You may be excited after you settle your car accident case, but don’t rejoice just yet. Car accident settlements do not get paid to the winning party for some time. Instead, there are rules and a few options available to the paying party. This means that you may have to wait awhile before getting your settlement. Read our article to learn more about what happens after your car accident case and find a qualified car accident attorney.
The Difference between Insurance Companies and Everybody Else
Insurance companies are prepared to deal with the repercussions of a car accident. Insurance companies have settlement money, insurance adjusters, and lawyers on hand to deal with the legalities revolving a case. Insurance companies are also more apt to agree to a settlement amount and pay it on time. This means many cases get settled before they reach court.
Individual drivers are not always so lucky. They may have difficulty repaying a settlement or agreeing to settlement terms. Oftentimes, they cannot make a lump sum payment. When dealing with an individual driver, make sure to get everything in writing and set up payment arrangements through the courts.
Companies may also give you a hard time. They can file an appeal which ties your settlement up in court because they are not required to pay until the appeal is heard. Appeals can take one to two years to be resolved. Companies may also refuse to pay out your settlement.
The way the courts handle failure to repay is through penalties. The courts can put a lien on real estate or seize personal property such as automobiles to repay the settlement. Courts can also garnish wages or seize accounts and automatically debit the settlement money into the winning party’s account. A professional car accident attorney will help you figure out the process.
Judgment vs. Settlement
There is a major difference between a car accident settlement and a judgment. A settlement happens before the case is tried in court. It is an agreement made between two parties under certain terms that are laid out in writing. A conflict resolution specialist such as a mediator or arbitrator will be appointed by the courts to oversee the process. Both car accident employees are also present. The paying party has thirty days to pay the settlement or they will have to pay interest on top of the settlement amount. The winning party can also choose to go through with the case if the paying party refuses to pay.
A judgment is the payment imposed by the courts after the trial. The amount is normally determined a judge and or jury. The losing party gets a bit more leeway in court. They have up to 15 days to file a motion for a new trial. They are also allowed 60 days to file an appeal. If the motion is accepted, they do not have to pay the original settlement until after the new case is heard.
Getting a Car Accident Attorney
Here at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we understand how frustrating the settlement process can be after a car accident. We will work with you to make sure that your needs are addressed and you can exercise all of the rights available to you. Whether you win your case or not, we will help you resolve your issues as effectively as possible. Contact us today!