How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

October 1, 2020

If your personal injury claim is successful, you can expect to recover the monetary compensation you need to make you whole following an injury. This monetary award could cover your medical debt, recoup your lost wages, or compensate you for your pain and suffering.

That being said, you might not be the only person with an interest in your settlement. Attorneys fees and liens can eat into the amount you expected to take home from your settlement.

To ensure you walk away with the compensation you deserve, it is vital that you understand how the settlement process works. Only then can you ensure that you do not come up short in the end. To learn more about how injury settlements are paid out, contact the Jackman Personal Injury immediately.

Medical Liens

Before you take home any of the money you settled your injury claim for, you must first satisfy your medical liens and pay of your medical bills. Medical care is costly, but most doctors and hospitals will accommodate you while you wait for your settlement to play out. In exchange for that medical care, the healthcare provider will have a medical lien against your settlement.

A lien is a right to be repaid a set amount of money from the proceeds of an injury claim. Unlike a typical debt which requires collection, a doctor or hospital that holds a lien can hold up the completion of your settlement until the lien is satisfied.

Often, medical liens are negotiated. While a medical provider might demand the full amount of the lien, many will accept a reduced amount to get paid faster. Your attorney can work with both the insurance company and the medical providers in an effort to negotiate these liens. These efforts could result in you keeping more of your settlement.

Legal Costs and Fees

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Under this fee structure, your attorney recovers their fee by keeping a portion of your settlement. In effect, this is another lien against your settlement.

Contingency fee agreements are usually a win-win for the client. If the efforts are unsuccessful, they will never owe out of pocket legal fees. However, if an attorney resolves the case through settlement, it is important never to forget that a portion of that money will go to the attorney.

Contingency fees are typically a percentage of the entire settlement amount. For example, attorneys often keep one-third of any compensation they recover on behalf of their clients. Understanding this percentage up front can prevent misunderstandings between a lawyer and client at the end of a lawsuit.

Compensation for Your Injuries

After resolving all of the liens, the remaining settlement money is yours. That does not mean the other side will just write a check immediately upon resolving your case. Before you will obtain your settlement, you must first execute a release of liability. This release waives your right to pursue a lawsuit for your claim. It effectively ends your ability to seek damages for your injuries. Once you sign the release, the insurance company will typically send your check to your attorney.

Because of the attorney’s lien, this check will often have both your name and the name of your legal counsel. Once the settlement check has been deposited, it is yours to keep. What you use your financial compensation on is ultimately up to you, assuming you have satisfied all of your medical bills and other debts.

Speak with an Attorney Before You Settle

Before you accept a settlement offer, it is important to remember that it represents your one and only opportunity to obtain compensation for your injuries. Once the settlement is complete, your opportunity to recover compensation is over for good.

With that in mind, it is in your best interest to seek out the guidance of an attorney before accepting any settlement offers. Your attorney can ensure you are clear on how your settlement is to be paid out. With only one shot at compensation, any mistake could have a harmful impact on your right to recovery. To ensure you are fully aware of every factor that could impact your settlement, call the attorneys of the Jackman Personal Injury as soon as possible.

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