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Disbursing Funds As An Escrow Agent After A Settlement Or Judgment
Accident and injury settlements happen every day around America, but you may not know how funds are disbursed once the settlement is reached. There are a few tips listed below that explain how your attorney will handle the money paid through a settlement or judgment.
The Money Goes To An Escrow Account
When you are involved in any sort of accident or injury case, the money paid by the defendant as part of the case will go to an escrow account. A truck accident attorney or injury attorney for the plaintiff will have control of the account, and they will report all the funds that have been paid into the account. The court requires careful reporting on the money that has been deposited in the account, and those funds must be disbursed per the court order that was produced when the case was closed.
Who Gets Paid?
When you are working with a personal injury attorney, you can be assured that they will disburse funds from the escrow account properly. The attorney may have had their fees paid as part of the settlement or judgment, or they have had a partial payment included in the final court order. The attorney is allowed to recover their fees once you have been paid.
Because these payments may not come through at the same time, you may receive partial payments until you have received the total amount ordered by the court or agreed to in the settlement. You may ask your attorney how much you should plan to receive every month, and you might ask your attorney if they are recovering their fees when payments are made to the escrow account. You can ask to see the statements for the account, but you do not have direct access to the account.
How Do You Receive Your Funds?
Because your attorney has access to the account, they can send you a check, ask for a cashier’s check at the bank, or send a direct deposit to your bank account. You must provide all the information your attorney needs when they plan to pay you, and that information will be included on the official record. The court needs to know that you received the payment, and the court wants to be sure that you are the person who accepted the payment. In other words, your slip and fall accident attorney cannot make payments to a third party.
How Long Will Payments Continue?
Your attorney may not know exactly how long it will take for you to receive all your money because the court has given the defendant leeway while trying to procure those funds. Your agreement may call for specific payments at specific times, and those payments may be extended for many years. your attorney will explain how long it will take for you to receive all your payments, and you can ask your attorney for help if you need extra money because of medical bills, lost wages, or other extenuating circumstances.
Again, you do not have direct access to the escrow account, but you can work with your attorney to ensure that you know when your money is coming, how much is left, and when the payments will stop.
If you have opted for a lump sum payment, your attorney will let you know when that payment is due to be made. Again, both you and the attorney will be paid from the same account. You can work with your attorney to get the payment processed, and you will receive documentation that all the monies owed are paid.
You Should Not Speak To The Defendant
Even though the defendant has lost the case or has agreed to pay for your damages, you should not contact them under any circumstances. Doing so might breach any agreements you signed when the case was settled or closed. You should turn to your attorney if you need assistance with payments or how the money is being paid.
For example, a defendant may stop paying into the escrow account as agreed. You cannot complain to the defendant or their attorney because you do not have the legal authority to force them to make the payments. Tell your lawyer that you need to be paid, and your lawyer will take the matter back to court.
Because the defendant is bound by a court order to make the payments, they could be forced to liquidate their assets to do so. If you get involved or contact your defendant, you could be found in breach of your settlement or judgment agreement. A judge could nullify your damages, and you will receive nothing.
Working with a personal injury attorney ensures that you will be paid properly after an injury judgment or settlement. You should not try to represent yourself, and you should not attempt to recover the funds on your own. A proper escrow attorney will ensure that you are paid from the escrow account that was established, and you can take your case back to court if you believe that the defendant has not fulfilled their obligations.