How Long Does It Take to Get A Personal Injury Settlement Check in Washington DC?

By Peter DePaolis

When another party causes you injury or harm, you can recover compensation for your damages by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, waiting for your money can be frustrating. You need those funds now to pay bills and get back on your feet after an injury or accident. Our Washington, DC personal injury attorney explains the timeline for receiving a personal injury settlement check in Washington, DC.

Factors Impacting How Long It Takes to Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check in the District of Columbia?

Many factors that impact the timeline for your personal injury case are not within your control. 

For example, the severity of your injuries and the duration of your recovery are significant factors. Therefore, it is never wise to settle an injury claim until you complete medical treatment to ensure you demand sufficient compensation for all economic and non-economic damages, including diminished earning capacity and ongoing expenses. Therefore, cases involving catastrophic injuries, permanent impairments, and extensive medical treatment generally take longer to settle. 

Likewise, the parties involved in your case and the type of case can impact the settlement timeline. For instance, personal injury cases involving medical malpractice, product liability, multiple parties, government agencies, and premises liability can take longer to settle. Also, the parties have to be willing to negotiate a settlement in good faith. If the insurance company or at-fault party drags their feet or refuses to settle, you might need to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

Filing a lawsuit lengthens the time it takes to settle your case. A lawsuit could take a year or longer to go to trial. Complex litigation could take years to resolve. 

Allegations of contributory negligence and disputes related to damages increase the amount of time it takes to get a settlement check. It could take months of intense negotiation to resolve these issues to get to a point where you can begin discussing settlement amounts. 

How Long After Settling an Injury Claim Can I Expect to Receive a Settlement Check?

Even though you agree to a settlement amount, receiving your settlement check could take a few weeks to a few months. Steps that your personal injury lawyer must take after receiving a settlement check include:

  • Deposit the settlement check in a trust account and wait for it to clear
  • Negotiate payments of medical liens and subrogation claims
  • Prepare a statement explaining the costs of the case
  • Deduct the attorneys’ fees and costs from the settlement proceeds
  • Issue you a settlement check for the net proceeds

First, lawyers must pay subrogation claims and medical liens before giving you any settlement proceeds. An experienced accident attorney aggressively negotiates lower payoffs for these debts to keep as much money in your pocket as possible.

Next, the lawyer deducts his fees and costs from the settlement amount. Most personal injury attorneys in DC accept injury cases on a contingency fee basis. The lawyer receives a percentage of the settlement amount as payment for legal services. Also, the law firm must be reimbursed for the costs it pays while pursuing the claim. 

Finally, the lawyer issues you a check for the net settlement amount. You should also receive a detailed accounting of how the funds were used from the attorney. 

Contact Our DC Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation 

Our DC personal injury attorney works diligently to get you the money you deserve as quickly as possible. Contact our law office to schedule your free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case. We fight for your right to fair and just compensation for injuries and damages.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.