Personal Injury Settlements, When Do You get Paid and How Much?

If you’re considering a personal injury lawsuit, you might be wondering when you get paid and how much you can expect. That’s what you’ll learn in this overview.

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How you Get Paid in Personal Injury Lawsuits

There are two ways you might receive damages in a personal injury suit. The first, and more common one, is that the case is settled before it goes to trial. This is called settling out of court. The benefit to the defendant is that the settlement is often less than if they were to lose a court case. A settlement can be reached at any time and some are agreed to in the moments leading up to the start of a trial.

The second way is if the lawsuit goes to trial and a jury – or the judge if the case of a bench trial – finds in your favor and awards you a settlement.

Settling Versus Judgments

On average, judgments awarded in court trials are twice as high as average settlements agreed to out of court. However, the cost of going to trial is very high and the personal injury lawyers working for you will receive much of the extra from the judgment.

When You’re Paid and How Much

Payment should be made by the defendant or their insurance company immediately, either on the spot or within a few days of reaching a settlement or losing a court trial.

How much you get paid depends on two things: The total size of the settlement or award and the payment arrangement you’ve made with your personal injury lawyers. The average settlement in serious personal injury cases is about $500,000. The average settlement from a court trial is $1Million dollars. In cases of personal injury where long-term medical care is required by the victim, settlements and awards can be much higher, totaling $5Million or more.

Most personal injury lawyers working on contingent receive 1/3 of the cash plus their expenses. Depending on the number of hours the attorneys put into the cases, fees for expert witnesses or other fees, the attorneys typically receive 40% to 60% of the total and the injured person receives the rest of it.

Be sure to discuss issues of payment with your personal injury attorneys before you hire them, so there will be no surprises about fees or payments once a settlement or award is received.