Basic Miami Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown: How Much Goes in My Pocket?
June 2, 2022 | Sagi Shaked
How much money can you expect to receive from a personal injury settlement? The truth is that it depends on the factors involved in your case. However, we can tell you that a good personal injury lawyer aggressively pursues your claim to put as much money in your pocket as possible. Read this blog post to learn more about personal injury settlements and how much you might ultimately receive.
What Damages Could You Receive for a Personal Injury Claim?
You also experience pain and suffering because of your injuries and the trauma you experienced. Therefore, you are entitled to non-economic damages, including emotional distress, impairments, diminished quality of life, and disfigurement.
Some accident victims might receive punitive damages. However, these damages are rarely awarded.
Punitive damages “punish” the at-fault party for its conduct instead of compensating the victim for losses. Lawyers evaluate each claim to determine whether punitive damages might be justified to increase the money that goes into your pocket for your damages.
What Factors Impact the Value of a Personal Injury Settlement?
Before discussing a settlement breakdown, it helps to understand some of the factors that impact how much money you receive from a personal injury settlement. Two significant factors that determine how much your personal injury claim is worth are injuries and liability.
Your Injuries Impact the Value of Your Case
The type of injuries, duration of your recovery, and the severity of your injuries impact your settlement amount. Generally, as these factors increase, so does the value of your injury claim.
Traumatic and catastrophic injuries require longer recovery periods, costly medical treatments, and more time away from work. In addition to the financial costs, the person may experience debilitating psychological injuries. The damages increase when the accident victim sustains a disabling condition or permanent impairment.
Examples of injuries that can cause traumatic and life-threatening injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Significant disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Broken bones and fractures
Lawyers can work with financial professionals and medical experts to maximize the value of your personal injury claim. The more evidence proving damages, the better chance you have of walking away with more money.
Fault for the Cause of Your Injury
You have the burden of proving the other party caused your injury. Most personal injury cases require you to prove the party’s conduct was a direct and proximate cause of your injuries and damages. If the other party is responsible for causing your injury, tort laws hold that party financially liable for your damages.
However, Florida’s comparative fault laws could decrease the amount you receive if you were partially to blame for the cause of your injury. Damages are based on each party’s percentage of fault for the cause of an accident.
Therefore, suppose you were 25% to blame for the cause of a car accident. Instead of receiving the full amount of your damages, you only receive 75% of the total.
Therefore, it is crucial to work with accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses to gather evidence of fault to prove the other party was entirely responsible for your injuries.
Other Factors That Could Impact How Much You Receive for Your Personal Injury Claim
Other factors that could impact the value of your personal injury settlement include:
- The availability of insurance coverage
- Whether you have prior injuries or accidents
- The parties involved in your case
- The statement you made after the accident or injury
- The strength of your evidence proving liability
- Whether more than one party could be liable for your damages
Your case is unique. The factors and circumstances of your case must be analyzed and weighed. Your lawyer works to minimize factors that could hurt your case while maximizing the factors that give you a better chance of obtaining a higher settlement.
An experienced personal injury lawyer analyzes your case, including the pros and cons of settlement versus a trial.
How Will My Personal Injury Lawyer Disburse My Settlement?
Once you reach a settlement, your lawyer prepares a settlement agreement. All parties must sign the settlement agreement before the insurance company issues a settlement check. Once your attorney receives the settlement check from the insurance company, there are several steps the attorney must take before giving you a check.
Payment of Subrogation Claims and Medical Liens
Your lawyer must pay the outstanding medical bills and subrogation claims for the medical treatment you received because of your injury. They diligently negotiate with the medical providers and health insurance companies to lower the payoff amounts as much as possible. Therefore, this process could take a few weeks.
Deduct Attorneys’ Fees and Costs
After paying medical liens and subrogation claims, your lawyer will deduct their attorneys’ fees and costs. Attorneys’ fees are based on the contingency fee agreement signed when you hired the law firm. The contingency fee is the percentage of your settlement amount that you agreed to pay for attorneys’ fees.
You’ll also reimburse your law firm for the costs of the case, according to the agreement you signed. The costs of a case can include:
- Filing fees
- Deposition fees
- Costs of obtaining medical records, accident reports, and other records
- Postage and copy fees
- Investigation costs
- Expert witness fees
- Court costs
- Trial preparation
Read the retainer and contingency agreement carefully before you hire a lawyer to handle your injury claim. Ask questions to ensure you understand the costs and fees that will be deducted from your settlement.
Disburse Settlement Check
After all fees and costs are deducted from the settlement, your attorney gives you a check for the net settlement amount. An attorney cannot guarantee a specific amount for your case. However, hiring a Miami personal injury attorney can increase your chance of recovering the maximum settlement amount available for your case.