If you are involved in a personal injury case, there is a good chance your lawyer will work out some type of pre-trial settlement with the insurance company of the person responsible for your injuries. However, before you agree to sign the papers, there are a few things you need to consider. Talk with your personal injury lawyer and read the entire settlement agreement, keeping these things in mind.
It is common practice for personal injury lawyers to work on a contingency basis. This means that you will not pay anything until the case is settled, either in a trial or by settlement. The amount you pay is determined by the amount you receive. When looking over the settlement offer, keep in mind how much of the amount offered will go to pay your legal fees.
Legal settlements are considered income and can be taxed. Your lawyer may be experienced in how much of the money will wind up going to the state or federal government. Of course, you may also take the settlement paperwork to a tax accountant to get this information. You need to consider the amount of the settlement and how much regular income you have for the year. In some cases, there are other things that may come into play, such as if the settlement includes lost wages, or if you itemize your medical bills on your taxes. The amount you receive may be reduced due to taxes.
Part of the settlement agreement may include things that are not money. You may be offered a new vehicle to replace the one damaged in a crash. If you are not satisfied with the amount of money you will be receiving, ask your lawyer if there are items or services that could be included in the settlement agreement.
It is possible to accept a small settlement for indisputable areas of the case, such as medical bills or lost wages, and then have a separate settlement for things like pain and suffering or emotional distress. This will allow you to have some type of payment immediately and then continue to work on the rest of it for a later settlement. This type of arrangement must be explained in detail in the agreement you sign.
When you have been injured due to someone else's neglect or carelessness, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries. You do not need to go to trial to be compensated, but you do need to have some type of settlement agreement. Before you sign the agreement, make sure you understand exactly how much you will be receiving when it is all over.
Contact a professional like Norris, Gary G. Attorney for more help.
My husband does much of our auto repair work himself. We do all that we can to save a dollar when we can, and doing the repair work saves us a small fortune each year. Unfortunately, all of the money that we have saved over the past 15 years has gone to pay the medical bills that we have accumulated during the last several months after a floor jack failed and dropped our car on top of my husband. A few days after the incident, I contacted an injury attorney. I have created a blog to help others that have been injured due to faulty products find some sort of resolution.