An attorney may deduct some of the proceeds from a personal injury settlement check because of an agreement between the law office and the injured party. Many attorneys offer clients contingency representation, which means that the attorney does not receive any proceeds for representing the client until the client wins the case. The lawyer and the client may agree that the lawyer can deduct a certain percentage that is between 25 percent and 50 percent of the settlement check. The client has a right to ask the attorney for a copy of the settlement check to ensure that the attorney has taken the appropriate amount from the check.
Time Frame for Personal Injury Cases
Many months or years may pass before a victim’s lawyer sees a settlement check for the case. For that reason, personal injury attorneys try their best to resolve many of their cases out of court. They negotiate with the offending parties and try to convince them that settling out of court would be best for their reputations. Approximately 95 percent of personal injury cases do settle out of court. Cases that settle out of court are usually ones that involve large corporations. If the case looks like a landslide win for the victim, the offender or defendant may opt to end the case early with a settlement offer. However, many of them go on to partake in long and exhausting trials.
A full-blown trial could take many years to end. The parties may have to go through stages such as fact finding hearings and several appeals. Some accused parties try to prolong the cases as long as possible in hopes that the other party will drop the case. The plaintiff will have to prove the neglect of the other party, and the other party will have to try to defend itself.
Time Frame for Settlement Check
Wining a personal injury case is just the beginning. The judge may order the defendant to pay a settlement, but several factors may come into play that prolong the victim’s reception of such funds. One factor that will prolong payment is a structured settlement. A judge may order a structured settlement if the offending party’s attorney requests such. A structured settlement is a payment that involves long-term installment payments. For example, a guilty party may have to pay a victim $3,000 a month for 20 years. The attorney could take the retainer from the plaintiff in increments to make it easier for that person.
Difficulty may arise with a lump sum distribution, as well. Most large corporations will pay their debts right away so that they can avoid scandal and additional judgments. However, some defendants may use tactics to try to avoid paying the debt that they owe to the injured party. In such cases, the victims may have to go through additional struggles to collect the funds that the judge awarded in the personal injury case. That being said, a person could receive a settlement check within 30 days, or the person may have to wait several years before a settlement check arrives.
Asking the Attorney for a Copy of the Check
The victim usually goes through the attorney’s office for any information regarding a personal injury case. The attorney would notify the victim when a payment comes in from the defendant. At that point, the victim could request a copy of the check to ease his or her mind about how the attorney handles the decisions. The attorney would have to oblige because it would be ethical to do such. The victim could ask to see a copy of the check by an informal telephone request, an in-person request or a written request. If the attorney refuses to show the victim a copy of the settlement check, the victim could question the attorney’s integrity. Finding a personal injury attorney with a strong reputation from the beginning is extremely important for that reason.