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After an injury claim settlement, there are several steps that take place before the claimant can receive their money. In every case, the claimant must sign a release, that releases the other party from any future claims for the same accident. The claimant’s lawyer may also need to sign documents to dismiss the court action if one has been started on the claimant’s behalf.
These documents then have to be returned to the defendant. After the documents have been returned to the defendant, settlement funds are released to the claimant’s lawyer’s trust account. In some cases, the defendant provides the funds to the claimant’s lawyer, to be held in trust, at the time the defendant provides the release that is to be signed, however, the claimant’s lawyer is not allowed to release the funds to the claimant until the release and any other required documentation has been completed and returned to the defendants.
If the insurance company is ICBC, this process can occur quite quickly and typically takes no longer than a couple of weeks. If the insurance company is not ICBC, it can take longer, especially with insurers who are based outside of Canada. Your lawyer is likely familiar with the various insurance companies and will request that the funds be provided within a certain period of time, 30 days is usually more than sufficient.
Once the claimant’s counsel has received the funds and are authorized to release them, they will account for any disbursements and fees that are to be paid from the funds and the amount the claimant is entitled to can be distributed to the claimant from the lawyer’s trust account within a few days. A claimant will be provided with a statement that details the amount of the settlement and any appropriate deductions from the settlement including amounts for lawyers’ fees and disbursements.