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How Am I Paid My Car Accident Settlement?

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents


When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you have the right to be compensated for all your various damages. This ranges from medical bills, lost wages, repairs, and compensation for your pain and suffering. But the car accident claims process can be complex, and many are left wondering how they will be paid.

With this in mind, we have gone over what to expect when from your car accident settlement.

Getting Your Settlement Check in Chicago

There are multiple ways you could receive your insurance settlement check. Depending on your situation, you may have several options, including a structured schedule of payments or a one-time lump sum payment. Fortunately, you will not have to worry about paying taxes on your injury settlement in either case.

Lump Sum Option

Many injury victims quickly decide to go for a lump sum payment. These are generally paid out within six weeks of the signed agreement, though you could expect the process to take several months. Once you receive your money, you can use it as you see fit.

Structured Settlements

However, if you choose to go with a structured settlement, you can work with a financial advisor to set your budgetary needs to ensure that your structured settlement payments meet your needs.

If you are unsure which type of settlement you want to go with, you can speak with your attorney to discuss your options further.

How Are Chicago Settlement Checks Distributed?

Once a settlement amount has been reached and you have decided what type of settlement you want to go with, there are multiple steps to securing your car accident settlement.

Signing The Release Form

First, you need to sign a release form. Here, your attorney, the insurance company, the liable party, and all other relevant entities will need to sign all relevant legal documents.

The release form frees the insurance company and the culpable party from future liability and responsibility. By accepting their offer, you give up the ability to obtain additional compensation from these parties in the future.

If you agreed on a settlement amount but are unable to come to an agreement regarding the terms of your release form, this could delay the amount of time it will take for you to obtain your settlement check.

Who Receives the Settlement Check?

Once you sign the release form, the liable party’s insurance company will write the settlement check. The settlement check should be made out to you and your attorney. You can expect your settlement check to be sent to your lawyer. Once your attorney receives the check, it will be deposited into the designated legal trust account for handling.

What’s Deducted from Your Settlement?

It is more common than you might think for car accident victims to struggle financially following a collision. Many find themselves dealing with deadlines that can impact the compensation left once the settlement check has been written.

Your attorney will work to get your debts reduced as much as possible. However, car accident survivors often deal with a variety of personal injury debts, including:

  • Government health insurance program debts
  • Medical expenses not covered by the insurance company
  • Private health insurance carrier liens

Your attorney can often deal with lien-holders with your settlement funds on your behalf while you focus on recuperating. Any additional debts you have that are not considered liens can be taken care of once you receive your settlement check. This might include past due rent or mortgage payments, overdue utility bills, phone bills, credit card debt, and other expenses you could not cover due to your injuries.

Can You Speed Up the Settlement Process in Chicago?

If you hope to reach a settlement agreement with your insurance company faster, you can do so by:

  • Submitting necessary documents as soon as possible
  • Providing the insurance company with the information they need to write the check
  • Draft your settlement release form once the settlement amount has been determined
  • Ready your debts so they can be promptly paid once the settlement check has been received

These are just a few examples of ways the car accident settlement check process can be hastened. If there are additional steps you can take to help recover compensation faster, your attorney should inform you accordingly.

A Chicago Accident Attorney Helps Get You More Money

Your lawyer will be responsible for handling the legal details of your case. Immediately after your car accident, your attorney should begin investigating the collision to establish fault. Once you have established liability, you can file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company, as Illinois is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes.

Remember that the insurance company will look for opportunities to deny you the compensation that is rightfully yours. They may offer a low-ball settlement early on, but the amount likely won’t sufficiently cover your losses.

Your attorney will handle the negotiations on your behalf to ensure you are compensated fairly for your damages. A car accident lawyer will ensure the insurance company cuts your settlement check promptly, so you access the funds you need to cover your debts and begin rebuilding your life.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer for Help

If you have additional questions regarding your car accident settlement check, how much your case is worth, or what to expect from your car accident claim, contact our dedicated Chicago car accident lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation when you call our office or complete our online contact form to get started on your case today.

Free Consultation
(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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