they can calculate the total amount of the Medicare lien. This typically takes a while. After the case is settled, the at-fault party’s auto insurance company will usually not issue the settlement check until the Medicare lien is determined. Therefore, he will not receive his check as quickly as the woman in Example 1 above. Generally, in this type of situation, the settlement should be finalized in a month or two.
As you can see, there are many different factors that will determine how soon someone will receive their settlement proceeds. Some other factors would include outstanding medical bills, health insurer liens, or if the accident case is part of a workers’ compensation claim, which would result in a workers’ compensation lien.
No matter what the situation or circumstances are, you should speak with your personal injury attorney about when the settlement check should be ready. An experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer will be able to explain to you when you should receive your money.
Do You Have Questions About an Accident Case? Speak With an Experienced Injury Attorney in Massachusetts Today
If you, or someone you know, have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, speak with an experienced accident attorney in Massachusetts today.
Call Mahaney & Pappas, LLP at 508-879-3500, or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation meeting and case evaluation.