Bodily Injury Claim Settlement Amounts – A common misconception about settlement agreements with insurance companies is that the process ends when a settlement agreement is reached. However, there are more post-negotiation steps you should know about in order to prepare your own personal injury claim.
Once your attorney and the insurance company reach an agreement on your claim, the next step is to wait for the settlement check and distribute the funds accordingly to pay off your debts. Below is a diagram of how a typical settlement is divided and distributed.
Bodily Injury Claim Settlement Amounts
When a claim is resolved, it will end the claim. Therefore, you cannot reopen the claim, even if you notice flare-ups in your personal injuries that were sudden or insidious. Insurance companies will ensure that your claim is officially closed by asking you to sign a release of all claims.
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The money paid out in your personal injury claim will appear on your settlement draft, essentially a check. Settlement amounts will not be divided into categories. Amounts for pain and suffering, medical bills and/or wages will not be itemized. Any remaining balance related to the accident claim will be offset against these proceeds.
Insurance companies are bound by deadlines and time limitations mandated by state law. So they must cut the check within the deadline. But the insurer’s accountants vary in the time when they issue the check.
Once you are notified that your check has been mailed, you should be receiving the funds within two (2) weeks of this date. In the event that you do not receive the check within two weeks, the insurance company may be guilty of bad faith in delaying your payment. Be sure to keep your attorney informed if this happens.
You will see advertisements for personal injury attorneys who guarantee high settlements. The truth is that there are costs and fees that reduce the proceeds of the settlement. These costs are offset before the final settlement check is distributed to the claimant.
How A Personal Injury Claim Works
Medical liens require reimbursable payments for medical treatment, paid by insurance companies so that they can be compensated when the personal injury claim is settled. This eliminates your settlement, as many patients do not have the money to pay their providers upfront for treatment. So, instead of paying while you receive medical care, you reimburse the payments made on your behalf by insurance companies. There are different types of liens such as mechanics liens, health insurance liens and employer liens that may be associated with your agreement. With the help of an attorney, you can also negotiate the value of these liens.
Additional bills add up when a personal injury settlement process drags on for weeks or even months. The patient may require more care, resulting in higher treatment bills. Since these bills were not included when deciding how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement, they must be paid out of the calculation and assessment of non-monetary damages.
Attorney fees compensate your attorney and their paralegals for the work they have done for you. When you hire your attorney, you are required to pay a certain percentage of your settlement to compensate your attorney. You will sign a contract at the time of hire in which the rate policy will be explained in detail. Your attorney may also request that the defendant in the lawsuit be responsible for attorney’s fees.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay anything until you get paid. When a settlement amount is agreed upon, you will pay your attorney a portion of your full settlement funds for compensation.
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Additional fees are the other fees and costs that often accrue when filing a personal injury case. These may consist of postage, court filing fees and/or certified copy fees. These are some of the common associated costs that are considered in your personal injury claim.
Lump sum payment means you receive your entire settlement in one payment. A structured settlement pays you in increments over time. How you receive your settlement is entirely up to you. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend your settlement all at once, a structured settlement may be more suitable for you.
Don’t forget your taxes! Receiving a settlement may require you to pay your taxes on a portion of your award, in the tax year in which you received the funds. Although injury settlements are less often taxed as income by the federal government, punitive damages may still be subject to taxation.
The short answer? Most of the time, you are not allowed to reopen your claim or engage in further communications with insurance companies to negotiate a different settlement amount. Therefore, you should carefully examine the settlement offer to ensure that the funds will adequately address your injuries and losses before accepting any settlement.
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You have the best advantage if you hire an attorney early in the process of settling your personal injury claim. They can regulate communication with the defendant’s attorney or their legal assistants to protect your rights and ensure that you seek the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
For the first step in calculating your settlement claim, you’ll want to include all monetary losses in your claim. It consists of money you have already paid or that you still owe. So you will get non-monetary damages from the monetary losses you calculated earlier. Let’s say your treatment continued longer than expected, a reasonable estimate can be included so that your settlement also accounts for ongoing medical care, while staying within Washington’s three (3) year statute of limitations. Jury Verdict Research recently released a new study on the average personal injury awards in Michigan: $1,089,638. As always, personal injury verdicts combine the average; the average personal injury compensation award in Michigan is $99,506.
Interestingly, plaintiffs receive an economic recovery in 44% of personal injury lawsuits that go to trial compared to the national average of 52%. These numbers are misleading because the type of case has a huge influence on both the average recovery and the success rate of plaintiffs. But this Michigan data, as well as this settlement and verdict information, remains of interest to personal injury attorneys and accident and negligence victims in Michigan.
This section will provide an overview of Michigan law in personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, auto accidents, and product liability claims.
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All states have statutes of limitations that set time limits on how long a potential plaintiff can wait before taking action and filing a lawsuit in a personal injury case. Michigan has its own statute of limitations that sets statutory time limits for filing tort claims. If the plaintiff does not present his cause before the expiration of these terms, he will be definitively disqualified from filing. In Michigan, the statute of limitations is slightly different for medical malpractice cases versus auto accident and other personal injury claims, so we’ll look at them separately.
Under Michigan law, all medical malpractice claims must be filed within 2 years of the negligent act by the health care provider giving rise to the claim. Comp. Mich. Laws § 600.5805(6). me
However, Mich Comp. Laws § 600.5838a(2) adopts a modified version of the discovery rule. Under this amended rule, if the general 2-year SOL has already expired, the discovery rule can be applied, but only gives the plaintiff a 6-month extension to file. In other words, if more than 2 years pass before the plaintiff “discovers” (or reasonably should discover) that they have a negligence claim, then they have 6 months to file a lawsuit.
However, regardless of the application of the discovery rule, Michigan law requires that all medical malpractice claims must be filed within 6 years of the act (or lack of action) that gave rise to the claim. Although this is not a statute of repose, it effectively acts as such. The only exceptions to this 6-year maximum limit are if the health care provider fraudulently conceals negligence or if the injury involves permanent damage to the claimant’s reproductive system. Exceptions to all of these SOL time limits also apply in cases where the potential claimant is a minor (under 18) at the time of the injury.
Headaches From Car Accidents
Personal injury lawsuits in Michigan (except medical malpractice lawsuits against licensed health care professionals) are subject to a 3-year statute of limitations. Comp. Mich. Law § 600.5805. The statute states that “the statute of limitations is 3 years from the time of death or injury for all actions to recover damages for death of a person, or for injuries to a person or property.”
This means you only have 3 years to file a personal injury lawsuit in Michigan or your claim will be time-barred. When does the 3 year SOL period start? In most cases, the 3-year period under the statute of limitations begins to run whenever the plaintiff’s injury occurs. In the case of a car accident, this will always be the date of
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