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What Is a Personal Injury Settlement

If you’ve been involved in an accident in Arizona, you might have heard the term “settlement” mentioned once or twice. But what exactly is a personal injury settlement, and should you take one? Let’s start by defining the term itself.

Personal injury lawsuit settlements are financial agreements reached between parties involved in a personal injury case, typically the injured party (plaintiff) and the party at fault (defendant) or their insurance company. These settlements are negotiated and agreed upon outside of court, usually with the assistance of attorneys, and are a way to resolve the dispute without proceeding to a trial. The purpose of these settlements is to compensate the injured party for the damages they suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing.

The amount of a personal injury lawsuit settlement varies and depends on several factors such as the extent of the injury, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term impact on the plaintiff’s quality of life. Both parties engage in negotiations to determine an appropriate settlement amount that will fairly compensate the plaintiff for their losses.

How are Settlements Paid Out?

Personal injury lawsuit settlements in Arizona are typically paid out through a structured process involving several key steps. It is important to note that the exact procedure may vary depending on various factors such as the jurisdiction, the terms of the settlement agreement, and the unique circumstances of the case. However, the general process can be summarized as follows:

  • Agreement on settlement terms. Once a plaintiff and defendant reach a settlement agreement, either before or after a trial, the terms of the settlement are documented in a formal contract. This agreement includes details such as the amount to be paid, any future medical expenses, legal fees, and other relevant terms.
  • Release of liability. Before payment is made, the plaintiff is usually required to sign a release form, which states that they will not pursue any further legal action regarding the incident or injuries in question. This form releases the defendant from any future liability related to the accident, ensuring a final resolution to the case.
  • Payment options. Depending on the specifics of the settlement, there are a few methods for payment. Lump sum payments are a common choice, where the defendant or their insurance company directly pays the agreed-upon amount in one check. Structured settlements, on the other hand, involve periodic payments over a predetermined period, ensuring a steady income stream for the injured party. A combination of both lump sum and structured payments is also possible, particularly when the settlement involves different elements such as ongoing medical expenses or lost wages.
  • Distribution of funds. Once the settlement has been paid, the funds are usually distributed among the relevant parties. This includes the plaintiff, who will receive their compensation after any outstanding debts or obligations, such as legal fees or medical bills, have been satisfied. In cases where the plaintiff has an attorney representing them, the attorney’s fees are deducted from the settlement amount before the plaintiff receives their share. Additionally, if there are any liens or subrogation claims filed by healthcare providers or insurance companies, these may also need to be satisfied before the plaintiff receives their portion.

It is crucial for individuals involved in personal injury lawsuits to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand the specific procedures and legal requirements for settlement payouts in their jurisdiction. This ensures that they are fully informed and can navigate the process effectively to receive their rightful compensation.

How Much Do Lawyers Charge?

Lawyers typically charge a contingency fee for negotiating for what is a personal injury settlement. At Torgenson Law, it means that we only receive payment if we successfully negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

The contingency fee is usually a percentage of the settlement amount and can vary depending on the complexity of the case, local regulations, and the lawyer’s experience and reputation. Typically, contingency fees range between 33% to 40% of the settlement, but it’s important to discuss the specific terms with your lawyer beforehand to avoid any surprises.

It’s also important to understand what the contingency fee covers. Generally, it includes all legal services associated with negotiating the settlement, such as investigating the accident, gathering evidence, communicating with insurance companies, and preparing and filing legal documents.

In some cases, additional costs may be incurred, such as expert witness fees or court filing fees, which are usually separate from the contingency fee and will be covered by the settlement amount or as out-of-pocket expenses.

Call Torgenson Law Today for a Free Consultation

When you hire a personal injury attorney, it’s essential to have an open conversation about your expectations for the case, including any potential risks or outcomes.

At Torgenson Law, after we evaluate your case, we walk you step-by-step through the entire legal process so you’ll understand what you’re facing. We don’t like surprises, and we make sure our clients are fully informed and comfortable with the personal injury compensation process. Reach out to us online or call us at 602-726-0747 to get started on your case with a free consultation.