How Long Will It Take to Get Your Personal Injury Settlement Check?

  • Personal Injury
April 20, 2023

It’s a question that’s foremost on the minds of most plaintiffs: How long will it take to get my money once we settle? It’s a completely understandable question, as most plaintiffs have medical bills piled up since their injury, and they may be stressed out from pursuing their case. It also doesn’t help that when you hear stories of other people getting a settlement check, they often give the impression that it all happened almost instantaneously: “I was in an accident, and the insurance company settled for X amount.”

In the legal system, however, events rarely happen as quickly as we would like. While this can be frustrating for clients, understanding how the process works can make it much more bearable.

First, You Have to Settle

Obviously, you must first reach a settlement to get a personal injury settlement.

When you settle a claim, you will sign a release giving up any right to sue the other party for anything related to the events that gave rise to the claim (for example, a traffic accident). In addition, the other party will agree to pay a certain amount in exchange for this release.

Because you will be irrevocably giving up your rights, it’s important to know the full extent of your injuries before you settle. If you later discover you have other injuries (for example, neurological symptoms after a car crash), you will receive no additional compensation. For this reason, it’s important to heed the advice of your attorney and not rush a settlement.

How Long to Receive the Check?

If you’re dealing with an insurance company, as with most personal injury plaintiffs, the process of cutting the check is typically pretty quick. Once the settlement is finalized and signed, insurance companies usually send a check within a month.

However, if you are represented by an attorney—which we highly recommend for several reasons, including that represented plaintiffs usually receive significantly higher settlements—the check will not go directly to you.

Instead, it will be sent to your attorney’s office for the following reasons:


Before your attorney releases the funds to you, they will use them to make payments to any parties legally entitled to a portion of it.

Here are the most common deductions from a settlement check:

  • Medical Liens

If you received medical treatment after your injury, your healthcare provider may have a lien against the settlement, meaning they must be paid before you can receive anything. However, it may be possible to negotiate a reduction of these costs.

  • Subrogation Liens

If Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, or your insurance company paid for your medical expenses, they may be entitled to reimbursement via what’s known as a subrogation lien.

  • Worker’s Compensation

If your injury was work-related and you received worker’s compensation benefits, the insurance company will be entitled to reimbursement.

  • Attorney’s Fees

Most plaintiffs hire attorneys on a contingency fee basis, meaning the attorney will not charge for their services in advance, instead receiving an agreed-upon percentage of any compensation received. Therefore, the attorney will deduct their fee at this point.

  • Child Support Payments

While personal injury settlements can’t be garnished by most creditors, Colorado and many other states have an exception regarding outstanding child support payments.

Speak to an Attorney About Your Case

Personal injury cases are difficult to navigate independently, and simple mistakes may mean losing out on compensation to which you are legally entitled.

Our legal team has years of experience in a wide variety of cases. We can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf or take your case to trial if necessary.

To discuss your case and develop a plan for moving forward, contact our office and schedule a consultation today.

Get The Help You Need

Get JBP Legal’s experience on your side. Contact us for questions or a consultation.