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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Personal Injury > How Personal Injury Settlements Work

How Personal Injury Settlements Work

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Many people, when they imagine filing a personal injury claim, are wary of doing so because they don’t want to have to go to court. While it’s true that some personal injury lawsuits do end up needing to be resolved by a judge, the reality is that most personal injury matters are settled in an out-of-court setting. Read on to learn more about how personal injury settlements in Florida work.

Deciding to Settle Your Case

 Going to court is not a foregone conclusion for those who are pursuing damages via a civil lawsuit. In fact, most cases are resolved through the settlement process, in which the at-fault party agrees to pay the claimant a certain amount in exchange for the claimant’s release of the other party from further liability. Basically, by signing the settlement agreement, a claimant agrees to indemnify the defendant for all expenses that could arise in the future from the same accident. This means that even if a claimant’s injuries worsen and he or she needs new treatment, that the defendant cannot be charged for the expense. This is why it’s so important to consult with an attorney before deciding to settle a case.

How Settlement Payments Work 

Once two parties have decided to settle a case and have reached an agreement on the sum of money to be paid, the claimant can start to receive the award. Typically, insurers pay personal injury settlements in one of two ways:

  • A lump sum payment, in which the claimant receive the entire amount in a single check; or
  • A structured settlement, wherein the claimant receives the funds in smaller portions in the form of structured payments over a set period of time.

In most cases, personal injury settlements are paid in a lump sum, which ends up being a better deal for the claimant who can then use the funds to pay off medical debt or supplement lost wages. Structured settlements, on the other hand, are often more beneficial for the insurer than the claimant, so it’s important to speak with an attorney about which type of settlement payment is in your best interest.

Receipt of the Settlement 

Whether the payment is in a lump sum or takes the form of a structured settlement, the payment will be issued as a settlement check. This check could take a few weeks to arrive and will be sent to the claimant’s (or his or her lawyer’s) escrow or client account. Generally, the claimant will only receive those funds when the proceeds have been distributed to pay medical liens, taxes, and legal fees. Once these costs have been covered, a claimant can collect the remaining amount of the check.

Ask an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer for Help 

At Boone & Davis, our compassionate Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys can walk you through the settlement process, including how you can expect to get paid and what comes next after agreeing to a settlement. Call us at 954-566-9919 to get started on your case today. You can also reach a member of our legal team via online message.

Sources: 

americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network/how_courts_work/cases_settling/

irs.gov/government-entities/tax-implications-of-settlements-and-judgments

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