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Three Answers to Common Questions About Personal Injury Settlements

Personal injury insurance

Most successful personal injury cases result in settlements, which are usually compensatory damages for the injured person’s loss. This is one of the reasons that having a personal injury lawyer is so important — there is often a lot of paperwork and negotiations involved in the process of settling. Here are a few answers to common questions about personal injury settlements.

1. How do they work?
Basically, the liable party’s insurer typically covers the cost of the injury settlement. Since the majority of personal injury cases don’t even go to trial (between 95% and 96%), chances are you and your lawyer are going to have to negotiate with the insurance company. If the case does go to court, the judge will likely facilitate this negotiation and help quantify levels of liability among the parties involved.

2. What do they cover?
Settlements in personal injury cases usually cover a number of different costs related to the injury, at the time that the injury happens and in the future. Personal injury damages usually include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of ability to work but can also include loss of consortium. Pain and suffering is usually calculated according to the amount of the monetary expenses (usually multiplied by a number between one and four based on the judges discretion).

3. How do they pay out?
Personal injury damages are paid out in a couple of different ways, but in many cases structured settlements are used. The amount of the settlement can either be paid to the plaintiff in a large lump sum or in smaller, periodic increments. If it’s the latter option, the funds are placed in an annuity (for the tax shelter) and is paid out to the recipient in smaller amounts over a period of time.

Do you have any questions about personal injury settlements? Feel free to ask us in the comments section below. To see more, read this.

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