Personal injury settlements happen every day. You might get one at some point. Until you reach this crucial juncture, though, you won’t understand how much your life can change in this moment.
Let’s talk about personal injury settlements. We’ll discuss how they work and when you’ll likely get one.
Before we get into a personal injury settlement breakdown, you should know the basic concept. A personal injury settlement occurs when someone brings a suit against another individual or entity. The person bringing the suit feels the entity or individual caused their injury.
That injury might be minor, like a cut on the forehead, or major, like losing a limb. No matter how serious, the person bringing the claim must establish the person or entity they’re accusing caused the injury either through their direct or indirect action. If indirect action caused the injury, then that’s negligence.
When someone says that another person or entity caused their injury, they usually hire a lawyer who can represent them in court. Occasionally, the injured party might represent themselves, but not very often.
Usually, the injured person wants a lawyer who knows all about personal injury law to stand by them and speak for them. Otherwise, they might lose their case.
When someone brings a personal injury claim, the accused person must appear in court as the defendant. If the injured party accuses a corporation or business entity, someone representing that entity must appear in court. They will typically have their own lawyer to defend them. Some corporations will have lawyers on retainer if they face personal injury claims often.
If someone accuses a person or entity and brings a personal injury claim against them, they might settle out of court. That usually happens if the accused party’s lawyer tells them it’s the best idea to try to resolve this situation without going to trial.
The accused party might go to trial. That happens if their lawyer tells them they can probably beat the charges.
If the lawsuit goes to trial, the two lawyers argue, supporting their clients. The accused person or entity might win and pay nothing. The accused person or corporation might lose and have to pay damages.
If the plaintiff wins the case at trial, they get some money. They might also get a settlement without ever stepping foot in a courtroom.
When they get their money, they have to pay some of it to their lawyer. That amount might reach 30-40%. Any plaintiff who hires a lawyer will talk to them beforehand about how much they’ll pay them and using what pay structure.
A plaintiff will probably pay the lawyer using a contingency setup. They only give the attorney any money if the attorney wins the case for them.
If you win your case as a plaintiff or get the person or entity you accuse to settle out of court, you’ll have some money coming your way. You’ll need to pay the lawyer, and then you’ll see how much money you’ll take home when the smoke clears and dust settles.
If the person or entity you accused hurt you severely, you may get enough money to live on from that point forward. Some personal injury lawsuits have million-dollar settlements.
You might feel great you have that money, but you probably can’t spend it on luxurious vacations. You may need that cash to pay your bills from that point forward.
Many times, you need settlement money because now you can’t work like you once could. Maybe you can’t continue your career because you’ve sustained a permanent injury.
If that happens, you must learn to live with your new limited abilities. Maybe you can’t walk, drive, or ride a bike. Your life may feel very different from this moment onward. You’re happy you have the money, but you might wish the accident or negligence had never occurred.
Your life following an accident might never look the same. You may have enough settlement money so you never work again, but you may not ever enjoy some experiences you once loved.
It’s hard to find inner peace after a serious injury or accident, but hopefully, you can get there eventually. If you have a strong support system around you, that should help.