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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Does the Injured Party Have to Sign a Settlement Check

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Virginia. I have a number of concerns about my case, which is close to settlement. 1- My attorney says I have to sign the check, and they will put it in an escrow account for it to clear for five days. I have never heard this. I offered to pay his portion, which is the only outstanding balance, but he says I would run into problems if I tried to deposit the check.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Settlement Check

    Most of the time, settlement checks in personal injury cases are made payable (1) to the attorney only, (2) to the attorney's client trust account only, or (3) to the attorney (or his/her client trust account) and the client jointly. Sounds like #3 is applicable in your situation. Banks are accustomed to dealing with settlement checks like this: the client endorses the check, the lawyer deposits the check, and the lawyer pays him/herself what he/she is due and cuts a separate check tot he client for his/her share. You would, indeed, have trouble doing it the other way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,048

    Default Re: Settlement Check

    Quote Quoting samson33
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    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Virginia. I have a number of concerns about my case, which is close to settlement. 1- My attorney says I have to sign the check, and they will put it in a scrow account for it to clear for five days. I have never heard this.
    It's normal practice.

    However, you also have to understand that the attorney will pay other items besides his fee before you get your share.

    There may be liens from medical providers and medical insurance. There may be expenses that come off the top in addition to his fee.

    Make sure you get an itemization of all of it before you sign the check and carefully review your contingency agreement to make sure it's being adhered to.

    If there are any liens from medical providers and medical insurance insist that your attorney negotiate compromises of those liens where they waive part of the balance so you get more money. Also have this done before you sign the check. If successful get a revised itemization and written lien waivers.

    I've read too many stories where claimants get a lot less than what they thought they would get, not that the attorney did anything wrong, but that the claimant didn't understand how it worked.

    Now you understand how it works. Your power is in your signature. Once it leaves your hand you are powerless.

    In another thread on the same topic you asked:

    Quote Quoting samson33
    View Post

    - The content from the insurance asks for a full release of the other driver. It also names his wife for some reason even though she was not even in the car when the accident happened.
    My concern is if one of the physicians, hospital, or anyone approaches me and tell me there was an accounting error and I would have to pay a bit more. Just reasonable situations that I honestly did not know about. Why should I release everyone from the possibility that there may be some charge?

    You sign the release to get the money. If you don't sign the release you don't get the money. The whole idea of signing a release is that you don't come back later for more money. Once you sign it, you're done.


    Quote Quoting samson33
    View Post

    Is there a way to address this? My attorney, who I do have a bit of trust issue with based on how he presented the sign in papers to me at the beginning, says he can ask the insurance to add that they would cover reasonable expenses, but it is a lot of work and the adjuster has to get the approval of their management in order to agree to this.
    Yes, but it's not "a lot of work." All your lawyer has to do is send a letter to the adjuster asking for an additional amount to cover unexpected medical costs. Then the adjuster says either yes or no. I'm guessing the adjuster already has authority for amounts above what the settlement was and wouldn't have to go to management for approval. However, depending on the nature and costs of your injury, the adjuster is more than likely to say no.

    This is why you don't settle until you are completely recovered and all of your medical bills are in and fully quantified. You have the option of checking with all your medical providers (not your lawyer's job) to make sure the bills are final. Then there would be little chance of accounting errors later.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Settlement Check

    Thank you so much. Would you have a look at these documents? I have already asked my attorney to make sure there are no leans, and I'll add the other request regarding possible additional expenses. I am so glad I found this site.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Settlement Check

    Is there someone I can pay to review my documents before I sign, and how do I contact them? How much would it cost me to review less than 10 pages, and advise before I go to see sign?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,389

    Default Re: Settlement Check

    They are called an attorney. There are pages of them in that yellow book under the phone and your local county bar association can probably give you some more.

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