Motorcycle accident cases can usually be settled for the entire insurance policy much more quickly than most car accident cases. But what happens when you agree to settle your case?
As an example, your motorcycle was struck by a car with a $300,000 insurance policy and you have a broken wrist. You receive a call from your lawyer advising that the insurance company has offered to settle your case for the full $300,000 insurance policy.
You decide to accept the settlement offer, so now what? Now, the insurance company will require you to sign a release. The release permanently releases the owner and driver of the car, which means you can never (unless fraud was committed) seek any more money for your injuries from the owner and driver of the car.
After you sign the release, your lawyer will send the release to the insurance company. Pursuant to New York State law C.P.L.R. § 5003-a, the insurance company must send the settlement check within 21 days of the date the release was mailed to the insurance company (or 90 days if the defendant paying is a municipality such as NYC or any public corporation).
We send the release with proof of mailing. The insurance company will then mail the settlement check to your lawyer. Although they have 21 days, they usually send your settlement check within a week.
11 NYCRR 1.1(1) (COMPILATION OF CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK) requires that if the settlement check is more than $5,000, the insurance company must send you a letter, on the same day they send your settlement check, advising that they sent the settlement check to your attorney. If you receive a letter from the insurance company advising that they sent the settlement check to your attorney, then your attorney will have received your settlement check within a day of you receiving the letter.
Your lawyer will deposit the settlement check into an escrow account called an I.O.L.A. account (Interest On Lawyer Accounts). Because settlement checks are out-of-state checks for large amounts, it can take up to 10 days for the bank to clear your settlement check.
After your check clears, your lawyer will deduct case expenses, legal fees, and issue a check to you for your net settlement. Our bank usually clears checks in two days and we issue the settlement check to our client in 3 days.
If you have been hurt in a New York motorcycle accident, please call Phil Franckel, Esq. immediately, hopefully before speaking with any insurance company, for a free consultation, at 1-800-HURT-911.