Receiving a settlement check after a car accident is not as easy as it might seem . In the process of making a compensation claim, receiving a settlement check  is the last step. Usually, you can expect a settlement check within a period of 30 days after signing the final settlement agreement. According to  our experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney, signing a settlement contract can take up to several weeks or months, or  even up to a year, depending on the highlights and details  of your case. 

The question that is often part of the initial conversation with a personal injury law firm is knowing precisely what the timeline is for receiving a settlement check after a car accident. As a plaintiff, you can file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance provider within the suggested time by the lawyer. The insurance company may open a case file, starting the investigation of the incident. Your Boston car accident attorney also investigates the underlying causes of the accident. 

If the insurance provider accepts liability for the damages/losses from  the car accident, your dedicated attorney prepares a settlement contract. However, the negligent party’s insurance provider may oppose or refuse the claim. It may do that by raising  several issues such as failure to mention pre-existing conditions, mitigating damages, and comparative negligence. 

Your lawyer may attempt to negotiate a fair  settlement amount with the insurance company. However, if the insurance company still refuses to negotiate in good faith,  your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit, which can take up to a year in court .


  • Signing the settlement agreement 

A final agreement citing the settlement amount exempts all the involved parties from future claims for damages. In particular, when you sign this settlement agreement, you release the negligent party, the insurance provider, and all other parties involved who could be liable for damages and injuries from any further responsibility. You also free all parties, known and unknown, from the legal responsibility for  the car accident . 

According to  our personal injury lawyers in Boston, a settlement agreement is upholdable  in court. So, before signing the agreement, be sure the compensation amount covers all your damages, including non-economic and economic damages. The settlement is your one shot at getting as much compensation as possible for your damages and losses. 

  • Obtaining the Settlement Check 

After the settlement agreement is signed, the insurance agency processes the agreement, issuing the final settlement check. The check is normally  sent to the plaintiff’s lawyer, or   your lawyer may pick the check up in person from the local office of the insurance provider. 

  • Depositing the Settlement Check 

Your Massachusetts personal injury attorney will deposit the settlement check into an escrow account for  the plaintiff. The lawyer may have to wait until the check clears and the respective bank releases the funds before distributing  any settlement proceeds from the escrow  account. 

  • Costs and Liens Paid From the Settlement

You, as the plaintiff, do not receive the entire settlement check when it is cleared . The attorney will first pay your subrogation and medical liens claims. A professional car accident lawyer negotiates claims and liens against the compensation proceeds. Neither party is required to negotiate lower amounts to pay off claims and liens. 

After the deduction of subrogation claims and medical liens, the lawyer withdraws their fee and any expenses incurred during  the case. Most loften , lawyers across Massachusetts accept car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that they  agree to accept a percentage of the settlement amount as their fee. Generally speaking, the costs of the case may include travel expenses, postage, deposition fees, copies, investigation costs, and expert witness fees. 

  • Receiving the Final Settlement Check 

After the deduction of attorneys fees, necessary liens, and claims, the personal injury lawyer in Boston representing you will cut a check to you for  the net amount of the settlement. This process may take up to two or  three weeks, depending  on whether the lawyer is still negotiating with the insurance providers and medical facilities to decrease the number of liens and claims against your settlement proceeds. 


As the heading  states, every case is different. It would be best not to build expectations for your case based on any other personal injury case, as all  claims take different amounts of time to settle. Facets that may impact the timeline of the settlement include , but are not limited to:

  • The duration of the recovery 
  • The severity and type of injury 
  • The responsible parties involved in the case
  • The insurance provider’s willingness to negotiate a fair settlement 
  • Any allegations of comparative negligence 
  • The time taken to complete  the incident investigation 
  • Whether you need to hire expert witnesses to help with the case. 

Ultimately, having a reputable personal injury law firm on your case will help  to settle your case as quickly as possible. However, a professional, competent car accident attorney understands that settling too early may lower compensation. Hence, the attorney balances speed with quality to get the maximum compensation possible for the claim.

Filing a claim with an experienced attorney can assure that your rights are protected, and you pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us our Boston office at (617) 742-1900 or, if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732 to book your free consultation today!



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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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