What Is the Personal Injury Settlement Check Process in St. Louis? (2023)

It can take a year or more to resolve a personal injury case in St. Louis. Waiting even longer for your check can feel frustrating, especially if bills are waiting to get paid or you have delayed essential purchases.

Unfortunately, the St. Louis personal injury settlement check process has to go through various steps before you can receive your payout. However, you should receive your check within a reasonable timeframe. Waiting for months to receive your due is simply wrong. Morgan & Morgan won’t abandon you once we negotiate a settlement or win your case. We can stand by your side until you hold the check in your hands. Get in touch with us now to find out for free how we could help you with a personal injury claim.

What Is a Personal Injury Settlement?

If you get injured in a car accident or slip and fall, for example, and another is responsible for causing the accident, you could file a personal injury lawsuit. Damages you could recover include, among others:

  • Medical expenses
  • Income loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life quality

To start the process of getting justice, your lawyer will usually file a complaint and demand letter, which is the first step in filing a lawsuit. The demand letter is delivered to the party you are suing (the defendant) and contains the facts of the accident and a proposed settlement amount for your damages. The defendant has to respond to your demand letter and either meets your settlement demand, makes a counteroffer, or refuses to pay damages.

Out-of-Court Settlements

Figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) show that most personal injury claims are settled with an “out-of-court settlement” before trial. An out-of-court settlement can be a less costly and faster way to resolve a dispute than going through the court system. However, a case only settles successfully when all parties agree to a settlement.

It is crucial to understand that once the parties formally agree to a settlement, the legal dispute is resolved, and a plaintiff (the injured individual) generally cannot file another lawsuit for the same dispute. Therefore, plaintiffs and their attorneys must ensure that the settlement amount covers all present and future expected damages.

The St. Louis Personal Injury Settlement Check Process

In an ideal world, the insurance company responsible for compensating you would simply issue a check right away once the settlement is agreed upon. However, in reality, this is not the case. Knowing the personal injury settlement check process in St. Louis is essential to understand when to expect a payment. Since the process involves several steps, checks can get delayed or lost. You might have to follow up with your attorney or insurance company. The steps before you receive your check include:

1. Signing the Release Form

Before you can hold the settlement check in your hands, the most important task is completing the relevant paperwork, particularly the release form. You must sign the release form before an insurance company will issue a settlement check.

What Is the Release Form?

Just as the name suggests, the release form “releases” the defendant from all further legal claims in the matter and from having to pay any additional sums. Although release forms can vary slightly, they usually contain the following details:

  • The facts of the accident or incident
  • The identification of all parties involved in the claim
  • Your damages (medical costs, property damage, pain and suffering, and others)
  • The settlement amount and terms
  • Legal details governing the agreement

Consult With Your Attorney Before Signing Settlement Documents

Before signing a release form and other binding settlement documents, speak with your attorney to ensure that all damages are covered. Remember that the agreement is binding once signed, meaning that you generally cannot seek further damages later on. Once your attorney gives the go-ahead, you can sign the release form. The settlement documents will then be forwarded to the insurance company.

2. Issuing the Settlement Check

Once the insurance company receives all the relevant paperwork and the documents are completed correctly, you should receive the settlement check within a reasonable time frame. Generally, the St. Louis settlement check process should not take more than four to six weeks. However, there can be several reasons why the processing of your check is delayed at this stage, such as:

  • An incorrectly signed release form
  • Insurance employees off sick or on vacation
  • The claim involves an estate
  • The insurer lost your paperwork
  • Your check got lost in the mail

Processing your check should not take forever. If you handled your claim on your own, and calls or emails to the insurance company go unanswered, or the insurer is making excuses for delaying your check, contact an attorney for help. If you are working with an attorney and have not received your check after a month, ask your lawyer to follow up with the insurance company to prevent further delays.

3. Receiving and Depositing the Check

Once your attorney receives the check, they typically deposit it into an escrow account until the funds are cleared. Your attorney will then go ahead and start with the disbursements. In other words, they will pay your debts and liens such as unpaid medical bills and past-due child support payments.

If you are not working with an attorney, do not get tempted to ignore your liens and bills. Paying off your debts is a vital step in the settlement process. Failure to reimburse your health insurance or paying health providers can result in collection action against you and other legal consequences.

Negotiating With Lienholders

Your check could be delayed at this stage of the settlement check process as your attorney will try to ensure that you can keep as much of your payout as possible. To achieve this, they will negotiate with lienholders to ensure you are not paying more than you have to.

4. Deducting Legal Fees From Your Check

After your attorney pays all lienholders, they will deduct their fees and legal expenses from your settlement amount. Costs can vary from one personal injury claim to another and depend on how far your case moved through the courts before settling. Expenses in addition to attorney’s fees can include:

  • Accident investigators’ fees
  • Court filing fees
  • Costs for gathering evidence
  • Expert witness fees
  • Charges for pulling and mailing official documents
  • Deposition costs

Once all the costs have been deducted, your attorney will send you a check for the remaining amount.

