The fact that 2 disputing parties have agreed on terms for resolution of their dispute, does not guarantee issuance of a check to the winning party. Anyone that has chosen to file a personal injury claim ought to understand the meaning of that particular fact.
A series of steps must be finalized, before the insurance company will issue a settlement check.
The insurance company wants a guarantee that the claimant will not pursue any more claims that are related to the existing accident. It seeks that guarantee by asking for a signed release form.
The insurance company sends the unsigned form to the claimant’s lawyer. The lawyer studies it, to be sure it does not contain any unexpected request. At that point, the lawyer’s attention gets focused on obtaining the requested signature. Once the release form contains that signature, it can be sent back to the insurance company.
Then the insurance company sends a check for the claimant’s winnings to the claimant’s attorney in Kingston.
The attorney receives a check that is made out to 2 different people: The attorney and the claimant/client.
Before taking his or her fee from the received check, the lawyer pays off any existing liens. In other words, some of the money gets used to reimburse past providers of health care services.
Once those providers have been paid, the lawyer has the right to take out the agreed-upon fee. Only then can a settlement check get placed in the mail, so that it reaches the address of the claimant/victim.
What happens after the claimant has received the settlement check?
If the name on that check was the same as the name on the claimant’s bank account, then the account holder/claimant should have no trouble cashing the settlement check. Of course, if the name on the check were not the same as the one on the bank account, more steps would have to be completed.
The claimant would have to take the check back to the lawyer’s office, and explain what happened. An understanding lawyer should then make out a new check, one with the correct name on it. At that point, the claimant’s check should be one that the bank would agree to cash.
Smart claimants make a point of avoiding such a problem. Each of them makes sure that any hired attorney learns how to write out the name that is on the client’s bank account. That prevents a hold-up, such as the one caused by allowing the wrong name to go on the client’s check. That hold-up comes in the form of an unnecessary and time-consuming task, one that slows the entire process, forcing the claimant/victim to wait an added amount of time.