How do personal injury settlements work?

by Bill B. Berke on Jul. 02, 2020

Accident & Injury Personal Injury Accident & Injury 

Summary: Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, it is beneficial to know how personal injury settlements work. This knowledge will help you with filing a proper claim and receiving better compensation.

Personal injury cases are legal disputes in which an individual has suffered because of someone else’s negligence. The other person, or the property owner, is legally responsible for the harm caused, so the goal of a personal injury case is for the responsible person or their insurance company to pay compensation money to you. Personal injury claims may include compensation for medical bills, loss of earnings or wages, property damage, or pain and suffering. In a case that results in death, the payment may be awarded for the funeral, burial, and financial support for dependents of the deceased. The amount of compensation that you may receive depends on several individual circumstances.


If you have been injured, you can file a personal injury lawsuit with your lawyer’s help. Your injury settlement can help you cover your injury expenses, as well as potentially reimburse you for any other damages that might have occurred as a result. Whether it is a direct or indirect cause, the responsible party who is at fault is liable to pay for the injuries.


Personal injury cases include different types of accidents. Some injuries that an individual may get compensation for are slip and fall, dog bites, car accidents, medical malpractices, or product liability. To get the settlement, you will have to prove that the other person was at fault, either directly or indirectly. You must prove that the person at fault caused an unsafe environment that led to injuries. If you are wondering how these injury settlements work, continue reading to understand the whole legal process. 


There are some personal injury cases where the process is cut and dry. An example of an easy case to prove fault with is in car or motorcycle accidents. It can be proved that the driver was negligent, either by using their phone when driving or not following traffic laws. In such cases, it is easier to obtain settlements. However, even in an “easy case,” it is not easy to deal with insurance companies, who are only interested in paying you as little money as possible. Therefore, you should always consider having a legal consultant along with you throughout the case. Having an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer by your side will increase your chances of getting the compensation that you deserve.


It is important to note that there are only a few personal injury cases that reach the courtroom. 


Most personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom through a process called settlement. However, it is still crucial to file the lawsuit formally. In many cases, an insurance company is being represented by the defence lawyer, and the two lawyers negotiate settlement amounts until the victim chooses to accept an offer. 


The insurance companies may delay your meetings and try to decrease your compensation amount as much as possible. Therefore, it is beneficial to hire an experienced lawyer who will communicate with the insurance company and the defensive lawyer on your behalf. A personal injury claim may take months or years to settle and resolve. Hiring an experienced lawyer will make it much easier to get the fair settlement that you deserve, within the right time frame. Your lawyer will fight for you to receive compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses that you spent because of the incident. 


Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance provider and the defence lawyer outside of the courtroom to help you get the settlement you deserve. Unfortunately, it may take some time to get the settlement after the case is deemed settled. Even after the settlement amount is finalized, you will have to complete a lot of paperwork and sign the documents agreeing to the settlement. After that, the process will be completed, but it may take as long as four more weeks after signing the documents until you get your compensation amount. 


Your attorney will work with you closely to set the compensation amount that you are expecting from the settlement. When you decide on a settlement, your lawyer will consider more than just medical costs. They will also predict loss of future income and other long-term essential needs and include these costs in the settlement amount, as well. This is because, in the case of serious injuries, the treatment may continue for years and even for an entire lifetime. 


Your injury settlement will likely count as tax-free income, so you can receive all of it. In most states, there is no taxation on a personal injury amount settlement. However, there is an exception if there are punitive damages involved in your settlement. In such cases, the government may tax you if your injuries were caused in part by you breaching a contract.


A personal injury settlement can be a big help for getting back on your feet. Your filing process may go more smoothly if you discuss your case with a lawyer to estimate your approximate payment and gain a better understanding of your case. Even before you file your case, you can speak with a lawyer to determine whether you have a case that is worth filing or not. 


If you have been injured in an accident with severe consequences that happened due to someone else’s fault, the experienced Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney at Berke Law Firm, P.A. can help. Our attorneys will analyse your case, evaluate your losses, and provide legal assistance for getting the rightful compensation amount.

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