Once you win your car accident lawsuit, you may feel like celebrating the big win. The judge ruled in your favor, or perhaps the jury awarded you damages for your pain and suffering. You have been struggling to make it to this point for some months, and you finally got your settlement. Right? The answer to your question isn’t that easy to answer. In many cases, winning your lawsuit is only the first part of the battle. Depending on who is responsible for the payment, you now may have to try and collect the money.
Settling the Agreement
If your case settles before trial on your injury accident lawsuit, it is known as a settlement agreement. The agreement will have a period within which the settlement monies must be paid, and most states allow a grace period of up to 30 days. If the payment is not made, or only a partial payment is provided, the agreement demands that interest be added to the remainder of the unpaid amount.
The settlement agreement may also have a section that gives the plaintiff the right to back out of the deal and continue the lawsuit if the money is not paid as stated in the contract. Once the case is reinstated, it will continue to trial as if the agreement never existed.
Appealing the Judgment
The court case is over, and you’ve won. However, the other side may believe they were wronged, or they could find more information that would change the court’s decision. Either way, they usually have up to two weeks to file a motion for a new trial and up to 60 days to file for an appeal on the ruling.
After either motion is filed, the case will be heard as soon as the court can schedule the matter – usually within three months. The problem is that the losing party is not required to pay any judgment money until the motion has been heard and settled, which can sometimes take several years.
Receiving the Money
If no appeals are filed after you win your case, and the insurance company and the driver are named in the suit, the insurance company is typically responsible for paying the judgment amount. The court mandates that companies pay the total amount within 45 days of the judgment.
As our car accident lawyer friends from Daniel E. Stuart, P.C. can agree with, putting your well-being first by taking action and understanding the laws are the best ways to reduce financial loss in the event of a serious accident.