- Hi, this is John Kelly from Kelly Law Team.
I want to talk to you about how long it takes
to get paid in a personal injury claim or settlement.
These are online questions that I've been answering,
so let's get started here.
This is really for people that don't have a
lawyer or an attorney,
and a lot of it applies if you do have a lawyer,
but this is kinda some good pointers for people
who are trying to handle the initial parts on their own.
The first thing I want to make a point about is
getting hospital records if you did go to the hospital
and order it right away.
So what you wanna do is make sure that you contact
the hospital's records departments and tell them
you want full bills and records.
Hospitals, anymore, will take a long time to get your
records and you may be waiting three for four months,
believe it or not, to get those records.
They'll send you an invoice,
you may have to send them a check for the amount
that it takes them to produce copies of your records.
So, you wanna get that process started right away.
The other thing that you need to know is that when you're,
you're gonna have to wait typically until you're
done treating before you make your demand letter.
So that's something that is,
you may be treating for three months with care,
you know, you may have physical therapy, chiropractor,
you may have other things, orthopedic person involved,
it may be six months, it may be a year.
You don't necessarily want to settle your claim,
typically, until you're completely done treating.
So that will delay your case to a certain degree,
depending on how long you're treating.
After you're done treating with your providers,
or your follow-ups to the hospitals,
so if you went to physical therapy, for instance,
for three months, you'll want to request their full
bills and records that includes your last visit.
Then when you get all your bills and records together,
you need to put a demand letter together
to the insurance company that's applicable.
From there, after you put your demand letter together,
you typically are going to be giving the insurance
company 30 days to respond to your demand letter,
including all your bills and records.
Now, they may come back and we need a little bit more time
to review this, or they may follow up with you
and say there is some missing bills and records
and that kind of thing, so you may have to
extend it out from there.
After you get to the point where they've made
an initial settlement offer,
it can go very quickly from there.
You can negotiate that initial settlement offer
if you think it's not high enough,
you can make your arguments,
produce other documentation that you think is relevant,
but that whole process can be done in a couple of days
if you can get an adjuster on the phone.
Once you get the claim settled, you have an amount
that they've offered that you feel is fair,
you've decided to settle the claim,
you tell them, go ahead and send me that check
and a release, they're going to send you a check
with your name on it, they're also going to send you
a release that's going to tell you that by
in accepting this check and releasing them,
you no longer have any rights to go after
the person that injured you or the insurance companies
that are related in any way regarding that accident.
So, they'll want that before they all actually get you
the full funds from the check.
After you have that check,
you're on your way to the bank with that, really.
So, typically I would say two to three months
after you're done treating is about average.
Now that is if your injuries aren't very severe.
We're talking more soft tissue type of injuries,
if you do have a more complicated case,
and you have liens involved,
which a lot of these personal injury cases do,
those can take some time to resolve,
especially if Medicare is involved.
Typically in that kind of situation,
if you have liens from hospitals and Medicare
and healthcare providers involved,
you may want to contact an attorney at least to
get some information about how to resolve all those
because the last thing you want is for you to think
you're on your way with your money from your settlement
check and then get another bill in the mail from
your healthcare provider saying that they have the right
to be reimbursed.
So I hope this helps for people out there.
If you have any further questions about this,
please contact me.
You can reach me at the Kelly Law Team.
The number is 602-283-4122.