Thankfully, most premises liability cases do not go to court. Your lawyer will likely need to negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that is fair to you, and if both sides agree, you’ll be relieved to receive that money. But you might wonder when you can expect to get paid from your Georgia premises liability claim.
You will typically receive the settlement from your premises liability claim as a check in the mail. Every case is a little different, but you will usually get you paid for your case within a few weeks (and up to six weeks) of settlement. Before that money is officially in your hands, however, there are a couple of steps that often have to happen first.
Insurance Company Delays
When a settlement has been agreed upon, the property owner’s insurance company should process the release forms and issue your settlement check. The check is usually sent directly to your attorney.
Sometimes, this process can get delayed due to issues on the insurance company’s side. However, in Georgia, insurance companies have 10 days from the date they accept a claim to send payment.
If there are significant delays, you should reach out to your premises liability lawyer for help. Insurance companies that engage in bad faith practices, such as delaying a payment, can face legal consequences (Georgia Code § 33-6-34).
Additional Expenses Might Need to Be Paid
Once your lawyer receives the settlement check, they will temporarily hold it in an escrow account, which is a normal part of the process. Your lawyer will then consider any unpaid medical costs or other expenses that need to be paid or reimbursed. These unpaid debts are known as liens.
Liens should be taken care of right away with the settlement money, as there can be severe penalties if they are ignored. Your premises liability lawyer can explain when these liens are paid from your settlement amount.
Your Attorney Will Take a Portion as Their Fee
Once bills and debts are up-to-date, your lawyer will deduct their own fees. Most premises liability lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means there are no upfront fees and they only get paid if they win you money. If they win your case, they will receive a certain percentage of your settlement.
Your lawyer will take the agreed-upon percentage as their fee for representing you. This might also include filing fees, court costs, or other expenses related to your case.
Other Factors That Affect When You Get Paid
Although payment after a settlement is fairly quick in most cases, the actual settlement can take a while. It often takes premises liability claims around a few months to a year to be settled. You’ll need to consider the following factors.
The Severity of Your Injuries
More serious injuries will usually lead to higher settlement payouts. However, they can also extend the length of a premises liability case.
Ideally, you should wait until you receive your full range of treatment before having a compensation number in mind for filing a claim. This can take a significant amount of time, which would impact how long it takes to reach a settlement and receive your payment.
After you file your claim, the insurance company may respond with a lowball offer. You should never accept the first offer because it’s rarely even close to the amount of compensation you need to cover your damages. Your lawyer will likely need to negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
Although negotiation will extend the length of your case, it’s usually worth it. You might need to wait a little longer to get paid, but if your lawyer is experienced in negotiating premises liability cases, they can probably get you a better settlement.
Premises liability claimants who work with attorneys almost always come out on top with a higher settlement, so it’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as you can after your accident.
To schedule a FREE consultation with one of our lawyers at John Foy & Associates, call (404) 400-4000 now.
Bringing a Lawsuit
Most premises liability cases settle before they need to go on to trial. However, a lawsuit may be the best option in some cases.
If you and your lawyer are considering taking your case to trial, you will likely wait longer to get paid for your damages. However, if you win in court or settle outside of court in the process, your settlement or award may end up being much higher.
The Expertise of Your Lawyer
Many lawyers will say they take on premises liability cases, but they may not have much experience working on them.
Make sure you work with someone who understands Georgia’s premises liability laws and the complexities involved. You are more likely to receive a higher settlement if you work with an attorney who knows how to fight in this situation. Your lawyer should also be knowledgeable of certain legal deadlines, such as the two-year statute of limitations to file your case (Georgia Code § 9-3-33).
Finally, You Will Receive Your Settlement
After all of the above factors are taken into account, your lawyer will issue a check to you with the remaining amount. They might mail you the check, or you might pick it up from the law firm. Either way, it might take up to a few days for the check to process.
Although most settlements take up to about six weeks for you to get paid, the wait will hopefully be worth it. If your case is successful and you worked with an experienced lawyer, you’ll find relief in the money you need to cover your costs and move on from your accident.
Talk to a Georgia Premises Liability Lawyer for Free Today
Our premises liability lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been representing injury victims like you for over 20 years. We are not afraid to fight for your rights, and we don’t back down from insurance companies. We’d love to give you a FREE consultation and discuss the details of your case—and, most importantly, how we can help.
To get started with your FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. We do not take a fee unless we win you money, and there are no upfront costs to work with us.
Call (404) 400-4000 today for your FREE consultation.