What Happens Once an Arizona Personal Injury Case Gets Settled?
You’ve done it: you’ve reached the end of a personal injury case, and you’ve won a settlement you and your attorney agree is a fair one. Or you’ve been through the grueling experience of taking your injury case to trial, and you’ve won. The jury has awarded you a sum of money.
What happens next?
It depends on whether you have a settlement or a court verdict.
The defendant will write a check to your lawyer. The lawyer will then be responsible for disbursing your funds correctly.
The funds will go to medical providers first, as well as to insurance providers who paid your medical bills while you were waiting. You can’t “double dip” on insurance claims, and often your insurance provider will pay some of your bills knowing that they can get reimbursed if you win.
Next, your lawyer will deduct legal fees. This includes court fees, expert witness fees, and their own percentage. Most of the time you’re still going to come out ahead here, because you’re likely to make two to three times more money with an attorney’s help than you’d make without their help.
Once all the other claimants have been paid your attorney will issue you a check for the rest of the money. For some of our clients, this money is meant to support them for the rest of their lives. We advise them to get a financial advisor, to be careful who they share news of the settlement with, and to avoid making impulse purchases.
For others, the remainder will only be a few thousand dollars over their lost wages. Nevertheless they don’t mind, because they’re no longer in debt to medical providers and can pay some of the other bills that began piling up while they weren’t able to work.
A verdict is just a court order to the defendant to pay up. That doesn’t mean they are going to do so, or that they’re going to do so very quickly. Your attorney may have to start collection procedures on your behalf.
Regardless, eventually they will end up paying unless they’d like the court to punish them further. When they do, we’ll follow the same process as we’d have followed for a settlement. It just may all take a little bit longer than you might have hoped for.
All the same, you can rest easy knowing we already know collection can be part of the process, and are prepared to handle it as just another one of your legal services. We also don’t get paid either, unless they pay up. It’s within our best interests to remain vigorous in our pursuit of these funds.
While no personal injury settlement will make you rich, it can nevertheless provide you with what you need to stay on your feet after an accident. Contact Tony Merchant and Associates today for your free, no-obligation consultation.