How much will you get after you settlement your injury case? As a trial lawyer, having tried many cases to a jury, I have learned that there are many factors to consider when settling an injury claim.
Factors Affecting Injury Settlements
- The location where the lawsuit is filed is important because jurors in some areas are more conservative or liberal than in others.
- The assigned trial judge is also an essential consideration because he or she will be making important decisions about the admissibility of evidence.
- Of course, the nature and extent of your injuries and damages is a critical consideration.
- The credibility of witnesses, including you, lay witnesses, treating doctors and expert witnesses, is an essential factor.
- The ability of the defense lawyer is also an important consideration.
- Many defense lawyers know their way around a courtroom and know how to minimize the damages in a case.
And so, as you can see, there are a lot of variables that are involved and need to be considered. A skillful trial lawyer should be able to help you evaluate all of these factors.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO PAY MY LAWYER?
Most personal injury lawyers are compensated by a contingency fee. Why? Because most accident victims cannot afford to pay a lawyer a reasonable hourly rate, especially if the case goes to trial. The customary fee is 33 1/3% before a lawsuit is filed and 40% after a lawsuit is filed.
WHAT ELSE IS DEDUCTED AFTER THE CASE IS SETTLED?
The attorney is entitled to be reimbursed for the costs that have been incurred. For example, if a lawsuit is filed, the attorney is allowed to be compensated for the filing fee. If depositions were taken, the attorney is entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of the reporter who took down and transcribed the testimony.
WHAT ABOUT MEDICAL BILLS?
A person who is injured can receive compensation for things such as property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. The victim is also allowed such things as pain and suffering and emotional distress. All of these damages must be related to the accident or incident. You will be required to prove by competent and credible evidence all of your damages claims.
Many times, victims do not have health insurance. Some doctors will still treat on a lien basis, which means the doctor will see you and you promise to pay back the doctor for the cost of his treatment after your case settles. Sometimes, doctors will take less than the amount of his bill, which helps you maximize your recovery.
After your case is settled, the attorney will deduct his attorney’s fees and costs. He will pay back the medical providers who are owed money. Then, the attorney will pay you the amount that is left over.