How Personal Injury Settlements Work
Understanding how personal injury settlements work will shed some light on the process behind a personal injury claim. The journey from your car accident date to the date you receive your personal injury settlement can be a very long one. Rest assured, your personal injury attorney is diligently working each part of your claim throughout the process. Generally, the phases of a claim leading up to understanding how personal injury settlements work, includes the following:
Starting A Claim – The law firm will send a letter of representation on your behalf, to let the other driver’s insurance company know we represent you. This also helps to confirm if there is insurance coverage, or whether you may need to pursue a Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim.
Gathering Medical Records and Bills – Your medical records and medical bills become evidence in your personal injury claim or at trial. They are used to help establish the value of your claim.
Establishing Lost Wages – If you missed work due to your personal injury, we will establish a lost wages claim which becomes a component of our demand package for the insurance adjuster.
Establishing Other Special Damages – If you have other special damages related to the injury, we will disclose those and place a value on them. Examples include: missing a family wedding, missing a vacation, etc.
Reviewing Your Demand Package – We will carefully review your demand letter before sending it out to the insurance adjuster. We are sure to get your approval and input when suggesting an appropriate settlement amount in the demand letter.
Submitting Your Demand Package – Our firm delivers the demand package to the insurance adjuster and confirms receipt of the package. We also provide any additional information requested by the adjuster after their initial review of the package.
The next part in understanding how personal injury settlements work relates to negotiating the claim. It is rare for the insurance company to give us exactly what we asked for. As a result, we will need to defend our position and show a willingness to compromise, at many stages of negotiating the claim. Once we have a first offer from the insurance company, we can decide on our next steps together, before responding with a counter-offer of our own.
Hopefully, after a few rounds of negotiations, both sides are able to reach an agreed upon settlement amount. However, before you agree to that settlement amount, it’s important to consider having us negotiate your medical billing for you. This can dramatically change the amount you receive from your settlement.
Negotiating Medical Billing
Once we know the top settlement offer, we will approach each billing provider and request a reduction in their fees. There are NC statutes which assist us in successfully doing so, like NCGS 44-49 and NCGS 44-50. Those statutes serve to limit the amount of your settlement which must go to billing providers.
Negotiating Medical Liens
Much like medical bills, understanding how personal injury settlements work includes understanding that your health insurance company may have a lien against your personal injury settlement. This lien needs to be negotiated as part of the overall settlement, prior to you accepting the settlement offer.
Reviewing The Settlement Statement
Finally, after we’ve reached a settlement amount, and after we’ve negotiated bills and liens for you, you will be presented with a settlement statement. This shows all incoming funds (the settlement amount), and continues to show you where each penny is going. This of course includes the final amount going to you. The settlement statement is helpful in understanding how personal injury settlements work, because it shows you all of the pieces of the puzzle together in one place.
Receiving Your Check
When you sign the settlement statement, you’ll receive your check. Your check is written on a NC Attorney IOLTA trust account, and as such, your bank should treat the funds as certified funds. They should be available immediately upon deposit.
Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have questions about how personal injury settlements work, or if you’d like to speak with us about an accident you were in, please call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will reach out today. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.