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More on Settling a Personal Injury Claim

Court Notification

If you filed a lawsuit before settlement, you must file a legal document with the court advising that the case has been settled so that the court can remove the case from the dockets. Otherwise, the case stays on the dockets and a trial is scheduled. In Pennsylvania, for example, you would file an Order to Settle, Discontinue and End with the court. If you are unrepresented, you will have to contact the court for the appropriate form for your jurisdiction.

If a lawsuit was not actually filed, you do not have to file anything with the court, since the court has had no involvement with your case. The possible exceptions to this rule are if the plaintiff is either a minor or is mentally incompetent to handle his or her legal affairs. To settle these kinds of cases, you may need special permission from the court even if the case settled prior to suit. If the case involved a death, you may also have to obtain the court’s permission to settle the case. The procedure varies from state to state. Your lawyer will know what the procedure is. If you are unrepresented, you should call the court and, hopefully, some sympathetic civil servant will guide you.

Time Frame

It usually takes the insurance company about two weeks from the time it receives the signed release before it sends the settlement check to you or your lawyer. If two weeks have passed without having received the check, call the insurance claims representative to inquire. That is usually all it takes to get things moving.

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