5. Receiving Your Personal Injury Settlement Check

Receiving your check after months of fighting for what you deserve can come as a huge relief. At last, you can start to rebuild your life and recover physically and financially. Once you receive the check, you can cash it in or deposit it at your St. Louis bank.

Victims of an accident should not have to struggle to receive their due. Let us know if you are battling to get what you deserve or an insurance company is dragging its heels. Our determined personal injury attorneys in St. Louis could help.

Why Your Settlement Could Be Delayed

Once a settlement is agreed upon, you simply have to wait for your check in the mail. However, arriving at a settlement agreement can take some time, depending on the following factors:

The Circumstances of Your Case

If the fault for your accident is unclear, or you have a degree of fault, an insurance company will likely deny a claim or offer a significantly reduced settlement amount. Negotiations with the insurance company may be challenging and prolonged, or you may have to file a lawsuit to fight for what you deserve. A complex case can delay a resolution and settlement check considerably.

Your Medical Condition

Claimants should wait to accept a settlement offer until they have reached maximum medical improvement. If you are still in recovery, you may not know your future medical costs and expenses. Once you sign the release form, you cannot ask for more money later on and would be responsible for any further medical bills. While waiting until you have recovered can delay your check significantly, patience could work out in your favor.

You Have High Damages

If you were significantly or permanently injured, your damages and future expected damages could be astronomical. An insurance company will likely fight such a claim tooth and nail and try to deny or reduce your settlement.

In all of these eventualities, having a committed personal injury attorney by your side can be essential for getting what you deserve. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced lawyers will leave no stone unturned in fighting for maximum recovery.


What is the average settlement for a car accident in Missouri? ›

The average settlement in Missouri for a minor car accident is between $3,000–$15,000. In this case, the amount of damage caused and the type of vehicle involved are the main considerations in determining the settlement amount.

What is the usual result of a settlement? ›

The result of a settlement agreement involves the responsible party paying a certain amount to compensate for the damages caused to the victim.

How does the settlement process work? ›

A settlement agreement works by the parties coming to terms on a resolution of the case. The parties agree on exactly what the outcome is going to be. They put the agreement in writing, and both parties sign it. Then, the settlement agreement has the same effect as though the jury decided the case with that outcome.

How long does a personal injury lawsuit take in Missouri? ›

The average personal injury lawsuit takes six months to one year to settle. Cases that go to trial may take two years or more. Factors that help determine how long it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit include: The severity of the injuries.

How is pain and suffering calculated in Missouri? ›

There is no legal formula for calculating pain and suffering under Missouri or Kansas law. As a result, pain and suffering is determined by subjective criteria, and the amount you may receive is uncertain and will vary greatly from case to case.

How much can someone sue for a car accident in Missouri? ›

With the exception of cases involving uninsured drivers, Missouri does not cap the total amount of damages that you can seek in car accident cases, so you can be compensated for any economic and non-economic damages you incur.

What would my settlement figure be? ›

If you have a car finance arrangement, the settlement figure will be the amount that you still owe. As you'll be paying off your car finance through monthly bills, you'll always owe some money on your finance until you reach the end of your contract.

Do you pay taxes on lawsuit settlements? ›

The general rule is that lawsuit settlements are taxable, except in cases that involve an actual, physical injury (“observable bodily harm”) or illness that you suffered. In other words: personal injury settlements usually aren't taxable, while other types of settlements usually are.

How long does compensation take to pay out? ›

After accepting an offer of settlement for a personal injury claim you will usually receive your compensation money within 14-28 days from the date of settlement.

How long do most personal injury cases take to settle? ›

As a result, it's impossible to accurately predict how long your personal injury case will take to be resolved. That said, research studies conducted by the National Center for State Courts and the United States Department of Justice tell us that most personal injury cases are resolved within 1-3 years.

What is the most money awarded in a lawsuit? ›

1998 – The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement - $206 Billion. The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was entered in November 1998 and is still the largest lawsuit settlement in history.

What happens after one-time settlement? ›

The lender may give you a one-time settlement option where you take some time off and then, settle the loan in one go. Since you are given some time, you may readily accept this offer. Upon settling the loan in one go later, the status of this loan will be recorded as 'settled' in the credit report.

Can you sue for pain and suffering in Missouri? ›

In Missouri, the law permits victims of personal injuries to sue for both economic and non-economic damages. This includes pain and suffering, which is considered a non-economic damage.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Missouri? ›

Insurance companies in state have at least 30 days to acknowledge a claim and decide whether or not to pay it. Missouri does not have a specific time frame in which the final payment must be made, however, and only mandates that it be done in a prompt manner.

