It can take a long time to obtain a personal injury settlement. With so much riding on the payment, it’s natural to be anxious. Since over 90% of all New York Personal Injury cases do settle most of the time, you will be waiting for a settlement and not a jury verdict after a trial.
Once your lawyer and the other side agree on the settlement amount than the insurance company will send the check to your law firm. The money then goes into an escrow account, and your lawyer then distributes the money by paying any outstanding liens or bills, taking expenses and his fee and will then send you the balance together with a detailed accounting for all the money.
What Bills Will Your Lawyer Be Paying?
You may owe money to hospitals or doctors for your medical treatment. Your attorney may also have to pay out money for what is called “subrogation”. This happens when an insurance company goes ahead and pays your bills. This could be that your health insurance provider has a policy that provides that they will pay you bills but if you have a personal injury case and recover money, they want to get back what they paid out for you.
Another example is if you were injured while on your job and received Worker’s Compensation benefits that paid your medical bills and some of your lost wages, they are entitled to receive a percentage of what they paid you from your recovery in your personal injury case. If you are receiving Medicare, Medicaid or welfare they will also ask for some money back from your recovery. By law it is the responsibility of your lawyer to make sure all of these liens are paid off before giving you your money.
What Happens Next?
Next you pay your legal fees, which your lawyer takes out of the settlement and is generally 1/3rd of the recovery as per the New York state retainers. Your lawyer will also take back the expenses that the lawyer advanced for your case to proceed, which may include fees for expert witnesses, court reporting services, deposition services, filing fees and other expenses associated with investigating and pursuing this case. You are provided with an itemized statement of what these fees were.
Obviously, must be discussed between the lawyer and the client before any settlement is reached so that the client knows how much money is being paid and even more importantly what the client will be left with after all the liens, fees, and expenses are paid.
If you’ve been injured, don’t wait. Reach out to our office for a free consultation today. Please call to ensure that you do not waive or reduce the compensation you are entitled to.