Jason Stephens | March 17, 2022 | Personal Injury
When you meet with a Fort Worth personal injury attorney, a question you might ask is, “How much is my personal injury case worth?” However, what you really want to know is how much money you will put in your pocket from a personal injury settlement.
The Damages You Can Recover for an Injury Claim
Many factors determine the value of your personal injury case. The severity of your injuries and your financial losses are two crucial factors. Liability for the cause of the accident is another significant factor.
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries
- Medical bills for surgeries, doctors, therapists, and other medical providers
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your recovery
- Cost of personal care and nursing care
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of income, including benefits, wages, bonuses, and commissions
- Reductions in future earning capacity and future lost wages
- Impairments, disabilities, and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of and quality of life
Generally, catastrophic injuries and permanent impairments increase the value of a claim. In other words, as the severity of your injuries increases, so does the value of your case.
Negotiating a Settlement for Your Claim
In an example, the other car driver has maximum liability insurance coverage of $300,000. You demand that amount because you sustained serious injuries and had a long recovery. Thus begins the settlement negotiation process.
The insurance company claims that you were partially to blame for the cause of the car crash. They make a counteroffer of $200,000. There appears to be evidence you could be partially at fault for the cause of the crash, so you agree to settle the claim for $250,000.
Under Texas comparative negligence laws, you could be barred from receiving any money if a jury decides you were 51% or more at fault for the cause of your injury. For percentages lower than 51%, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you were 30% to blame for the accident, 30% would be deducted from your compensation.
Instead of risking the jury, you agree to take the insurance offer of $250,000.
Deducting Costs and Fees from the Settlement Amount
Before receiving money for a personal injury settlement, the law firm must pay any outstanding medical bills and subrogation claims. The law firm will also deduct its attorneys’ fees and the cost of the case.
Medical Bills and Subrogation Claims
Your total medical costs for the accident were $70,000. However, your health insurance company paid $50,000. Therefore, you owe $20,000 to your medical providers.
Your law firm negotiates with some of your medical providers to lower the amount owed to $16,000. However, your health insurance provider has a subrogation claim.
Subrogation claims represent the rights of health insurance companies to reimbursement for bills they paid related to the accident. Therefore, your health insurance company files a $50,000 subrogation claim against your personal injury settlement. Your lawyer negotiates the payoff of the claim to $40,000.
Therefore, the law firm must deduct $56,000 from your settlement proceeds to pay medical bills and a subrogation claim.
It is essential to understand that neither your medical provider nor your health insurance company is required to negotiate their respective claims. Therefore, you could be required to pay the total amount of the subrogation claim and any remaining medical bills from your personal injury settlement.
Costs of a Personal Injury Case
Attorneys incur certain costs as they investigate and pursue a personal injury claim. Examples of costs for a case include, but are not limited to:
- Travel and mileage expenses
- Copies and postage
- Filing fees
- Expert witness costs
- Deposition fees
- Investigation costs
- Preparation for trial
Because your law firm settled your case without filing a lawsuit in this example, the costs of the case are $500. Filing a lawsuit and going to trial is much more costly. Fortunately, most personal injury cases are settled without filing a lawsuit.
Contingency Fee for a Personal Injury Attorney
Most Fort Worth personal injury lawyers are paid via a contingency fee. The attorneys’ fee is a set percentage of the settlement proceeds or jury verdict.
Let’s assume your contingency fee is 33 percent. Therefore, the attorneys’ fees for your case would be $82,500.
The contingency fee charged for a personal injury case depends on many factors. However, you agree to the percentage when hiring your Fort Worth personal injury lawyer.
What Is the Net Settlement Proceeds You Take Home?
Let’s review. The personal injury settlement breakdown of your case would be:
Total Settlement Amount $250,000
LESS Medical bills & subrogation claims $56,000
LESS Costs of the case $500
LESS Attorneys’ fees $82,500
Total Settlement proceeds for you $111,000
You would take home a check for $111,000 for your personal injury settlement.
Each personal injury case is unique. Therefore, you cannot base your outcome on prior cases. The best way to know how much your claim might be worth is to talk with a personal injury lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX – Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Open 24 hrs.