Personal Injury: Common Questions


Personal Injury: Common Questions

The attorneys at Baker Harris Law in Pocatello, Idaho have a lot of experience working with victims of personal injury and personal injury lawsuits and settlements. If you have been injured and are trying to find answers to your questions, please schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorneys to learn about your specific rights and your rights to compensation. If you want to start learning more right now, below you will find answers to common personal injury related questions and things to consider before you settle out of a personal injury lawsuit.

Settlement vs. Lawsuit

If you are in the process of opening a personal injury case or have known anyone to has been through one, you probably are familiar with the term “settlement”. A settlement is basically a compromise between a personal injury victim and the person responsible for your injuries. You have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses, but you don’t always have to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve. Settlements can help keep the case out of the court system which means that you will have to wait less time to resolve the case, and it can save you and the liable party the costs of taking the case to court. A settlement doesn’t just benefit the liable party. It can be valuable to you as well. It is important not to sign anything or agree to a settlement without first consulting with a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can make sure that the settlement is fair and that you are reaching an agreement that compensates you for your losses.

How Do I Collect Settlement Money? Do I Have To Pay Taxes On It?

The way settlement money is collected depends on the situation. If the settlement money is coming from insurance coverage where the money is available for a particular personal injury event, then you should receive a check right away. If insurance coverage is not available and the liable party does not have the money immediately available, the court can issue a judgment, but collecting the money can be difficult.

The IRS has rules on what is and is not taxable when it comes to personal injury settlements. For example, any settlement money for punitive damages are taxable and any money that you are awarded beyond the actual medical expenses is taxable. But, if the settlement is meant to cover physical illness or injuries, the award is not taxable. It is best to speak to a personal injury attorney about your individual situation and consult with an experienced accountant.

Do I Have To Pay My Lawyer Up Front?

In most cases, a personal injury lawyer will agree to represent you under a contingency fee that will not require any up-front payments, but rather after your case reaches a favorable outcome. A thirty-three percent fee of the settlement amount is a typical fee agreement.

Do I Have To Accept A Settlement Offer?

Not at all. You have the right to turn down a settlement offered to you. Of course, you want to make sure you are being reasonable and have consulted with your attorney to determine the best course of action. If you and your attorney feel that a settlement offer is not fair, you can make a counter-offer in the form of a professional demand letter that allows you explain the details of the accident, your injuries, the prognosis for future treatment, and detailed evidence as to why the liable parties settlement offer is not fair. Having a capable attorney on your side can provide significant benefits during every portion of a personal injury case.

If you have suffered an injury due to an automobile accident, a fall that could have been avoided, medical malpractice, or any other type of personal injury, you do have every legal right to request compensation to help you recover physically and financially. Don’t make any big moves until you have consulted with a professional personal injury attorney at Baker Harris Law in Pocatello…and time is an important factor when it comes to personal injury, so be sure to schedule your consultation today!