If you were injured in an accident, you probably feel financially constrained.
Maybe you are out of work and struggling to make ends meet while new medical bills pile up. Many people in Austin, TX, call personal injury lawyers to get money to cover unexpected expenses after an injury. No one wants to ask for money – but when someone else caused your injury, it’s only fair.
After hiring a personal injury lawyer, you’ll want to find out exactly how much money you’ll get. It’s important to talk about specifics with your lawyer, but here’s a breakdown.
How Much Should I Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement?
What you ask for in a personal injury settlement depends on the specifics of your case.
If you’ve been in a car accident, for instance, your lawyer will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will open an investigation into the accident and your injuries and will agree to cover all, some, or none of your expenses. If you can’t agree, your lawyer may suggest suing the at-fault driver directly.
Under Texas law, you can ask for economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages are meant to compensate you for actual financial losses. This usually means bills and expenses that have an exact dollar figure attached to them.
Economic damages can include:
- Emergency medical bills and ongoing medical treatment
- Lost wages and lost employment benefits
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
The total economic damages will depend on your specific financial loss and if you have enough evidence to support your request. Evidence for economic damages usually includes bills, financial statements, tax returns, and similar documents.
You can also ask for non-economic damages in Austin courts. Non-economic damages are difficult to calculate because there isn’t a bill associated with them. Non-economic damages are paid to recognize intangible losses due to a particular type of injury.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Physical impairment, like blindness or scarring
- Loss of a limb
What you ask for in non-economic damages will depend on the specific impact that your injury has had on your life and the impact that it will have going forward. You must ask your lawyer to see if you have a claim for non-economic damages.
How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out in Austin, TX?
When you settle your case, you have a few options for getting paid out. You can choose to receive a single lump sum or several payments. If it’s a court judgment, the money is sent to your lawyer’s client escrow account once it is paid by the at-fault party.
When Do You Get Paid?
This depends on who’s paying you. If you are expecting a check from an insurance company, Texas law requires the insurance company to send a check by the fifth business day after you accepted the claim.
If you sued the at-fault party directly, the timing will depend on their financial situation and whether or not they have the money to pay the damages. They may make several payments over an extended period, depending on the size of a judgment.
Once the money is in your lawyer’s client escrow account, your lawyer will subtract certain expenses like legal fees, case expenses, and payment of medical liens. Then your lawyer will write you a check or conduct a wire transfer to your bank account.
How Much Do Lawyers Take from a Personal Injury Settlement?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that the lawyer gets paid a percentage of the final settlement instead of an hourly or charging flat fee. The client and lawyer agree to the percentage before representation and sign a contract. Some lawyers charge a higher contingency fee if they expect a certain case will have more expenses, like multiple expert witnesses, extensive investigation, or will be lengthy.
When a lawyer charges a contingency fee, it means that you don’t pay if you lose the case. Many personal injury lawyers will also absolve their clients from paying for case expenses, like expert witnesses, if they lose. This fee arrangement makes it easier to get paid and for people to access justice, even if they can’t afford it.
If you want to talk to a lawyer in Austin, Texas, about your case, call FVF Law for a free consultation. Our team is ready to get started on your case so that you can get paid as soon as possible.