An injury at hands of another, whether done maliciously or due to negligent actions, is something that can alter your life forever. It not only affects you but also those close to you like your family — who have supported and cared for you through your recovery.
Pursuing Legal Action
If you chose to pursue legal actions for your pain and suffering and other losses and damages, your family most likely stood by you and supported you then as well. Settling a personal injury case can be lengthy and involved, and reaching the end of one can lead to you and your family having high expectations when it comes to settlement funds.
This is why it is important for you to have information about the settlement process to help establish realistic expectations for you and your family.
For starters, it is important to note that when a lawsuit reaches settlement, there will be certain obligations that need to be paid for prior to funds being available to you. For example, if Medicaid or Medicare or private health insurance had paid for medical costs related to your injury, you will need to repay those liens with proceeds from the settlement before you get your funds. In addition you will have to pay litigation expenses before funds are made available.
After those have been paid, the next step is decide whether to take the remainder — called the net settlement — as a lump sum or to have some part of that net settlement structured.
A structured settlement means that a portion of your net settlement is paid to an insurance company in exchange for ongoing, fixed income payments. These payments an be annual, monthly or in some other combination based on your needs.
A structured settlement can be helpful because your payments are guaranteed and will not be affected by interest rate changes or stock market changes in the future. The downside is that once you have established a payment schedule it is permanent and you will not be able to access the underlying value even if there is a large and/or unanticipated expense in the future.
It is generally in your best interests to structure a portion of the settlement while taking the rest as a lump sum.
There is a lot that goes into the breakdown of your personal injury settlement. As it turns out, settlement proceeds rarely end up sufficient enough to support someone with a permanent disability for the rest of their life. This can mean looking into government benefit programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid.
With all that is involved with a personal injury settlement, it is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer in your corner. They can help manage expectations and get you the most out of your settlement.
Contact Our Lawyers Today
The lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. will help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other hardships you have dealt with and may deal with in the future. They will make sure your settlement is structured in your best interest.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.