How Long Does A Settlement Take?
Why Does It Take So Long?
In this article, I want to talk about how long it takes to win an Injury case or to wrap it up. Now, let’s say we have an injury case for you, and you want to know once you’ve agreed on the settlement amount, and why does it take so long for you to get your money. Let me tell you a couple of story about a couple of cases.
The Process With The Healthcare Insurances
In one case, I had a lady who got hurt, she was getting out of her car and a car actually struck her as she was standing outside of her car, like reaching in to get her little dog. She has a little purse dog and she got hit by a passing car, at first, I thought it was going to be World War III.
I thought, it was going to be super complicated, she had Medicare and Medicaid, and all the doctors she went to make a claim called “Lien”. She was asking to be paid out of the amount, now to complicate matters, some of the doctors accepted co-pays through her health insurance, so we settled her case. I had everybody with their hands out asking for money out of my client’s case and in situation like that, usually a fight, it usually takes me somewhere between a week and four weeks just to contact everybody and figure out whether the number are right or whether they got paid by somebody.
In the case of Medicare and Medicaid, Medicare is Federal, so that would be Social Security Disability. Now, the State of Illinois is taking six months, you can imagine my previous clients are not happy. When that happens, but in this ladies case, everything went hyper-smooth and within a week I was able to confirm that none of the doctors accepted Medicare or Medicaid, the bills were marked wrong that she had paid co-pay under her health insurance so we were able to figure out in a week and within 30 days of the date that we settled the case she had her money so sometimes we can get clients their money within 30 days. Though sometimes, as soon as you agree to the money, it's your money and anything that stands in your way is we try and get the money into the hands of the client.
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The Doctors And Liens
Now, similar situation with a gentleman older gentleman had a fall at our store and same situation Medicare and Medicaid health insurance, a bunch of medical providers who had liens. A medical provider who sent us a bill in a lien, after the case was settled, the client didn't know, and I had to contact them and invalidate the bill. My point is when cases settle, we settle them for a lump sum of money usually and then we must contact anybody with a claim against the gross settlement, the full amount of the settlement, and my job for you is to reduce those bills as low as possible.
Well, unfortunately here it took us three months to get an answer from Medicare and Medicaid health insurance and all the lien holders there was one lien holder that during the shutdown. The doctor was actually living in another country during the lockdown and had one staff member answering the phone and he would check in once every two weeks to make decisions so that person in particular had me pulling my hair out. He made me want to go crazy because obviously my goal is to get my clients their money in their pocket as fast as possible this guy delayed us a month all by himself. We eventually got it done, but similar situation, it only ended up taking three or four months for the guy to get his money, and he wasn't happy, I wasn't happy, but he was happy because I answered the phone and explained things to him. This is why as an attorney, I think that's so important.
Settlement Timeline Differs To Everyone
And most of my cases, probably 70 percent of my cases my clients get their money within 30 days or faster, but I hate to tell people that because it creates an expectation that their case will be the same way. Your case may not be the same way but here's what my office does to hedge against it, we track if anyone has a lien against your case way early in the case, and we contact you and ask you whether you're a Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Public Aid, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Service State of Illinois Insurance, any of that, and then we collect the information for you and we open a claim for you way before the case settles.
That’s like the first hurdle, you need to open a claim with them and then after that, there is a bunch of stuff that you must do but a lot of times, one of the longest periods of time you have to wait is opening the claim. So, that’s why we never want to wait until the end of your case to open a claim with any of these lien holders. We want to do it as early as possible, which is why we call you and ask you for those information up front, since I think we call people and ask for more information than a lot of lawyers, but we do it because we want to dot all your eyes cross, all your case settle quickly and put as much money in your pocket as possible.
So, I hope that answers your question and if you or a loved one needs a lawyer, please give me a call, you can reach me 24/7 at 312-500-4500.
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