This is the number one question I get from clients during sign up. The only issue is at that point, I typically have no answer for the client. They usually sign up shortly after the accident and unfortunately there is no real way to put a dollar amount on their case. During sign up, we may not even know if there is valid insurance to cover the incident. Also, we do not know the value of the case until we can evaluate the injuries sustained by our client.
If we’re able to establish liability and there’s valid insurance to cover the collision then we can begin to look at the injuries. Of course, all the medical bills that the client racks up due to another person’s negligent act should be covered under the policy of the adverse driver. The insurance company is forced to pay those medical bills AND compensate the injured party for pain and suffering.
As a personal injury attorney, it is within our expertise to negotiate your settlement and get you as much money in your pocket at the end of a settlement as possible. However, any attorney that gives you a dollar figure amount of what you’ll get in your pocket during sign up is not being honest. There are several factors that can occur that can alter your settlement. It’s important to be patient and continue therapy until you are as close to 100% as possible before trying to settle any personal injury case.
Below is an example of a settlement. Please keep in mind no two settlements are alike. This is just ONE example of what a settlement may look like:
The amount you receive from a settlement is based on the total settlement received from the insurance companies after attorney fees are deducted and costs and expenses are subtracted. For example, most personal injury attorneys will charge the standard one-third contingency fee (1/3rd). Suppose you get a settlement of $30,000, the state minimum insurance policy for the State of Texas, have $10,000 in outstanding medical bills, as well as $500.00 in case expenses. The calculation would be as follows:
-$10,000 One third contingency fee (1/3rd)
-$10,000 Outstanding Medical Bills
-$500.00 case expenses
= $9,500 total amount due to client.
Examples of Case Expenses
Case expenses in a personal injury case include:
- medical records
- police reports;
- expert witness fees;
- filing fees;
- depositions; and
- trial exhibits.
*This is NOT meant to be construed as legal advice, but rather general information for those seeking guidance during a personal injury claim.