What Goes into a Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown?
Maybe you’ve been hurt in a car accident or slip and fall incident and you are considering hiring a lawyer. Maybe you had a personal injury once before, and you didn’t have a good experience. At Roman & Roman, P.A., our experienced personal injury lawyers are committed to transparency and making sure that our clients fully understand their case and their rights at every step.
Few times in a case are more emotional and stressful for the injured person than the moment they are finally faced with a distribution or “breakdown” of their potential settlement. It can either be an elating and exciting moment or a frustrating let down. The difference is largely due to how the attorney has handled the case and prepared them for what to expect. So, what is the breakdown anyway?
Once your attorney has obtained a potential settlement with the defendant or their insurance carrier, the attorney will likely provide you with a detailed breakdown or summary of the total settlement amount and all amounts that must be paid from that settlement. This detailed summary is designed to help you know exactly where the funds went, and how much you will be keeping at the end of the case.
When You Should Ask Questions
Ideally, you and the attorney will have had many conversations about the value of the case, the likelihood of success at trial, and you will have a pretty good idea what to expect. Further, there’s a good chance that you will have seen several offers before finally accepting one. While you can ask questions any time, there are three times in particular that you may want to ask for explanation or clarification:
- Upon receiving the first offer – Ask whether your attorney believes there will be increases to the offer and discuss what liens and medical bills will have to come out of that amount.
- Upon receiving a top offer – As your attorney whether it’s worth pursuing a trial, discuss your options, and have a candid conversation about pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and the length of time it may take to reach trial.
- Reviewing the Settlement Breakdown – Once you receive the final distribution summary, you’ll want your attorney to explain any questions or confusions you may have about the numbers.
What Should Be in the Summary?
Your final settlement statement should include, at a minimum, the following:
- The total gross settlement and source (insurance company, defendant, etc.)
- The total amount of attorney fees
- The total amount of any case expenses
- Any healthcare liens that must be paid
- Any Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance liens to be paid
- Your net take-home amount
Getting Clear Advice in Your Injury Case
Not all attorneys are committed to transparency, and some like to hide the ball or use complex legal terms to confuse their clients. Not at Roman & Roman, P.A. For more than 100 years, our Clearwater firm has stood as an example of high-quality and skilled legal representation. If you want to discuss an injury with us, give us a call anytime. We will happily discuss your case free of charge, and let you know what we think.
We have four area offices in Clearwater, Tampa & Hudson, Florida.