A new law has been passed in Illinois which should speed payment of compensation to injured persons. The new law creates procedures for people who are owed settlements for personal injuries to collect the money.
As an injured person, you are entitled to be compensated for injuries caused by the negligence of others. The vast majority of cases are settled without a trial in court. However, until now defendants who settle cases could drag their feet in paying the settlement amount to the injured person. The new law should speed up the process.
Under the law, a settling defendant must give a release to the Plaintiff (the legal term for the injured person) within 14 days of the settlement being agreed to in writing. A release is a document that the injured person signs stating that they are settling their claim against the defendant for the agreed-upon settlement amount. Once the Plaintiff signs the release, and any additional settlement documents have been given by the Plaintiff’s attorney to the defendant, the defendant must pay the settlement amount within 30 days of the complete settlement documents being turned over to the defendant.
If the defendant fails to make payment within 30 days from the settlement documents being turned over, an injured party can go into court for a hearing. If the court decides that payment from the defendant has not been made within 30 days after all the necessary documents were given to the defendant, a judgment is entered against the defendant for the amount of the settlement, costs incurred in obtaining the judgment, and 9% interest from the date that the Plaintiff’s attorney gave the defendant the documents. Units of government are exempt.
The new law takes effect January 1, 2014 and will help injured persons get just compensation when they need it. As the saying goes, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” This new law will help injured people get justice, and fair payment for their injuries, without delay.