One of the most common questions we hear from injury victims is, “How much will an insurance company pay me for my injuries?” It’s an important question, but it doesn’t consider how much of your settlement will be spent on expenses related to the case. The better question is, “How much of my settlement will I get to keep?”
Estimating Your Take-Home Award After Your Injury Case Is Complete
There are two sides to an injury settlement: income and expenses. The income is the settlement offer, and it might seem to be a considerable sum. However, you will only receive what is left over after all the expenses have been paid. If you’re not sure what amount you should sue for, keep in mind that expenses can account for up to half of the total settlement.
Common expenses in an injury case include:
- Attorney fees. Attorney fees are usually the first thing paid from a settlement. The amount of the fee is based on a percentage of the settlement, so you will have to refer to your contract to calculate the exact amount.
- Case costs and expenses. Every claim will incur certain costs, such as obtaining copies of medical records, filing fees, creating exhibits, and postage. Injury law firms may pay these costs upfront to ease the financial burden on the client and get reimbursed after the case is over. These costs typically add up to a few hundred dollars but can escalate into the thousands if the case goes to trial.
- Medical bills and liens. If you used your medical insurance, auto insurance, government benefits, or other coverage to pay hospital bills after the accident, those entities might demand repayment from your settlement. For example, if your settlement offer is $50,000 and your medical costs add up to $20,000, you would have about $13,000 left (after attorney fees). If you still have some medical bills outstanding, this net amount may not leave much in your pocket. This is why it is vital to hire a personal injury trial attorney who can work with medical providers to reduce the bills and negotiate with insurers to raise the offer.
- Taxes. Since some or all of the total settlement amount could be considered income, you may have to pay federal taxes on your damages.
We explain all costs to you and work to secure a settlement that will allow you to put your accident behind you and put money in your pocket. If you suffered a serious injury, contact the legal team at GriffithLaw today or give us a call at (615) 807-7900 to have us fight on your behalf.