Chris Hammons | November 7, 2023 | Personal Injury
One of the first questions clients ask when we settle a personal injury case is how much money goes into my pocket. It is a practical question because you have suffered financial, emotional, and physical harm because of another party’s negligence.
The amount of money you receive for an Oklahoma City personal injury case depends on the facts of your case. Each case is unique.
Even though each case is different, your case may be similar to other personal injury lawsuits. Examining the common elements of personal injury cases can give you a better understanding of your potential personal injury settlement.
Factors Impacting a Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown in Oklahoma City, OK
The factors in your case determine how much your case is worth. Factors that impact a personal injury settlement include, but are not limited to:
- The type of injuries you sustained because of another party’s wrongdoing or negligence
- The medical treatments you had to receive to treat your injuries
- The length of your recovery period
- Whether you sustained a permanent impairment or disability
- Your appearance before and after the injury or accident (i.e., the level of disfigurement and/or scarring)
- The parties involved in your personal injury case
- The strength of the evidence you have proving causation, fault, and liability
- The willingness of the other parties to negotiate a fair settlement
- The availability of insurance coverage and the policy limits
- Whether you could be partially at fault for causing your injuries
Your Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer analyzes these factors to determine how they impact the value of your damages. Your attorney calculates the maximum value of damages and works to obtain the full value of your case.
What Damages Can I Receive for an Oklahoma City Personal Injury Case?
Most personal injury victims can receive compensation for their economic damages. These damages include the monetary losses and expenses you incur because of the accident and injury.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Property damage
- Physical, occupational, and rehabilitative therapies
- Lost wages and benefits
- Personal and/or nursing care
- Help with household services
- Diminished earning capacity
In addition to being reimbursed for financial losses, injured parties can receive compensation for pain and suffering damages. These non-economic damages include:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Impairments and disabilities
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain
- A decrease in quality of life and/or loss of enjoyment of life
Generally, the value of a personal injury case increases as the severity of the injuries increases. If you are unable to work, your damages should increase. If you sustain a catastrophic injury, your damages should increase.
However, if you were partially at fault for causing your injury (i.e., comparative negligence), the value of your claim could decrease. Likewise, if you do not try to mitigate your damages by seeking prompt medical care and following your doctor’s treatment plan, the value of your case could decrease.
Working with an attorney as soon as possible after an injury or accident can help avoid mistakes that could hurt your case. Your attorney also helps you document your damages to maximize a personal injury settlement, including working with expert witnesses as necessary.
How Much of My Personal Injury Settlement Do I Receive?
Your attorney receives the settlement funds when you sign a final settlement agreement. The funds are deposited into a trust account until they clear. Your attorney can then disburse the settlement proceeds.
However, some amounts must be deducted from your personal injury settlement before you receive a check. Those amounts generally include:
Attorney’s Contingency Fee
Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee. They agree to receive a percentage of the amount they recover for your case. Therefore, if you agreed to a 33 1/3% contingency fee, your attorney deducts that amount from your settlement proceeds in payment for their legal services.
Medical Lies and Subrogation Claims
Your personal injury lawyer must pay outstanding medical liens, medical bills, and subrogation claims. However, when you hire an experienced Oklahoma City personal injury attorney, your lawyer diligently works to negotiate lower payoff amounts. Negotiating a lower payoff amount keeps more of your personal injury settlement in your pocket.
Costs and Expenses of the Case
Pursuing a personal injury case can be costly.
Examples of costs and expenses of a personal injury case include, but are not limited to:
- Travel expenses and mileage
- Deposition and discovery costs
- Postage and copy fees
- Investigation costs
- Fees to obtain medical records, accident reports, and other documents and records
- Court filing fees
- Fees for expert witnesses
- Costs to prepare the case for trial
Typically, a law firm pays for the costs of the case as they are incurred. The attorney then reimburses the law firm from the personal injury settlement.
Don’t Sign a Personal Injury Settlement Agreement Without Legal Advice
When you sign a settlement agreement, you give up the right to demand more money or pursue any further action related to your claim. Insurance companies are often not honest about how much a case is worth. Their goal is to lower the amount they must pay for a claim.
Before you sign a settlement agreement, take advantage of a free consultation with an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer to verify the settlement offer is fair.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers at Laird Hammons Laird Trial Lawyers for a Free Consultation
For more information, please contact an experienced Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. Our law office is located in Oklahoma City.
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