Can a personal injury settlement be garnished in Missouri? ›

Most of the time, creditors can't take your personal settlement. Any money you receive from your settlement is exempt. Depending on the time of settlement you received and if those creditors are the IRS and back child support.

What is the right amount of pain and suffering? ›

The most common way to calculate a fair settlement for pain and suffering is the multiplier method. With this approach, all economic damages, such as medical bills, wage loss, and other expenses, are added up and then multiplied by a factor between 1.5-5.

Does Missouri pay for pain and suffering? ›

Non-economic damages compensate for intangible psychological losses. In Missouri, pain and suffering damages are equivalent to non-economic damages.

What is the average slip and fall settlement in Missouri? ›

The average slip-and-fall settlement varies by case but is usually between $10,000 and $50,000. You may be entitled to significant compensation to help you cover lost wages, medical bills and more. Schedule a free consultation with an injury lawyer at Brown & Crouppen. If you don't get paid we don't get paid.

What happens if someone sues you for more than your insurance covers Missouri? ›

Your insurance company will only pay up to the bodily injury limit specified in your policy. If the person suing you demands more than that amount, that person can sue you personally for it. That's why it's important to make sure you have the right auto insurance before you're involved in an accident.

What is the maximum amount of damages sought in small claims court in Missouri? ›

Any person or business with a civil claim that DOES NOT EXCEED $5,000.00 may bring a suit in small claims court. The $5,000.00 limit does not include court costs and interest on the $5,000.00 which the judge may award you.

Is Missouri a no fault state? ›

The answer is that Missouri is an at-fault state for car accidents. Missouri requires its residents to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage in their auto policies. Liability coverage should pay your medical expenses and related damages if you are injured in an accident that was caused by another driver.

How much money should I ask for in a settlement? ›

To get a general idea of settlement, add up the costs in medical bills, damages, and lost wages, and multiply the sum by three. This may be around the amount in the settlement you can receive after a car accident.

Why is my settlement figure more than my balance? ›

Your balance might be lower than your settlement figure because of a Direct Debit payment you've made. A Direct Debit could still go out after you get a settlement figure and before you pay off your loan. This will reduce the amount you owe and make your balance lower.

What is the formula for settlement amount? ›

The general formula most insurers use to measure settlement worth is the following: (Special damages x multiplier reflecting general damages) + lost wages = settlement amount.

Do I have to report settlement money to IRS? ›

If you receive a settlement in California that is considered taxable income, you will need to report it on your tax return. You will typically receive a Form 1099-MISC, which reports the amount of taxable income you received during the year.

Do I have to report personal injury settlement to IRS? ›

These are non-economic damages that can be recovered in addition to your monetary or economic losses. The compensation you receive for your physical pain and suffering arising from your physical injuries is not considered to be taxable and does not need to be reported to the IRS or the State of California.

Will I get a 1099 for a lawsuit settlement? ›

The IRS requires the payer to send the recipient a 1099-MISC, as long as the settlement meets the following conditions: The payee received more than $600 in a calendar year. The settlement money is taxable in the first place.

How long does it take for an insurance company to make an offer? ›

Typically, it can take anywhere from one to two weeks for the insurance company to respond to your demand letter. Then it can take anywhere from weeks to months until you reach a settlement that you will accept. Some people accept the first or second offer, while others may accept the third or fourth counteroffer.

How do you calculate compensation payments? ›

This can be found by taking a total annual salary and dividing it by the number of pay periods for a gross base salary figure. For example, if you have an employee that receives and annual salary of $50,000 and you pay them biweekly, you divide the $50,000 by 26 pay periods to get $1,923.08 as the base salary.

How long does a compensation review take? ›

This step could take up to six to eight weeks, depending on the size of your organization. This information is usually embedded in the company handbook, and the deeper philosophy sits with the CEO or HR Heads. A compensation philosophy discusses the organization's compensation philosophy and how they reward employees.

How much are most personal injury settlements? ›

An average personal injury settlement amount is anywhere between $3,000 and $75,000. Be careful when using an average personal injury settlement calculator to give you an idea of what you may stand to collect. These numbers really depend on your individual case and are hard to predict without a professional.

How much is a personal injury settlement worth? ›

The settlement value of a variable payout contract is the amount of contract value remaining, based on whether it was bought or sold. The difference between the price at which the contract was bought or sold, and the settlement value, determines the profit or loss (excluding any applicable exchange fees).

What are the 5 stages in a typical lawsuit? ›

Question: What are the stages of civil litigation? Rustin: There are five general stages of a civil court case: pleadings, discovery, motions, trial and possibly appeals. Civil lawsuits arise out of disputes between people, businesses, or other entities.

How long does it take to negotiate a settlement? ›

The average settlement negotiation takes one to three months once all relevant variables are presented. However, some settlements can take much longer to resolve. By partnering with skilled legal counsel, you can speed up the negotiation process and secure compensation faster.

