Many individuals expect that as soon as we come to terms on their injury settlement that the money is ready to go get from the bank, unfortunately this is never the case. Often times the time it takes between the settlement agreement and the time a client gets their money from the settlement can take weeks if not longer.
There are many factors as to why and where your money is held after settlement.
- Almost all settlements are mailed in the form of a check, this takes time for the insurance company to print the check, put it in the mail and for us to receive it.
- Almost settlements must have a release signed before a check can be released. Often times the check and release come together, but in some instances there is a slight delay in receiving both of these items.
- All of your medical bills must be confirmed multiple times prior to disbursing your funds to make sure we’re paying all providers what their final bills are, as we are required by law.
- All of your health insurance liens must be verified before disbursing your funds to make sure we’re fully paying back what is related to your incident, as we are required by law.
After the above issues are resolved, you are brought into our office to sign all settlement documents and sign the check for deposit into one of our accounts where the funds must wait to clear for up to 3 business days before we can disburse your funds to you or any of your providers. This account we hold the money in is called the IOLTA account, regulated by the North Carolina State Bar. IOLTA programs were first established in Australia and Canada in the late 60’s to generate funds for legal services to the poor and other charitable purposes. The account we use is an interest bearing account, and the interest earned is sent to the State of NC on a monthly basis, so we do not see a penny of any of that interest money. There are strict guidelines that we must follow in managing this IOLTA account because we have to be compliant with the North Carolina State Bar rules. So if there’s ever a time when it seems like your attorney is stalling to give you your settlement funds, it’s more likely that your attorney’s hands are tied by rules and regulations and they are moving as fast as possible to disburse your funds.