If you are injured in a car accident or other incident, often times someone is liable by law for your injury. Filing a personal injury claim could help you obtain compensation from the liable party to pay your medical bills and other losses or damages. When you settle with the other party, you accept payment for the injury and agree not to sue that party. Although your lawyer will give you advice about your settlement, ultimately the decision is yours whether or not to settle.
A Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may have physical, mental, or emotional injuries. Even if insurance covers your medical expenses, you may, depending on the circumstances, still file a claim for damages. Damages include things such as lost wages, damages to personal property, any permanent disability, rehabilitation, and present and future pain and suffering. While some personal injury cases are decided by a judge or jury in court, many are settled out of court.
With a Settlement, You Can Get Paid Faster
If your case goes to court, the process can take several years from beginning to end. If you settle the case instead, the defendant pays an agreed-upon sum of money soon after all of the documents are signed and everything is finalized. This agreement includes a statement that you release the other party from any further responsibility. If you’ve already filed a lawsuit in court, you’ll have to agree to drop the case against the other party.
You Can Agree to a Personal Injury Settlement at Any Point in the Case
Settlements can be reached at any point in the case. Often, the insurance company will make a settlement offer after reviewing your medical records and expenses. However, some cases settle after both sides present evidence to the judge or jury. In some courts, parties are required to attend mediation or settlement conferences before starting a trial
The Amount of a Settlement Is Based on the Damages
You must provide the liable party for your accident with information about your injuries, expenses, and your need for future treatment. Evidence for this may include medical records, hospital bills, pay stubs, and witness statements. The defending side may ask for a medical exam conducted by a doctor of its choosing. It may hire expert witnesses to disprove your version of the case. Your lawyer can help estimate how much money you can expect to receive after a trial instead of accepting a settlement.
You Will Not Be Paid in One Lump Sum
Contrary to popular belief, most of the time, you won’t get all of your settlement money at once. Settlements may be paid in a lump sum or in periodic payments. A structured settlement involves buying financial products called annuities that pay a certain amount every month or year until the total is fully paid off. This arrangement can reduce taxes, but won’t allow you to buy a house or other expensive items because you’re getting smaller payments over time.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding personal injury cases and settlements can be complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This blog has provided a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more information or if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and has sustained an injury, contact the experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Kamper, Estrada & Simmons, LLP today! We are here to help!