Clients are often surprised at the conclusion of their case regarding how much money they will net from their personal injury settlement. In this blog post you will learn how a personal injury settlement actually works and how much you can expect to walk away with. If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to contact attorney Barry Zlotowicz at 847-305-4105.
Pieces of a personal injury settlement
When the insurance company makes you an offer to compensate you, all aspects of your case are (usually) encompassed in that offer (aside from property damage). Meaning that if you were offered $100,000 by Geico or State Farm to settle your case, that money is intended to compensate you for everything, including:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Health insurance lien
- Medpay lien
- Anything else
In addition, if you retained an attorney, the law firm’s attorneys’ fees and costs will come out of the $100,000 as well. Consequently, accident victims can be surprised as to what they will net at the end of their case.
So, how might your case look upon completion? If you look below, you will see the breakdown of a personal injury settlement I resolved and how a “settlement statement” (accounting of the costs of your case) might look:
Client: John Smith
State Farm Insurance Claim No.: 123456789
Date of Accident: June 1, 2010
|Attorney Fees (33.3%)||$33,333.33|
|ATI Physical Therapy||$1,250.00*|
|Illinois Bone & Joint||$7,400.00**|
|Geico Insurance Medpay lien||$1,333.33|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance||$7,000.00|
*Amount negotiated by Chicago Legal Group down from $2,500.00
**Amount negotiated by Chicago Legal Group down from $9,900.00
AMOUNT OF SETTLEMENT CHECK TO CLIENT: $47,513.34
As you can see, after you take out medical bills, liens, the health insurance lien and attorneys’ fees, the client’s net recovery is significantly less than the actual gross settlement amount.
Often the net amount is significantly less than what is showed here. In the above example, the victim’s medical bills were extremely small. Often the bills are much higher and as such, subtract much more from the potential settlement amount.
Also, there are many other expenses that could be deducted/owed out of the settlement proceeds including child support liens, money paid from a disability insurance policy, and more.
Bottom line is that trying to tie up the loose ends of a personal injury settlement can be confusing. Many people want to handle claims like these on their own or “pro se.” That is an option. But to be assured that all ends are tied, I strongly consider speaking to an attorney at 847-305-4105.