What is a big settlement? ›

Large settlement can be defined as loss of ground in the downward direction due to over-excavation as a result of trenchless pipeline installation methods such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD). This can lead to the formation of voids or sinkholes above the borehole leading to borehole collapse.

What is the largest settlement for a car accident? ›

Top 50 Motor Vehicle Accident Settlements in the United States in 2019
Case:Burley v. Johnson Supply and Equipment Corp., et al.
Type:Car Accident, Motor Vehicle Accident, Personal Injury, Truck Accident, Wrongful Death, Brain Injury, Emotional Distress, Head-on Collision, Catastrophic Injury
203 more rows

Do settlements hurt your credit? ›

Debt settlement will have a negative impact on your credit score, even though you are reducing your debt obligations. High credit scores are designed to reward those accounts that have been paid on time according to the original credit agreement before they're closed.

Can I get loan after settlement? ›

The status of a settled debt stays on the CIBIL credit report for as long as 7 years. During these 7 years, whenever you will apply for a new loan, credit card, or any other form of debt, the lender will consider the “loan settlement” status to make their decision.

How many days is the average settlement? ›

As a general rule, property settlement periods are usually 30 to 90 days, but they can be longer or shorter. If you're only refinancing a loan from one lender to another, the refinance settlement process is much simpler.

What is the bad faith law in Missouri? ›

Under Missouri law, an insured party may recover damages and attorney's fees when an insurance company refuses to pay for a 'loss under a policy' if the company 'has refused to pay such loss without reasonable cause or excuse.

Do you have to pay taxes on a lawsuit settlement in Missouri? ›

Compensatory damages, which are amounts paid to compensate for actual loss or injury, received for personal physical injury or sickness are not taxable. Also, damages for loss of wages or earnings, loss of earning capacity, and for emotional distress are nontaxable if caused by a physical injury or sickness.

Can the IRS take my settlement money? ›

And, the IRS cannot garnish any portion of your workers' compensation settlement. However, once the settlement is finalized and you come into possession of your settlement proceeds, this doesn't mean that the IRS cannot then attempt to take legal action against you to recover any money owed.

What is the personal injury limit in Missouri? ›

$25,000 per person for bodily injury. $50,000 per accident for bodily injury. $25,000 per accident for property.

How much are most car accident settlements? ›

The average car accident lawsuit settlement ranges anywhere from $3,000 to $75,000, depending on the factors of your case. Your settlement may be lower or higher than the average amount based on the circumstances of your accidents.

How long do most car accident settlements take? ›

How long does it take to get a settlement check from a car accident? This depends on the facts of your case, but in general, anywhere between 9-18 months.

Do you have to pay taxes on car accident settlement in Missouri? ›

Since the purpose of most types of compensation in an injury claim is to "make you whole", most settlements and verdicts aren't taxed. However, there are notable exceptions based on what kind of settlement you receive and under what circumstances.

Who decides the dollar value of the damages of a crash? ›

When negotiating a claim, the at-fault party's insurance adjuster will determine the sum of all medical expenses resulting from the accident, which are known as medical special damages, or special damages.

What is the average cost for a severe injury in a collision? ›

Over $230 billion is spent annually in the US on vehicle accidents. According to statistics from National Safety Council, the typical cost of an injury in a collision is as follows: $1.5 million for fatal injuries. $80 700 for non-fatal injuries.

How long does a whiplash claim take? ›

Most whiplash claims are settled within a 6 month period, however this is dependent upon a number of different factors including: Liability being accepted by the third party insurers. The medical prognosis and expected recovery time. The extent of the whiplash injury.

How long does it take for Progressive to send a check? ›

In California, insurance companies have 30 days from the settlement to send a check out. Refusal to do so can be grounds for a bad faith lawsuit. You may receive the check directly within a few weeks, or it may be sent to your attorney, who will deposit it and apportion it depending on the fees you accrued.

Does a settlement count as income? ›

California residents pay state and federal tax based on income. In California, the Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”) considers personal injury settlements a form of income.

What is the largest slip and fall settlement? ›

The largest settlement ever awarded in a slip and fall lawsuit was over 20 million dollars. This amount was awarded to the plaintiff, an elderly woman who suffered severe injuries after slipping on a wet tile floor in a hotel lobby.

Does surgery increase workers comp settlement in Missouri? ›

If your surgery takes place before your settlement, your payout will increase regardless of which type of settlement you receive. Similarly, if your surgery takes place after a stipulation and reward settlement, your medical treatment will still be covered by the insurance company.

How much do slip trip fall injuries cost? ›

The average cost of a slip and fall is $30,000 to $40,000

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average hospital cost of a slip and fall is more than $30,000. Another source says that snow-related slip and fall accidents cost between $33,000 and $48,000 on average.


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