When you’ve been injured in a California car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation to help pay for your financial losses and other damages. However, most people don’t fully understand how this process works, especially when it comes to the settlement payout.
After all parties involved have reached an agreement on the settlement amount and you have won your case, a few things must happen before you get to walk away with the money you were awarded.
So, how are personal injury settlements paid out after the case concludes? Let’s take a look.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
First, before diving right into the personal injury settlement payout process, it’s important to understand that how much you are awarded can vary significantly from case to case. There is a personal injury settlement calculator tool that can give you an initial idea of how much you will be awarded, however it’s important to keep in mind that each case is unique and must be carefully evaluated to determine the right amount.
A consultation with a personal injury attorney might help you get a ballpark estimate based on previous cases the attorney has handled that are similar to yours. Still, there is never a guarantee of how much you will win. Your specific injuries and the other damages you have suffered that are unique to your situation will play a role in how much your case is worth.
In most cases, your best chance of getting the high-value settlement that you deserve is to work closely with an experienced California personal injury attorney. They can guide you through the process, protect your rights, help you gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?
So, what happens once you have won your case and your attorney has negotiated a reasonable settlement amount?
1. Sign the Release Form
Once all parties have agreed to the settlement amount, you must sign a release form before the money is sent out. This form confirms that you will not attempt to go after the at-fault party or their insurance company for additional compensation. In other words, it releases the at-fault party and insurance company from any future liability.
2. The Insurance Company Sends the Check to Your Lawyer
Once the signed release has been sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company, they will then write a check for the agreed-upon amount and mail it to your lawyer. The check will be written in your name, but it must first be sent to your legal team so they can review it and make sure everything is paid out as it should be.
3. Your Lawyer Deposits the Check
Upon receiving the check, your lawyer will deposit it into a legal trust account. This ensures the money is kept safe while the final resolution of your case is pending. This legal trust account is secure and limited to approved financial institutions only. It also does not earn interest over time.
4. Your Lawyer Helps You Settle Your Medical Bills
One of the main reasons your lawyer will initially hold onto the settlement money is to ensure your medical bills get settled. It is common with personal injury cases for the victim to have undergone treatment without any medical bills being paid. This is because medical providers offer medical liens, which are debts that they allow to be negotiated after the victim’s case has been settled.
So, once your lawyer receives your settlement money, they will start negotiating with your medical providers and other third parties involved until your medical debts have been paid off. Keep in mind that this process can take some time, as there might be a lot of back and forth before the lienholders come to an agreement.
5. You Receive Your Money
Once the medical liens and all other expenses and fees, such as attorney fees, have been paid, your attorney will finalize your case. During this process, you will meet with your attorney to review your settlement packet, which contains copies of your release and all paid expenses. After you have reviewed and signed all final paperwork, your attorney will get paid out of the funds, and then you get what’s left over. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we make sure our client’s check is for MORE than our fee check.
Personal Injury Settlement Payout Options
As for how you can receive your personal injury settlement, there are two different options:
- Structured settlement: This type of settlement is paid out over a period of time in monthly payments. This is a good option for those who want to ensure they have an income in the future and do not spend all the settlement money too quickly. This option also comes with tax exemption benefits.
- Lump-sum: This option means you will get all of the money at once. This option is best for those who are capable of managing their own money and will not carelessly spend it all at once.
Which option you choose is entirely up to you. If your payout was small, it might be beneficial to simply receive all of the money at once. However, if you received a large settlement, a structured payment plan might be ideal and can help you earn interest and increase the amount over time.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
At Sally Morin, we know that our job isn’t complete until the final settlement amount is in your hands. We work hard throughout the entire process to ensure you are getting a fair and reasonable amount after negotiations have settled and all expenses and costs have been paid.
If you’ve been injured in a California car accident, visit our website today to see how our process works. If you think we are a good fit, call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.