How are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

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“How much will I get out of this?” the most frequently asked and the most vital information to find out at the time of deciding on the terms of personal injury settlement with your injury lawyer. Anyone with medical insurance must know how claims on personal injuries are settled to accurately predict how much they will end up with after the settlement is reached.

Sometimes, your personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale might suggest the option to settle out of court where the plaintiff and the defendants agree without involving the court.

Settlements can be tailored to meet your needs but, once agreed upon, can’t be changed even in the event of old injuries flaring up unless specifically mentioned in the contract. Even if you can’t make changes, you can sell your structured payments to a purchasing company.

Lump-Sum and Structured Payments

Compensation can be in the form of a single lump-sum amount or paid out through a series of payments called a structured settlement. Your settlement check would have the total amount to be paid on the claim but may not specify the breakdown of the claim in its categories.

The advantage of a lump sum payout is that it can be immediately liquidated, and you can invest it in for other purposes. The payout will be tax-free, but the earnings from any investments made from the same money are taxable.

On the other hand, a structured payout may not provide you with a direct investment, but a broker can set up a portfolio for the payments. It is also good to opt for the structured payment with the help of your personal injury injury lawyer Fort Myers when you are not sure what you will use the money for and find it tough to manage your budget.  

The IRS can also tax you on the part of the structured settlement negotiated as for punitive damages not caused by physical injury.

Terms of settlement

You can decide to let the payments begin immediately or delay the payments for a more extended accumulation period. Longer the accumulation period, the greater the value of your settlement.

As part of your settlement, you can always negotiate

  • Start and end dates for payments
  • Payment frequency
  • Distribution sum
  • Death benefits

With a personal injury settlement calculator, you can prepare yourself ahead of meeting with your insurance company and your Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer about your claim. 

Attorney’s Fee

This is the first portion deducted from the total amount. If the claim is settled before it makes a lawsuit, expect your personal injury attorney to have at least 33% of the total amount and 40% if the claim reaches court. If the lawyer has agreed upon a contingent fee contract, then it means that the amount you need to pay him or her is contingent on the case’s success.

Medical Expenses/Liens

Injury means medical bills. Depending on the extent of your injury, expect a considerable amount from the settlement to go towards this. If your medical bills end up higher than your insurance claim, find an excellent personal injury lawyer who will negotiate a reduction in your medical bills.

In some states, such as Arizona, the medical provider can file a lien against your claim to ensure they retain the right to collect for any unpaid bills from the settlement amount. It is advisable to check all these stipulations with your personal injury attorney before signing the contract since the terms can’t be changed later.

Case Costs

Your personal injury attorney’s fee is part of the legal fee. Other legal costs can crop up from the various legal processes. It can be the cost of getting medical records from your providers or the fee paid to the court to set up your case. Sometimes these costs are paid by your injury lawyer, but you should be ready to bear them too. If your lawyer is handling these costs during litigation, make sure you are in the loop about the number of payments he or she is making.

Your Compensation

After all the fees have been paid, what is left is your compensation for the mental pain and the suffering you have gone through due to the injury and the resultant loss of wages. Deciding the percentage of this amount is the sales pitch at every law firm where everyone claims to leave you with the lion’s share of the entire claim amount. You might think that you would end up with more money if you fight the claim by yourself. This may not always be true because your car accident lawyer Fort Myers will guide you through some of the locked doors in the process through his or her experience and expertise, which you may not be aware of, and end up spending for circumventing those obstacles.

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