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When Do I Collect Settlement Awards and Damages After A Lawsuit?

After a personal injury lawsuit you might be wondering how you’ll collect settlement payments. There are actually a number of ways to collect. It all depends on what type of settlement you receive. The average period before you receive your money is about a month.
It can, however, vary depending on the specifics surrounding the case. Is the money coming from an insurance company? A business? An individual? Is it a lump sum payment or a structured settlement?

Lawsuits are complex. If you are waiting on cash awards after your settlement, read on on to find more information and feel at ease with your circumstance.

How Do I Collect Settlement Money?

This is where things can get tricky. After the settlement or verdict is reached the payment (which generally takes a month oif it’s from a big business or insurance company) will be: 1) Sent to your lawyer. 2) Your lawyer will deduct attorney’s fees. 3) either turn the money over to the third-party assignee (for structured settlements) or turn the money over to you.

However, what if the defendant is unable to cover the funds? What if he or she doesn’t have insurance? Nor do they have assets they can sell to come up with the money? They are in debt to you but will you ever see the money if they have no way of coming up with it? The sad answer is, probably not.

The Difference Between A Lump Sum Settlement and A Structured Settlement

Although, this might seem like a no-brainer, going in depth about the benefits and drawbacks to each of these two settlement types can be helpful. In personal injury lawsuits, knowing the benefits of each can help you feel at ease in dire circumstances.

Lump Sum Settlement

It’s exactly like it sounds. The two parties agree on a set amount of money to be paid after a settlement is reached or the jury awards the plaintiff an allotted amount of money to be paid in a single payment. The benefits of a lump sum settlement are the immediacy. You get the case over and done with, you get your money, pay your lawyer, and viola! You are done. The drawback to this type of settlement is the fact that you might have to handle a large amount of money to cover years of incurred expenses from your injuries or pain and suffering. Once the money is gone, you’ll be on your own.

Structured Settlements

Structured settlements involve periodic payments agreed on by the two parties or in the jury’s verdict. A famous Texas politician, Greg Abbott, receives money every month and lump sum payments every three years for an injury he incurred in 1984. In 2013, he’s still receiving payments to compensate him for the loss of his ability to walk.

The benefits of a structured settlement are that you get payments for a duration for time that is predicted to cover all the expenses you’ve incurred from your personal injury. The settlement is sent to a third-party assignee who regulates the payments to you. Although you’ll still have to worry about finances and figuring out how much money goes to taxes each year (which most times is none at all), you have a sense of security for the duration of the settlement agreement.

In Most Instances You’ll Receive Money Within A Month

The Defendant can always appeal after a verdict has been made or a settlement reached. This means they don’t have to pay you during the appeal process. Generally if you’ve reached a settlement or if the case has gone to trial and received a verdict, the defendant will pay up quickly. Talk to your lawyer and make sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure the payment is received. If you need money now, you might want to look at other options like a pre-settlement loan or litigation funding.

As always, feel free to call us with any questions about your case or if you are in need of a lawyer to represent you.