The point of filing a personal injury claim is so that one receives compensation for their losses. As a result, it is easy to assume that once a settlement has been agreed upon the money automatically reflects one’s bank. Or an award given in court the money also automatically reflects one’s bank. This article will discuss collecting settlement or judgement award monies, focusing on the release.
There is a huge difference from what is expected when a settlement is finalized and when a judgement award is given. Once a case is settled, the attorney simply waits for the insurance company settlement check to come in the mail. Once this is received a few deductions later the plaintiff receives their money.
Setting Your Personal Injury Case – The Release
As soon as the release is agreed to the lawyer will send the documents to be signed by you. Be sure to read it before signing it and discuss it with your lawyer. If you are happy with what it contains it is likely to be signed in triplicate before a notary public. Once signed the document is returned to the defence attorney, making the terms of the settlement final.
Once the lawyer gets your settlement monies in the mail there are other tasks that must be performed. Before distributing your share of settlement, it is necessary for any personal injury liens to be resolved. A lien is “a security interest or legal right acquired in one’s property by a creditor”. Generally, there are two kinds of liens in personal injury lawsuits; these are:
- medical liens
- government liens
Medical liens are those held by health care providers and insurers. These are the ones who paid for your medical treatment as a result of the accident. Government liens, on the other hand, are usually from Medicare or Medicaid or for a child support agency.
It is imperative that liens are paid off before the plaintiff receives any of the settlement amount.