How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

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If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, you might think your journey is over once you’ve made a settlement agreement or won your court case. However, this step is only the beginning of the process to receive your compensation. Generally, you should receive your settlement funds within two weeks of the insurance company sending the check, but that’s far from the end of the story.

When a claim settles, it’s formally closed when you sign a release of all further claims for the same injury. That means that, even if your injuries flare up later and cost you more, you cannot seek further compensation.

In addition, your personal injury settlement amount will be divided between yourself, the cost of your case, your attorney’s fees, and your medical liens. In a typical settlement, you should still receive about 50% of its amount, but of course, every case is different.

Costs That Can Reduce the Amount of Your Personal Injury Settlement

As stated above, there are multiple costs that are lumped into your settlement amount to be paid out to various other parties involved in your settlement. These payments commonly take the following forms:

  • Medical liens, payments for your medical treatment by your insurance as a loan before the claim settles. Personal injury cases can take months, and your care can’t wait—so insurance often floats the money on your behalf until your case is settled. A skilled personal injury lawyer could help you negotiate the costs of these liens.
  • Additional bills for further care accrued during the settlement process. Since they weren’t included in the initial demand for damages, they must be paid out of the settlement.
  • Attorney’s fees for the work your lawyer and legal team have done on your case. Most injury lawyers, including Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, work on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t pay us anything until we win your case, but we still need to keep our lights on!
  • Taxes. Of course, Uncle Sam still needs his due. While injury settlements are usually taxed at a lower rate than other income, punitive damages can still be liable to taxation.

Lump-sum Vs. A Structured Settlement

A lump-sum settlement involves one payment of the entire compensatory amount. Advantages to lump-sums include immediate payment, which can increase the compensation available to you, as well as the ability to use the money as you see fit right away.

In contrast, a structured settlement will pay out your settlement over a period of months. Often, a structured settlement will pay an initial lump sum up front to settle expenses, and feature recurring payments until the agreed-upon settlement has been paid in full. You can also earn interest on these settlements, and in some cases a larger lump-sum is paid later on as well.

You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Maximize Your Compensation

Regardless of your injury, a personal injury lawyer will help you maximize the compensation you receive from the at-fault party. The personal injury attorneys with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are here to help you recover the maximum compensation you’re owed, and we guarantee that we won’t charge you a dime until we win your case. Call us today at 888.501.7888 for a free consultation.