5 Facts to Know About Settling a Personal Injury Case

personal injury law

Settling a personal injury case can help a person get the compensation that he or she needs in a timely manner. However, personal injury cases can still take weeks or months to settle even if the facts seem to be on the injured person’s side. What are some things to keep in mind if you are trying to settle your own personal case? 

Both Sides Could Be to Blame 

It is possible that an injured victim could be partially liable for his or her own injuries. For instance, if you were talking on your phone while crossing the street, you could be liable for not paying attention to your surroundings when the accident happened.

Essentially, the defense for the other party involved in your case could argue that you weren’t exercising a proper level of care when the incident took place. In some states, you aren’t entitled to damages at all if you are deemed to be more than 50 percent liable for an accident. 

There Is No Time Limit to Settle a Case 

Most states require you to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case within a certain period of time after the accident that caused your injuries. However, there is generally no deadline for a case to be settled. The statute of limitationsto file a lawsuit is typically two years. If you were a minor when the accident occurred, you have two years after your 18th birthday to file a suit. 

Cases Can Be Settled After a Jury Verdict Is Rendered 

It is possible that the party who hurt you may decide to appeal a jury verdict ordering that person to pay damages in a case. This is perfectly within a defendant’s rights, and cases can still be settled even after a jury has made a decision. Settlements are generally preferred because its terms are kept private. 

Essentially, a jury verdict provides you with leverage when going back to settlement talks. In some cases, you may get more than what a jury awarded if it means the other party doesn’t have to publicly admit guilt. In some cases, a jury may award more than what the law allows, which means that further talks must take place to negotiate a fair and reasonable award. 

Your Personal Injury Award May Be Taxed 

You may be required to pay taxes on any money that you receive from a personal injury settlement. This is generally true if you take an itemized deduction on your income taxes for medical bills related to an accident. However, if you didn’t take a deduction, you won’t have to pay any taxes on the money that you received. Your attorney may be able to provide further insight into the tax implications of a negotiated settlement in a personal injury case. 

Attorneys Generally Get Paid Through Settlement Funds 

Attorneys typically don’t get paid unless they are able to negotiate a settlement in your favor. Legal fees can be assessed either as a flat rate or a percentage of the final award. It is a good idea to talk about how your attorney charges for his or her services prior to hiring that person. Your consultation should be free, so don’t hesitate to talk with multiple legal representatives before choosing one who you feel the most comfortable with. 

If you have been hurt for any reason, you have the right to pursue compensation for damages related to your injuries. This could include being reimbursed for medical bills, lost wages or lost future earnings. Compensation may also be available for emotional pain and suffering and the loss of relationships with kids, friends or a spouse.

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