have not had any contact with my attorney and dont know how to ask for it. should i say when is the money coming so i can pay my bills and schedule my therapist?
If your attorney has not contacted you, contact him. Here is some general information. In most cases in NY, insurers have 21 days to pay from the settlement papers being sent to the insurance company. After that the check has go pass through the attorney's escrow account, so add another week or so. Not all insurance companies pay on time, though, and some ask for more time and get it. If a court approval is needed, as in a wrongful death, it can take months or even years for a settlement to be paid. I'm waiting on one in Brooklyn for three months now.
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A defendant in NY is required to issue payment 21 days after receipt of the general release and stip of discontinuance. Specifically, CPLR 5003-a indicates that they must pay "within twenty-one days of tender, by the settling plaintiff to the settling defendant[s], of a duly executed release and a stipulation discontinuing [the] action executed on behalf of the settling plaintiff."
In practice, you should get your check within about a month after executing the release. If they fail to make payment, your attorney can enter judgment based upon the above statute. You should call them and discuss this further.
The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.
As indicated above, it's generally 21 days from the date of tender. If your claim involved a municipal hospital, it could be up to 90 days.
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As noted, CPLR 5003-a requires payment to be made "within" 21 days of "tender of the settlement papers, which typically are the General Release and a Stipulation of Discontinuance. The word "tender" in the statute has been interpreted to mean the date the papers were sent/mailed by certified mail return receipt requested. Thus the 21 days starts to run as of the date of mailing and not the date of receipt of the papers by defendant. As also noted, that statute permits plaintiff to file judgment for the settlement amount, to include costs, interest and disbursement; which can be so filed without notice to the non-paying defendant. You should talk to your attorney about filing judgment if the statutory time period for payment has passed.
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