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Q: Is there a minimum personal injury settlement amount?
A: No, there is no minimum or maximum settlement amount. The amount
of a settlement in a personal injury case depends on lots of factors,
The nature and extent of the injury,
The amount of economic damages (such as lost wages and medical
The amount of time the injury is expected to last
If you're trying to put a value on a specific case, it would be
a good idea to check with a lawyer near you.
Q: How do I collect my personal injury award?
A: If the person against whom you have the judgment has insurance,
the easiest thing to do is simply to notify the insurance company
of your judgment (if they're not already aware of it). The insurance
company will usually just write a check for the damages up to the
limit of the insurance policy. If the person against whom you have
the judgment is uninsured, collecting won't be as easy. You must
have the judgment "entered" with the court and then seek
to "enforce" the judgment. There are actually attorneys
who specialize in collecting judgments, and it would be a good idea
to consult with one.
Q: Can I ask my lawyer for a copy of the personal injury
A: Yes, and you should. As a client you have an absolute right to
see a copy of the settlement check, as well as to review a copy
of the settlement breakdown sheet before the check is deposited.
Usually, the insurance company check has both your name and your
attorney's name on it, so you would typically have to endorse the
check before it could be placed in your lawyer's trust account.
Ask your lawyer to provide you with a copy of the actual settlement
check forwarded to him by the insurance company, as well as a copy
of all checks written by him (which should total the full amount
of the settlement).
Q: What is a proper contingency fee?
A: An attorney's fee is usually negotiated, and depends on the complexity
of the case, the time at which it settles, and the anticipated costs
that may be invested. In California, 40% is the fee that is typically
charged as the maximum fee if the matter is litigated through trial
or arbitration. The only way to know if your attorney is willing
to consider a lower fee is to ask. If there isn't much of a fault
("liability") issue, you may be able to find a less expensive
lawyer. The skill and reputation of your lawyer is very important,
though. A 40% fee to a highly skilled, well-respected lawyer will
in all probability yield a higher overall recovery to you than a
33 1/3% fee with less experienced counsel.
Q: Do lawyers receive their fee percent before or after
the medical expenses are paid?
A: The attorney's fees paid will be based on the retainer agreement
between you and your lawyer. Read the contract carefully. Some retainer
agreements provide that attorney's fees are calculated on the gross
settlement (before the medical bills are paid) and some provide
for payment of fees after medical expenses are paid (the "net"
Q: Can my lawyer settle my personal injury case without
A: It's possible that the retainer agreement you signed with your
lawyer allows him to settle the case without your consent and sign
the settlement and release agreement on your behalf. If your attorney
settled the case without your permission, and you haven't yet signed
the settlement and release agreement, you should tell your lawyer
that you don't want to proceed with the settlement if you're unhappy
about it. If a check has already been forwarded to your lawyer,
it's a simple matter to return the funds.
Q: Can a health care insurer be repaid from a personal
A: Yes, it's quite common. Most health insurance policies now have
language that allows the insurance company to be repaid for the
amount paid out on medical bills if the insured person gets a personal
injury settlement. Depending on the law in your state, your daughter
may be able to deduct attorney's fees and costs from the total amount
owed to her health insurer.
Q: Can I gain access to my child's personal injury settlement
A: A parent usually doesn't have access to a child's settlement
funds. The reason for this is to protect children from parents who
might use the money to benefit themselves, instead of the child.
A court will generally place a child's settlement money in a "blocked"
bank account until the child turns 18. A court will sometimes allow
withdrawals from blocked accounts if the funds are needed for the
child's care and well being, and the court is satisfied the funds
will be used to benefit the minor. You and your lawyer should discuss
what expenses might be paid for with the settlement funds.
Q: Can I break an annuity from an auto accident settlement?
A: Probably not. It's difficult to "break" an annuity.
The purpose behind an annuity is to have the insurance company pay
out the settlement funds over time rather than in one lump sum payment.
In your situation, because you were underage at the time of the
settlement, your parents only alternative to an annuity would have
been to accept a lump sum payment and put it in the bank for you.
The interest earned over the past four years would have been insignificant
compared to the interest earned placing the funds in a structured
You could try to get a court to set aside the annuity, which doesn't
seem very likely. The only other alternative, which would not be
wise in your situation, is finding a company that purchases structured
settlements from personal injury victims. Usually these companies
will pay you 20 to 50 cents on the dollar and purchase your right
to future payments. You'll be giving up a substantial amount of
money if you choose this option.
Get legal help for your injuries by hiring a lawyer in Arkansas that you are sure will handle the case with respect
to you and the legal profession. Hire a personal injury lawyer that
has experience in your claim area.
Did You Know?
There are four general types of slip and fall accidents
Trip-and-fall accidents, where there is a foreign object in the walking path. Stump-and-fall accidents, where there is an impediment in the walking surface. Step-and-fall accidents, where there is an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface Slip-and-fall accidents, in which the interface of the shoe and the floor fails
Both the property owner as well as the injured person can be held to varying degrees of responsibility for an injury.
Latest news about injury cases in Arkansas and nationwide:
A cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement; physical pain, illness, impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary.
Complete paralysis of the body from the neck down, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.
Some of the kinds of accidents that can transpire on construction sites: Crane Accidents ,Scaffolding Accidents Hazardous Gases or Liquids, Defective Machinery, Fallen Objects, Mechanical Hazards, Toxic Exposure
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