When My Auto Accident Case Is Settled, Does the Settlement Check Come to Me or My Attorney?


Normally, the insurance company will send a check to your attorney with your attorney’s name on it and your name on it. When the attorney receives the check, he or she will deposit the entire amount of the check into the attorney’s trust account. Once the attorney’s bank has “cleared” the check (i.e., ensured the funds are transferred from the insurance company’s bank to your attorney’s trust account), your settlement is ready to be distributed.

At that time, your Durham personal injury lawyer will call you and have you come into his or her office to go over a couple of documents.

  1. First, you will receive a settlement statement or disbursement summary. This document shows you how much money was recovered, and where all of your money is being distributed. Generally, the following amounts will be deducted you’re your settlement proceeds: (A) your attorney’s fees (typically 33%), (B) expenses incurred in case (items like filing fees, expert opinion fees, mediation fees, etc.), and (C) medical expenses to medical providers that submitted liens. The remainder of your settlement will be paid to you.
  2. Second, you will be reviewing and signing a release. The release is the document that effectively ends your case. It generally says that in exchange for receiving the settlement check that you agree to release the at-fault driver for liability for your injuries and medical expenses. The release also means that you cannot successfully sue if for some reason you later realize your injuries are worse than what you initially thought. As a result, you should avoid signing a release until you are 100% comfortable with the idea that you could never get another dollar for your injuries or medical expenses.