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What You Need to Know Before Cashing an Insurance Company Settlement Check

Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

If you are about to cash an insurance company settlement check, you may want to take a minute to consider whether you should deposit that check, what it means when you cash a settlement check, and whether you are being fully compensated for your injuries.

In this article, we will discuss whether and when you should cash an insurance company settlement check after a car accident or other personal injury claim, including:

  • What it means to cash a settlement check,
  • Whether you are being fully compensated or you may need additional funds later,
  • The possibility that the insurance company is offering you “nuisance money” to end your lawsuit, and
  • Things you should consider before depositing a settlement check.


The most important thing you should know about the settlement check the insurance company is offering you is that it is most likely final.

Once you accept a settlement in your case and deposit it in your bank account, your case is over and, in most cases, you cannot come back and ask for additional compensation.

If you do not have an attorney negotiating on your behalf, the insurance company may attempt to trick you and allow you to think that there will be additional payments. The insurance company’s agents are not going to tell you the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive or the categories of damages that apply in your case.

The insurance company is not in business to pay claims. They do not care about your injuries, you are not in good hands with Allstate, and State Farm is not always there like a good neighbor…

What is the bottom line for an insurance company? Profits….

When you do not have an attorney representing your interests in a personal injury claim, the insurance company will often:

  • Attempt to settle your case quickly before you talk to an attorney,
  • Tell you that you do not have a good claim and dispute liability or damages,
  • Refuse to pay your claim,
  • Attempt to settle your case for the least amount of money possible regardless of the extent of your injuries, and
  • Do everything possible to avoid paying your claim or to minimize their payout.

You May Need Additional Compensation

When you cash an insurance company settlement check, in most cases, you agree that you accept the amount of the check, and you are waiving any right to ask for additional compensation later.

It matters, because 1) you may be entitled to receive far more than what the insurance company is offering, and 2) you may have additional future medical expenses if you have not finished treating your injuries when they offer you the check.

If your injuries require ongoing treatment or future surgeries, if you have suffered a disability that will require long-term care and treatment, or if the effects of your injuries will last into the future, you are entitled to receive compensation for the future damages and your attorney will not settle your case unless:

  1. You have finished treating your injuries and there is no likelihood that you will need additional care in the future, or
  2. You have obtained an expert opinion on the future costs resulting from the accident and your injuries.


Insurance companies will sometimes offer a lowball settlement for “nuisance value.”

Once they estimate the cost of retaining a defense attorney and litigating your case, any amount that they can get away with paying that is less than that amount is a win for the insurance company – but it is a loss for you if you are leaving money on the table that you should have received as compensation.

What You Should Consider Before Cashing an Insurance Company Settlement Check

Before cashing an insurance company settlement check or signing any documents, you should know what you are entitled to receive based on the facts of your case, the extent of your injuries, your future expenses, and any potential legal issues that may arise in your case like comparative negligence.

Don’t take the insurance company’s word for it – they are not on your side.

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to receive damages including:

  • Property damage including the diminished value of your vehicle,
  • Medical costs including ER bills, ambulance bills, doctors’ bills, costs of surgeries, hospital bills, medical equipment, and medications,
  • Future medical expenses including long-term care when needed,
  • Compensation for scarring and disfigurement,
  • Physical rehabilitation,
  • Vocational rehabilitation,
  • Lost wages,
  • Lost future earning potential,
  • Mental anguish,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Wrongful death and survival damages, and
  • Punitive damages.

Is it Too Late to Hire an Attorney?

Once you have cashed the settlement check and signed the release documents, you may not be able to reopen your case to seek additional compensation.

If you have received a settlement check but have not yet cashed it, if you have not signed a release of liability for the insurance company, or if you are not sure if it is too late, call a Myrtle Beach auto accident lawyer immediately to find out what your options are.


If you have been injured due to another person or business’s negligence, gross negligence, or intentional acts, your SC personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team will help you to determine whether your settlement offer fully compensates you or whether the insurance company is offering you “nuisance money.”

Call now at 843-353-3449 or send us a message for a free case evaluation.