FAQs Personal Injury Settlements

FAQs Personal Injury Settlements
Am I still liable to receive damages if I have health insurance?

Yes. A victim’s health insurance does not mean that the at-fault party has an excuse not to pay. In no way is the negligent party allowed to benefit from the insurance you bought. Since lawsuits take time, you can use your health insurance to pay medical bills and get the necessary medical assistance at the moment. Typically, your health insurance will have a lien on any amount they pay for your medical bills for treatment from injuries resulting from the accident. You will be required to pay the lien from the proceeds of the settlement

What medical documents should I take with myself?

It is a good idea to maintain copies of the medical records, expenses and all documents and give them to your lawyer. The documents may prove extremely useful to your lawyer, who will present them in court to establish your claim. Necessary medical records that you should keep include:

  • Narrative report
  • Discharge papers
  • Doctor’s/nurses’ notes
  • Office notes
  • Medical bills
  • Treatment plans
  • Follow-up checkup’s receipts
  • Medication prescription and bills

You can obtain the medical report from the hospital yourself or your attorney’s office will request your medical records and medical expenses.

Should I sign an assignment form by my doctor?

This is becoming a common practice now. If you don’t have the money to pay the medical bills immediately, you can sign an assignment form, where the doctor and the hospital agree to hold off and will be paid once your claim has settled from the settlement amount.

However, you must talk to your lawyer first, before agreeing to sign. Consult with your lawyer before signing the form, and continue receiving the necessary medical care without worrying about immediate financial constraints.

Are medical bills included in my settlement amount?

Yes, medical bills and expenses are one of the most major contributors to the settlement amount. Your final settlement amount will be the culmination of all the losses you’ve had to bear as a consequence of your personal injury. The compensation you receive for your medical expenses would obviously depend on the medical bills themselves. The larger the medical expenses, the more is attributed in the case.

Can a health insurer file a lien against my case?

They can, yes. Health insurers must be notified that you are pursuing a personal injury claim. Health insurers anywhere can simply send a notice to the attorney informing them that they need to be reimbursed when the victim receives the compensatory damages from the claim.

If the insurance company offered me a fair settlement, should I take it?

If an insurance company does offer you a settlement amount, you have the choice of taking it or rejecting it. If you feel that the settlement offered is fair, you can consider taking it; that is completely up to the victim’s discretion.

However, bear in mind that once you agree to a settlement, there is no backing out of it. Your case will be considered closed. You cannot come back on second thoughts and push for additional compensation. Thus, before accepting any such offer, consult with your lawyer extensively and ask for their advice.

What are the conditions under which insurance companies offer to pay settlements?

It is unclear what makes insurance companies decide to settle a claim. They do not divulge the details of the factors they consider, and we can see no set formula to it. Different insurance companies analyze cases differently, ranging from human to software-driven evaluation.

How soon after the case is over can I expect to receive the money?

There is no one answer to that question. Each case is different and is sometimes dependent on a lot of external forces that may delay the payments to be handed out after the case is resolved. Several parties may hold liens to the damages, such as the hospital, health insurer, and other parties. Your lawyer may have to negotiate with the insurance carrier, each case has a unique set of circumstances.

Is there a minimum settlement amount?

No, there is no minimum or maximum determined settlement amount. Each case is unique, and the damages vary according to the specifics of the case. The settlement can differ even in similar cases. The settlement you receive for your case will depend on the gravity of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses etc.

Can I reject a settlement that does not seem fair?

If you feel that the settlement amount being offered is too little, or unfair for the losses you have incurred, you have every right to reject the settlement. The ‘settlement,’ by definition, is an amount that is acceptable and fair to both parties. If the amount is not agreeable, do not hesitate to reject it.

Do I have to pay taxes on my settlement?

No, damages and settlement amounts are generally non-taxable. However, you may be required to pay taxes on the amount you receive for damages, such as loss of wages or earning capacity, as you would have had to pay on your income had the injury never happened. You should speak to a tax officer to determine whether you will be taxed on your settlement or not.

Can I use settlement calculators online?

No, you should not. Online calculators work on a particular formula. However, in reality, there is no formula or guideline about settlements and the worth of a case. It is purely subjective and dependent on the specifics of each case, the circumstances, and the consequences of the personal injury.

If you still have any questions about personal injury settlements or want to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer, our personal injury attorneys at Frank & Kominsky Injury Lawyers are available to help you out. We offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation - call us at our toll-free number 855-800-8000.

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