Questions About Collecting Personal Injury Settlements
One of the many benefits of engaging our powerhouse law firm is that we put extreme pressure on defendants to settle your personal injury lawsuit because they know if they don’t we have experienced, aggressive, record-setting trial lawyers ready and willing to take your case all the way. In fact, we have obtained over $500 million dollars for injured victims of accidents.
If your case settles, it is the result of hard, dedicated, and thorough work, of which you are an integral part. In fact, you are the only one who can ultimately decide to settle your case after considering the advice, information, and knowledge that your personal injury lawyer here at The Dominguez Firm provides to you throughout your case and during settlement negotiations.
It is important to know, as you read the below questions and answers, your personal injury lawyer here at The Dominguez Firm will discuss and explain all of it to you. With that said, here are some FAQ that we encounter:
Q: When my case settles, what does that mean?
A: A settlement occurs when the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) come to an agreement about the monetary value of your case. While a settlement marks the end of your case in terms of it coming to a resolution, we consider a settlement to be about the 3/4 mark of a case as there is more work to be done to finalize your case after it settles.
Q: What does my settlement include?
A: In most cases, the settlement figure will include money for all of your past and future damages, including past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income, and any other losses you incurred or will incur that are specific to your case.
Q: My case just settled, what happens next?
A: After your case settles, the defendant will usually draft and send a “Settlement Agreement” for us to review with you and for you to sign. Once that is signed, the defense attorney will request the settlement check from the insurance company and if everything is in order, then we should receive the check within a few weeks.
Q: What happens with my medical bills, advances, and other expenses that I’ve incurred?
A: Any unpaid medical bills will be paid back (some may be negotiated) from your settlement check as will any advances, loans, and expenses that you incurred as those are past expenses that were contemplated as part of your settlement agreement. In other words, even though we will help process the payments for you, it is being paid by the defendant.
Q: What if Medi-Cal, MediCare, or other health insurance paid my for some or all of my medical treatment?
A: If Medi-Cal, MediCare, or other health insurance paid some or all of your bills they will want their money back from defendant, even though it is processed through your settlement check. In fact, it is our obligation to make sure they get paid back under Californian law. The good news is that they often reduce their bills.
Q: How long does it take for the defendant to pay me?
A: Once a settlement is reached and all agreements are finalized, in most cases, defendants, through their insurance companies, will send payment fairly promptly as they want to close their file and get the case off their books. In certain cases, if we believe it is necessary, we can insist on a payment deadline as part of the settlement terms to ensure defendant does not delay in processing and sending the settlement check.
Q: Do I owe the income tax on my settlement?
A: In a personal injury settlement, the short answer is no because your settlement is not income. Instead, this money represents what it takes to make you “whole” again after the defendant injured and damaged you. In cases where you or a loved one has been injured severely or killed and the settlement is substantial, your injury lawyer will be sure to discuss options with you, including structured settlements and annuities. You should always consult with your tax accountant as tax laws may change.
Q: How long does it take from the time of settlement until I actually take home my check?
A: The best answer is that the less complex or severe your injuries were, the faster you will have your settlement payment in hand. In many cases it can be within two to three weeks of your settlement.
The Dominguez Firm has experienced personal injury lawyers to assist and get you the compensation you deserve. If there is no recovery, there is no fee! Call now for a free consultation at 800-818-1818.