In the immediate aftermath of receiving injuries in an accident, most people’s primary concern is the amount of pain they are feeling. Yet the injury’s physical symptoms are usually just the beginning, especially if you suffer a temporary or permanent disability. You will require extensive and costly medical attention, and you may be unable to return to work for anything from a few weeks to the rest of your life. As a result, the financial consequences of an accident can feel as overwhelming as anything else. One very important question you need to answer is how my personal injury settlement gets paid out.
If another party’s negligence caused your injuries, you might be eligible to file a claim for compensation for your losses. Personal injury claims can feel perplexing. However, a seasoned South Carolina personal injury attorney can handle all the confusing paperwork and complicated legal procedures on your behalf. Yet the one question everyone asks is when and how they will receive their settlement. Understanding this process can help relieve some of the uncertainty you may be feeling.
Two Forms of a Personal Injury Settlement
Once your lawyer successfully negotiates the amount of your settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company, they will decide what form the payout will take. That is the primary factor in deciding how settlements are paid out. The most common means of delivering a personal injury settlement are a lump-sum payment and a series of smaller, structured payments over time.
Lump-sum payments are the most common of these two forms. Those who receive this type of payout will get a one-time payment which brings their claim to an end.
Yet some agreements mandate smaller payments over several months or years. This arrangement is most common in cases where the injured party has a disability that requires long-term medical care.
If you have the option to choose between a lump-sum payment or a structured arrangement, consult with your attorney about which form will best suit your circumstances.
Pros and Cons of Lump-Sum Payments
A one-time payment can significantly change an injured individual’s life. Having access to all your compensation money right away will allow you to use it in whatever way you wish. You can spend it or invest it however you choose. Furthermore, you will be much better able to afford any unexpected large expenses if they emerge.
However, receiving your entire payout all at once comes with some potential disadvantages. For example, you might risk losing a substantial amount of money through unwise or unlucky investments. Furthermore, some people who suddenly receive a large amount of money feel compelled to give much of it away to those around them.
Pros and Cons of Structured Settlements
As with lump-sum payments, structured settlements also carry certain rewards and risks. Advantages include the security of knowing that you will receive a set amount of money regularly over an extended period. Knowing that you will be able to cover your ongoing expenses well into the future can give you peace of mind. Furthermore, you may feel less pressure to give your money away than if you got all of it at once.
However, unlike lump-sum payments, structured settlements do not empower you to cover sudden large expenses. Furthermore, you may face more limited investment options when you cannot access your full settlement amount.
How Your Settlement Will Be Disbursed
Once all parties agree to the settlement’s terms, the insurance company will send a check to your lawyer. If you have any liens on your settlement due to medical bills or other debts, your attorney will negotiate with the relevant parties to reduce the amount you owe. Your lawyer will then deduct their legal fees and costs from your settlement. Once this process is complete, your settlement is paid out.
Contact a South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have suffered injuries in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Many injured people attempt to negotiate settlements on their own. However, such attempts are usually mistakes. Insurance adjusters know how to take advantage of people who do not have legal representation.
The skilled and knowledgeable Charleston personal injury lawyers at Crantford Meehan have a proud track record of winning cases for our clients. We will do everything we can to secure the compensation you deserve. Call us today at [phone-number linked=true] or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.