Our Puyallup Personal Injury Lawyer Answers Personal Injury Settlement FAQ

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

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Photo of a mature businessman with multiple injuries sitting at his desk struggling to work on his computer. Good image for health and safety, accident at work or healthcare insurance related themes. Puyallup Personal Injury LawyerPuyallup personal injury lawyer may be able to help you file a successful personal injury claim. There are various forms and legal procedures to follow throughout a settlement case, many of which can be confusing. From settlement procedures to legal expenses, these are some of the most commonly asked questions about the bodily injury lawsuit process.

Do bodily injury claims cover medical bills?

A bodily injury claim is typically synonymous with a personal injury claim and may include both economic and general damages. Economic damages may include medical bills, lost wages, and any other expense resulting from the accident. You may also seek compensation for general damages such as pain and suffering, humiliation, and emotional distress. All relevant damages must be included in a bodily injury claim settlement in order to be awarded.

Can a personal injury settlement be used to repay an insurance company?

It is a common practice for insurers to recoup the cost they paid on medical bills from the personal injury settlement. Policy on insurer repayment varies from one state to another. In some cases, legal fees and other court costs may be deducted from the insurer’s portion of the settlement.

Am I entitled to a copy of the settlement check?

Your Puyallup personal injury lawyer can provide you with a copy of the settlement check you receive as well as a list of the funds received through the settlement. Settlement checks are typically addressed to both the payee and the lawyer, so you will likely have to endorse the check before it can be deposited. You may also request a copy of all checks your lawyer writes from the settlement account.

Is there a minimum settlement amount for personal injury cases?

There is no minimum or maximum amount for personal injury settlements, and the numbers vary widely according to several different factors. Depending on the extent of the injury, the amount of medical expenses and lost wages, and the expected duration of the injury, your settlement figures may vary significantly. For this reason, it would be difficult to set an exact maximum or minimum settlement value that would be appropriate across a wide range of cases.

Is it possible to break annuity from a car accident settlement?

It is not usually possible to break annuity in any case, and an auto accident settlement is no exception. Structured annuities generally produce greater interest than a typical savings account, and they benefit the holder by allowing the insurance company to pay funds gradually rather than all at once. Because of this, courts are unlikely to break an annuity in favor of a lump sum payment. In some cases, it is possible to sell your annuity to a company that will give you an immediate but significantly smaller payment than the annuity is worth over time.

Can parents access a child’s settlement funds?

Parents do not typically have access to a child’s settlement funds. This is to prevent parents from using the child’s settlement money in a way that does not benefit the child before they are able to access the money themselves. Most settlements are placed in a restricted bank account until the child turns 18. Exceptions to this rule occur if the funds are needed for the child’s well-being, but such exceptions must be court-approved.

Can a lawyer settle a personal injury case without consent?

In some cases, a lawyer may settle your case without your permission according to the retainer agreement you signed before filing. If your case was settled without permission, you do have the option of not proceeding with the settlement as long as the settlement and release agreement has not yet been signed. You may also choose to return the funds that have already been issued in a settlement case you did not agree to.

How are personal injury awards collected?

If you won a settlement against someone with insurance, in most cases you should only have to notify the company of the judgment in your favor. The insurance company will then write a check for the damages awarded. In cases where you received a judgment against someone who is uninsured, you must have the judgment entered with and enforced by the court. Legal consultation in the matter of collecting damages from an uninsured individual is advisable in some cases.

Are lawyers’ fees due before or after medical expenses are paid from the settlement?

Your lawyer’s fees are due at the time agreed upon in the retainer agreement you signed. Some agreements require fees to be paid based on the gross settlement before medical bills and other expenses are paid. Others require repayment based on the net amount after medical and other expenses have been paid from the settlement account. It is important to make note of this fact prior to signing the retainer agreement.

What is an appropriate contingency fee?

An appropriate contingency fee varies from state to state and depends largely on how complex the case is and the amount of time it takes to settle. There may be a maximum fee, such as California’s 40 percent maximum for cases that are decided through trial or arbitration, which places a limit on how much a lawyer can charge for his or her services. When determining whether a contingency fee is appropriate, it is important to take into consideration the skill of the lawyer. A reputable lawyer with a higher fee is a more sound investment than a lawyer with a low success rate and a lower fee.

Contact a Puyallup Personal Injury Lawyer

From the early stages of a personal injury settlement to difficult collections processes, receiving the damages to which you are entitled can be a long and difficult process. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you receive the representation in court that it takes to negotiate a fair settlement that covers all of your expenses. From court costs to medical bills and emotional expenses, a lot is at stake, and if you do not file for all pertinent damages in your settlement, you may forfeit the right to collect them at a later time. Contact a Greene & Lloyd, PLLC personal injury lawyer today at (253) 770-0808 for more information on the settlement process. A reputable Puyallup personal injury lawyer could mean the difference between a successful claim and a settlement that is denied or covers less than all your expenses.

 

 


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