Personal injury settlements usually cover a wide range of damages. This can include reimbursement for medical treatment already received, compensation for future medical care, lost income, and property damage.
A personal injury attorney can help you by regulating communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider and handling settlement negotiations. This can reduce stress and give you a better chance of receiving a fair offer.
Moreover, a personal injury lawyer is able to gather evidence, consult experts, and present a strong case in order to prove liability and the extent of your injuries. Consequently, the injury lawyer makes sure you are adequately compensated for lost wages, medical expenses, and other injury-related expenses.
Getting injured can be a traumatic experience that disrupts your life. This can be especially true if you are dealing with serious injuries. Injuries are costly to treat and can result in medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Personal injury settlements can help you recover after an accident by covering these expenses.
A medical lien is a legal claim against your personal injury settlement for past or future medical expenses related to the incident. Liens can be placed by your healthcare provider or even your insurance company. They can only claim your entire settlement amount if the outstanding bills and insurance coverage have been paid in full or are undisputed.
It is best to wait to settle your case until you reach maximum medical improvement (or as close as possible) so that the cost of future care can be included in your settlement. Your attorney will work with your doctors to understand your medical needs and what you may need in the future and then determine how much money can be set aside for those expenses.
Whether you receive a lump sum or structured settlement, your lawyer will deposit the check into an escrow account until all outstanding bills, liens, and attorney fees are satisfied. Once these are paid, you will be able to cash the check.
Besides medical expenses and property damage, lost wages are another popular area that personal injury settlements can cover. This refers to a victim’s lost income from missing work due to an accident. It can be calculated by subtracting the number of days or weeks omitted from their regular employment schedule and multiplying that figure by their hourly wage rate. This figure can also include lost overtime, tips, and other employment perks.
Sometimes, a person’s future lost earnings may also be eligible for compensation from a settlement. This is more difficult to determine and requires the help of an expert witness. An expert may be able to provide evidence that an accident will prevent a person from being able to work as productively in the future as they did before the accident.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help obtain the necessary documents to prove a claim’s past and future lost wages. They can also help the victim negotiate a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. They can even assist with structured settlements that provide tax-free income over time. This type of settlement can be a good option for people worried about outliving their savings. These options can help them feel financially secure while recovering from their injuries.
Pain and Suffering
A personal injury settlement may also cover the physical pain and emotional anguish you experience after your accident. These are called “non-economic” damages and are more complicated for an insurance company, judge, or jury to understand than concrete costs like medical bills and lost wages.
For this reason, calculating how much pain and suffering you’ve suffered can be a highly subjective process. It’s essential to save any evidence you have, including doctor’s notes and prescription receipts, and to keep a journal of your emotional anguish. Your lawyer can help you determine a reasonable amount based on the type of accident and your injuries.
Insurance companies often use a formula to calculate the pain and suffering they will award a victim. They will multiply your medical bills by a number they believe reflects the severity of your injuries and any long-term effects. Alternatively, your attorney can help you seek compensation by using a per diem calculation, in which they will account for the average number of days you are expected to remain injured.
Once a final settlement agreement has been reached, your personal injury lawyer will prepare all the necessary legal documents and sign them on your behalf. The at-fault party and their insurer will issue you a check for your agreed-upon sum, which your lawyer will deposit in an escrow account.
The cost to repair or replace your vehicle or other damaged property in the accident can be included in your compensation. Your lawyer will review your bills and invoices, consult with field experts, such as healthcare professionals and economists, and use their years of experience in negotiating personal injury settlements to determine the value of your economic damages.
Your attorney will also consider non-economic damages, including pain, suffering, and emotional distress. These losses are more challenging to quantify and can help increase your settlement offer. For example, if you are facing excruciating medical treatments or will have a permanent disability, this could increase the amount you are awarded.
Some victims also file workers’ compensation claims for medical treatment and lost wages. Depending on how the shares are handled, you can file one lawsuit against a third party while receiving benefits from a worker’s comp insurer. However, it’s essential to work with your lawyer to ensure that both cases are handled properly so you can earn the total value of your settlement.
Once a settlement is reached, the defendant’s insurance company will issue your lawyer a check placed in an escrow account until all outstanding bills and liens are paid. Once everything is complete, your lawyer will distribute the funds to those owed.