If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. This compensation is awarded to you either through a settlement with the insurance company or a verdict in court.
But will you get to keep all of the money you are awarded? How is the money distributed once a settlement or verdict has been reached? Every case is unique, so it’s best to discuss your situation with a Tampa personal injury attorney. But for now, keep reading to learn the basics of what happens to the money awarded to you through a settlement or trial verdict.
How is Money Distributed When Resolving A Personal Injury Claim?
You will not receive the full amount that you are awarded through a settlement or trial verdict. The money may need to be distributed to several other parties to cover medical bills, attorney’s fees, and legal expenses.
How Are Medical Bills Paid With Personal Injury Compensation?
As a victim of negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the medical expenses you incurred due to your injuries. But it can take months—sometimes even years—to recover this compensation. As you wait for compensation, you will need to pay your medical bills either out of your own pocket or using your health insurance.
If you paid for your medical expenses out of your own pocket, the money you are awarded for these expenses through a settlement or verdict is yours to keep. Basically, the money will be used to reimburse you for what you have already spent.
But if your health insurance covers some or all of your bills, the insurance company will put a lien on your settlement. A medical lien is a demand for repayment placed on your personal injury case. Once the case settles, your health insurance provider will expect to be reimbursed for what they have spent on your medical expenses. To remove this lien, a portion of your compensation will be distributed to your health insurance provider to reimburse them for the medical bills they covered on your behalf.
It’s important to note that your insurance company can only demand repayment for medical expenses related to your injuries. An insurance company cannot demand that you repay them for other medical expenses simply because you have received a large sum of money.
How Are Your Attorney’s Fees Paid With Personal Injury Compensation?
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they are not paid upfront for their legal services. Instead, attorneys are only paid if they successfully win compensation for their clients.
If your attorney wins compensation for you, a percentage of the compensation you are awarded will be given to them to cover the cost of their representation. But if no compensation is awarded, you will not have to pay for their legal services.
Personal injury attorneys typically take between 33% to 40% of the compensation awarded through a settlement or verdict. Some attorneys will take 33% if the case is resolved outside of the courtroom, but 40% if the case is resolved at trial. This is because going to trial is more time-consuming and requires far more work than reaching a settlement outside of the courtroom. However, most attorneys are willing to negotiate the percentage they will take with their clients.
Your attorney’s fees will be deducted directly from the compensation you are awarded. For example, say you reach a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company for $100,000. Your attorney charges a 33% contingency fee for their representation. In this case, your attorney would take $33,000, which would leave you with $67,000.
It’s important to discuss your attorney’s fees during your first meeting. Make sure you understand what percentage of your compensation your attorney will take, how expenses will be covered, and whether or not your attorney will take a larger percentage if your case goes to trial. Get these details in writing to ensure you are on the same page and avoid a dispute in the future.
How Are Your Legal Expenses Paid With Personal Injury Compensation?
Personal injury attorneys may incur various expenses when working on your case, including fees associated with hiring expert witnesses, obtaining police reports, filing paperwork with the court, and securing copies of your medical records.
Attorneys typically pay for these expenses as they arise, so you won’t receive a bill in the mail while you wait for your case to be resolved. But if you are awarded compensation for your injuries, a portion of the money you are awarded will be used to reimburse your attorney for these expenses related to your case.
Using the same example from above, say you were awarded $100,000 and your attorney incurred $5,000 in expenses. The $5,000 in expenses will be immediately deducted from your compensation, which will leave you with $95,000. Your attorney is entitled to 33% of this compensation for their legal services, which is equal to $31,350. After covering legal expenses and your attorney’s fees, you would be left with $63,650.
Take the First Step Toward Securing the Compensation You Deserve
Personal injury victims will receive the compensation that remains after medical expenses, attorney’s fees, and legal expenses are covered. To ensure you are fully compensated, contact an experienced attorney about your case.
If you’ve been injured due to another party’s negligence, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett have over 125 years of combined experience. As a team, our attorneys have successfully won over $115 million in compensation for the injured. We know what it takes to win compensation for our clients—let us prove it to you. Schedule a free consultation with our team today to learn more about your legal options.