When your car accident case is at an end and a settlement or judgment has been reached, the main question that people have is how soon they can expect payment. Unfortunately, finally receiving your just settlement isn’t as easy of a process as would like. After your car accident case is over, you have to be extra vigilant about receiving your compensation, not giving up the fight until your payment is in hand. Read on to learn how soon you can expect payment after a car accident verdict and find out why you should retain a car accident attorney to make sure you get your settlement.
Payment Timelines and Settlement Agreements
If you’ve reached a settlement in your car accident case, meaning coming to an agreement before a trial, there is generally a set time frame for when the defendant must pay the agreed upon damages. For settlement agreements, the payment period can range from twenty to thirty days, depending on the time frame that both parties agree to. The biggest obstacle in receiving your payment is a defendant who resists giving you the damages you’ve earned, either ignoring the time frame completely or asking for unreasonable extensions of the payment period. To avoid this pitfall, most settlement agreements have built in penalties that are enforced when a payment period expires without restitution being made.
Penalties for Delayed Payment
When negotiating your settlement agreement, it’s important that you build in penalties that will take place should the defendant fail to pay your damages. Most commonly, a settlement agreement will dictate that failure to issue a payment during the set time period will result in you, the collecting party, receiving interest on the agreed upon settlement until the full payment is made. Establishing interest penalties in your settlement agreement can serve as a strong motivator for the defendant to give you your just compensation during the payment period.
Additionally, you should make sure that any settlement agreement that you sign gives you the right to withdraw from the agreement and re-submit your case if payment is not made in a timely manner.
What Happens if Your Case Reaches Judgement?
In some car accident cases a settlement agreement is not reached and the case eventually goes to trial where a final judgment will be reached. Should this judgment go in your favor, it’s important to be aware that the payment process differs from settlement agreements in some very important ways.
First, in circumstances where a judgment has been reached, the defendant has the right to file for an appeal in the two months following the verdict. If the appeal is accepted, this can result in another hearing, which can massively delay your payment.
Secondly, payment periods resulting from court judgement are often much longer than those in a settlement agreement. However, even with the longer period, you are much more likely to receive your full payment, as the penalties for withholding a settlement in a judgement case are usually very severe.
Get Legal Help from a Car Accident Attorney
Winning a car accident case can take an extreme weight off of your shoulders, allowing you to move forward with your life knowing that you will receive the financial compensation that you deserve. Although payments in these cases generally go smoothly, sometimes there are hold ups in the process that cause a delay in you getting your just compensation. If you are having trouble getting your payment after a car accident, then you need the help of an experienced car accident attorney from Heuser & Heuser, L.L.P. Our legal team will do everything in our power to make sure you receive the settlement you rightfully won without delay. Contact us today so we can start working on your case.