4 Questions to Ask Your Attorney About an Auto Accident Settlement Check

Car Accident Law Firm

When you are injured in an auto accident, the resulting medical bills and other costs can be overwhelming. However, if the wreck was the fault of someone else’s negligent behavior, filing a personal injury lawsuit may provide you with the financial means to recover. If you are expecting a judgment in your favor concerning a lawsuit, there are a few questions you may want to ask your attorney about any checks you receive.

  1. Will the Check Be Made Out to the Attorney’s Firm? 

If you win your auto accident lawsuit, you will likely have to pay your attorney fee before you receive any money. The total cost of the fee varies from practice to practice, but many charge around 33 percent of the sum of your award. Although the settlement check will name you and your lawyer as the recipients, your attorney will most likely have you sign it over so he or she can create two new checks to ensure you each get the amount to which you are entitled. Your attorney may set up a separate account or fund as well.

  1. Can I Deposit the Check on My Own? 

While a settlement check is not much different than any other type you would deposit into your bank account, you may want to speak with a representative at your local branch first. Depending on the amount of the check, your bank may want to contact its issuer to ensure it will clear that financial institution’s account. Each bank has its own practices, but in most cases, it may take some time for your check to clear.

  1. Will the Bank Put the Check on Hold? 

Your bank may hold the check, depending on its amount. Larger awards may take several weeks or up to a month to clear. If you have medical bills that require your urgent attention, you may want to speak to an account specialist at your bank so you can make plans to pay those debts as soon as the check is verified and cleared.

  1. Can the Attorney Pay Those Debts First? 

If your check is sourced from an insurance company, your lawyer will probably create a trust account instead of allowing you to deposit the total amount into your personal account. He or she may then pay your outstanding debts through that account before you see the remainder of the funds.

Receiving a settlement check from a negligent auto accident can help you pay off medical bills and allow you to get your life back on track, but you may have many questions regarding its handling. Speak to a car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Woodland Hills, CA, today for more information.



Thanks to the law offices of Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into some of the questions you should ask your attorney about an auto accident settlement check.