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If you have been awarded an insurance settlement, it is because you have been deemed to have suffered a loss of some kind. Whether it was due to a car accident, a natural disaster or house fire or the death of a loved one, insurance settlements exist to help make you whole again. Often, insurance settlements are the result of a life-altering event, and many of these events result in your inability (or reduced ability) to work and provide adequately for yourself and your family. This often means that the time you are forced to wait between reaching an insurance settlement and the time that the settlement money is actually in your hand is financially taxing and stressful.
There is no rule of thumb with regard to the amount of time you will have to wait between reaching a settlement and actually having that settlement money in your hand. If you have been represented by counsel in order to reach your settlement, you can bet that your attorney will be doing everything in his power to expedite your payment. This is because the vast majority of personal injury and other such attorneys work on contingency. This means that they earn a percentage of the money you win, and that they do not get paid until you do. Obviously, this gives them a vested interest in your money and an incentive to do what they can to ensure that it is paid out as rapidly as possible.
One benefit of reaching a settlement rather than going to court is that you negate the issue of lengthy appeals that can further extend the amount of time you are forced to wait to get paid. Often, your settlement documentation will include a specific time frame for payment of any funds owed, as well as define the terms of such payments (i.e., whether you will receive a single lump sum of money or payments over a specified period of time in smaller increments). If you are in the midst of negotiating a settlement, make sure that this is addressed before everything is made final.
Many large law firms offer loan programs that allow you to receive the money you are owed ahead of time, and then to repay the money to the law firm when you receive the actual settlement. Of course, these kinds of services are not free and you should carefully consider any costs and fees associated with taking out such a loan.