Personal Injury Settlements
Personal injury settlements are not all the same. Depending on the circumstances, a settlement could be as small as a few hundred dollars or even into the hundreds of thousands. The timeframe for payment disbursement can be a few weeks to a few years, as can be the court process. Personal injury claims are never a pleasant event to have to experience, but with a knowledgeable and experienced law firm, you can have confidence that things will turn out right for you in the end.
The process of a personal injury claim has many steps, but when you are in the right, the process is well worth the time to get the settlement you need. Typically the claim includes the following:
When someone is injured in a vehicle accident, hurt on the job, or in any other case when they are not at fault, a personal injury claim can be made on their insurance policy. The injured person reports the event to their insurance to begin the claims process. Sometimes, claiming an injury will require obtaining a police report or videos from the location where the incident occurred. The insurance company and the law firm will need to collect as much information as they can about the incident.
At this point, the injured party will likely seek medical attention, either immediately after the incident or soon after. This will lead to medical bills, often very costly medical expenses. Typically, doctor’s offices and hospitals will not require immediate payment on the day of service, given the circumstances. The bills will be filed with the insurance company for payment at a later date.
Along with these bills, a statement of loss of wages may also be sent to the insurance company if the injured party had to miss time at their job due to the incident. Cost of property damage may also be included, but it may be handled in a separate claim. Any other costs and fees that could reasonably be associated with the incident would also be considered at this time and should be sent to the insurance company.
Court Appearances and Potential Trial
Once the paperwork has been filed with the insurance company and medical bills are established, the next step is to enter the legal process. Usually the injured party’s lawyer will reach out to the at-fault party and attempt to settle outside of court with mediation or arbitration. In mediation, both parties come together with the mutual goal of ironing things out with the help of a third party independent mediator. With arbitration, both parties go to an arbiter who will act as a judge to decide how large of a settlement will be disbursed.
If these options do not work, the case will go to court with either a judge to make a decision or a full jury to do so. These cases can be in court for as short as a few days or can take months, depending on the complications of the incident. After all of this is complete, a financial settlement will be issued to the injured party.
Personal Injury Settlements
Settlements from a personal injury claim can include a wide range of financial charges, including:
– Medical bills (emergency room visits, surgery, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and more)
– Loss of earnings (lost wages due to time off of work)
– Pain and suffering (stress related to the incident, the inconvenience of having to deal with the situation)
– Legal fees (payment that is due to the law firm that represents the case)
Payments can be made in a few different ways, depending on how things have already been paid at this point. If the injured party has already paid some or all of their medical bills, they will submit for reimbursement from their insurance company, who will reimburse them and then look to the court settlement for their own reimbursement. If no bills have been paid yet, the settlement will go toward those bills first.
In terms of a financial settlement, in rare instances, the at-fault party will make a full payment all at once. Usually, however, an annuity payment system is put into place. With an annuity, you or the insurance company (whoever is owed money directly) will receive monthly or quarterly payments from the at-fault party for a certain period of time until the full settlement is paid. This is more common due to the high cost of personal injury claims and their associated medical bills.
Personal injury cases are never convenient for anyone involved, and the process takes time with lots of required documentation, the more detailed you are from the beginning the better chances you have of reaching a settlement. Also this documentation and following a process can help you ensure that all the costs involved with an injury situation can eventually be taken care of. This process can be stressful and take months or years to complete, and with the right insurance and legal team on your side, you can be sure your medical bills will be covered and ultimately justice will be served.
Guest Blog Published By:
West, Longenbaugh & Zickerman Attorneys at Law
310 S. Williams Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85711