How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?
A personal injury can result in thousands of dollars of medical bills, repair costs, and other expenses. This physical pain and financial burden can further generate stress and other psychological damages. It’s no wonder many victims hope for a quick settlement. However, rushing to accept a settlement can backfire, leaving you holding the bag. Hiring personal injury attorneys can help you get the fair compensation that you deserve. In this brief article brought to you by the Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan, we look at how personal injury settlements are paid out.
Lump Sum Vs. Structured Payments
When it comes to compensation for personal injuries, there are two primary methods of payment: lump sum payments and structured payments.
A lump sum payment is a one-time, upfront payment which represents all of the compensation owed to the victim. This single-installment payment has certain benefits. For instance, it generally gives the victim immediate access to funds that can be used to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other urgent financial needs.
Structured payments, on the other hand, involve multiple installation over a period of time. Periodic payments can be made monthly, quarterly, annually, or in another agreed-upon schedule. This can offer a reliable stream of income for the victim, and it can provide tax benefits.
It’s important to note that choosing between the two methods of payment will depend on individual circumstances. A lump sum payment may be ideal for one individual but problematic for another. Consulting with personal injury lawyers can help you make an informed decision that best suits your long-term interests.
The Timeline: From Investigation to Payout
Getting paid can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to more than a year, and this stretch will depend on factors including the severity of your injury, the length of the healing process, the certainty of liability, the number of involved parties, and more. In general, the timeline involves:
- Initial Investigation: All parties will investigate the accident or incident. If you hire a personal injury attorney, they will gather evidence like police reports, photos of the scene, witness accounts, medical records, and expert testimony. The attorney will then use the evidence to determine liability and calculate the injury-related losses.
- Filing a Claim: If you and/or the offending party have applicable insurance policies regarding the incident, then the attorney will file an insurance claim on your behalf.
- Settlement Agreement: An agreement may be reached after negotiations with the insurance companies, opposing parties, and/or opposing parties’ representatives. If parties can reach a fair settlement, then you’ll sign it and receive your settlement check.
- Preparing for Trial: If the parties CANNOT agree on a fair settlement, then the case will be introduced to the courts where a judge will eventually make a decision.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
At the Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan, we recognize how disruptive a personal injury can be. Fortunately, you do not have to face these challenges alone. We are happy to offer a FREE initial consultation to help you take the right steps forward and rebuild your life.