How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?
For most people, the ultimate goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to resolve the claim quickly with a fair monetary settlement. After months of negotiating, investigating, or litigating, a settlement is often a welcome sight for anyone involved in an injury claim. Reaching an agreement on a fair amount of compensation is not the end of your case, however.
There are several steps you must take before you receive your settlement check from a personal injury claim. Additionally, you may not be free to spend that money immediately upon receiving the check. If other parties have a lien on your settlement, you will need to resolve that lien first before you can complete the process. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you every step of the way.
The settlement process
Most of the time, the insurance company and the defendant will want your settlement in writing. This will prevent you from coming back for more money on the same claim in the future. This step typically involves a document known as a release of liability. Typically, this agreement involves the defendant and their insurance company agrees to pay a set amount of money in exchange for your dismissing your lawsuit and waiving any future claims. Until this agreement is executed by the parties, the insurance company will not send you the money.
How settlements are distributed
There are other parties that could have a claim to your settlement check, and you will need to satisfy them before you can take your share. This typically starts with medical liens. Your medical treatment after your injury likely resulted in substantial bills. In many cases, those bills go unpaid until a personal injury lawsuit is resolved. When there is a limited amount of settlement money available and your hospital bills are large, it might be difficult to deal with these liens. Thankfully, experienced personal injury lawyers from Ellis Injury Law can negotiate with your lien holds in an effort to see them reduce their lien.
Another consideration following the settlement of an injury claim is your legal fees and costs. Most Los Angeles personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis, meaning they only recover their fees if they obtain compensation on your behalf. This is a great arrangement for injury victims, in that they only have to pay their fee if they are successful in their case. This usually involves your attorney agreeing to handle your claim in exchange for a certain percentage of any compensation they obtain on your behalf.
Once the settlement check arrives, your legal counsel will take their portion of the settlement before handing the rest off to you. Often, your attorney will also be named on the check itself. After your attorney retains their fee and you have paid off all of your liens, the remaining fee is yours. This compensation is intended for your non-economic damages like pain and suffering as well as any anticipated future medical bills stemming from your injury.
Let a skilled injury attorney help
The process of resolving a personal injury lawsuit is rarely simple. The defendant will generally have their own legal counsel fighting against your claim, and their insurance company will also play a role. With enough effort and time, however, your attorney can reach a settlement amount that is fair for you given the circumstances.
At Ellis Injury Law, we go to great lengths to help our clients recover the compensation they deserve. This goes beyond negotiating a fair settlement with the other side. It also involves negotiating liens and dealing fairly with our clients regarding our fees. To learn how we are ready to put you first in every aspect of your injury claim, schedule a free consultation with Ellis Injury Law today.