Just when your injury was becoming a distant yet painful memory and you were beginning to wonder if you would ever be able to put your personal injury case behind you, your lawyer successfully settled the claim – so what happens next?
Before you’ll get your settlement proceeds, several obligations will need to be met, including:
Before anyone else gets paid, your attorney will deduct his fees, out-of-pocket expenses, and other costs associated with your claim from the settlement check. Your lawyer’s contingency fee will be equal to the percentage you agreed to pay him or her upon settlement when you signed the retainer agreement – commonly one-third to forty percent of the award, although this may vary depending on circumstances.
The Liability Insurance Company
Typically one of the first things you will have to do after your case settles is to sign a full, final release from the liability insurance carrier to officially settle your claim. This release will likely contain language stating that you are giving up your right to bring a lawsuit against the entity responsible for your injuries from this specific instance. In exchange for your signature, the insurance company will release the agreed-upon sum of money jointly to you and your attorney.
Your Medical Providers
Before you get your check, your attorney may need to pay some of your accident-related medical bills that are still outstanding, or may need reimburse the subrogation of any insurance company that paid medical expenses on your behalf. If your health insurance company paid any portion of your bills, most of the time they are entitled to be paid back some of that payment form the settlement proceeds, that is commonly called a subrogation interest. If your settlement isn’t sufficient to cover all your medical bills or subrogation, your attorney will likely attempt to negotiate a discount for you and get the interest charges waived.
For more information about how an accident case will likely resolve, contact the personal injury attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss online, or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.