If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of somebody else, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. Medical bills, lost time from work, pain and suffering and any permanent damages are what insurance companies, judges, and juries will pay attention to. Without those, you probably don’t have much of a case. With those, the insurer of the negligent party might want to negotiate a settlement.
Is it better to just file a court case?
A personal injury case isn’t like fighting a traffic ticket: personal injury cases can take years to either settle or go to trial. That can ultimately becomes expensive for both the plaintiff and the opposing insurer. Significant financial resources must be invested to take a case to trial. It might be prudent for both sides to try to enter into a personal injury settlement.
What is a “release of claims”?
The release of claims is a document that the insurance company might ask you to sign. Once you sign off on a release of claims and it is delivered to the opposing insurance company, your claim, lawsuit, or demand is terminated. In return for a specified sum of money, you forever release and hold harmless the person who caused your accident and resulting injuries.
What if my young child was injured by a careless driver?
The law allows you to bring a personal injury case on behalf of your minor child for the damages that were suffered as a result of an accident. If that case settles, or if a jury verdict is rendered, most states require the settlement or verdict proceeds to be placed in a trust. In that case, you might need the services of an experienced Sacramento estate lawyer. If a personal injury lawyer can’t help you in that regard, they may give you a referral to one.
What if the insurance company doesn’t pay?
The odds of an insurance company paying an accident victim after it receives a properly executed release are virtually nonexistent. The parties have arrived at a settlement, and both of them the want the claim to be over. In most cases, you would receive your compensation check in less than a month, and possibly as little as 10 days to two weeks. There have been the rare times that an insurer didn’t pay on a settlement. That release would be the foundation for a new lawsuit.
I’m being offered a structured settlement. What’s that?
As a personal injury lawyer trusts can explain, most personal injury settlements are paid in lump sum. A structured settlement is paid out with one large payment, and then the balance of the payments are paid once a year for a specified number of years. They save the opposing insurance company money. They might save the injured claimant money on taxes too.
Thanks to our contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into personal injury settlements and estate planning.