15 Dec 2022

By Jividen Law Offices, PLLC

In Personal Injury

If you have suffered a preventable injury due to another party’s negligent actions or misconduct, you might have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit and demand compensation. Before you decide to pursue a claim, it’s natural to have questions about how the process will work and how much money you could recover.

Every personal injury case has different factors that affect the settlement and the value of the case. A knowledgeable West Virginia personal injury attorney can review the circumstances of your injury and discuss whether you have a valid case.

Contact Jividen Law Offices, PLLC, today if you’d like to speak with an experienced attorney about your case.

Average Personal Injury Settlements

There is no average personal injury settlement. Every personal injury case has unique factors. The outcomes of other injury cases are not predictive of the value of your case.

In general, you may seek compensation for the following expenses and losses:

  • Hospital bills and other medical expenses
  • Incidental, out-of-pocket costs you incur to receive medical treatment
  • Lost wages from missed time at work
  • Losses in your future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

Million Dollar Personal Injury Settlements

Many personal injury settlements you see in the news are cases that result in multi-million dollar awards to the victims. This leads some injury victims to assume that these high-value case settlements are normal and expected. Remember that these massive settlements make headlines for a reason. They are the exception. Relatively few personal injury cases result in million-dollar or multi-million-dollar settlements. People who do receive large settlements usually have suffered severe injuries or the loss of a family member. Be wary of lawyers who guarantee certain outcomes or large settlements.

Taxability of Personal Injury Settlements

Most personal injury settlements and awards are not taxable at the state or federal level. The reasoning behind this is that a personal injury settlement is not a type of income. The recipient of the settlement, whether a lump sum or monthly payments, did not earn the money in exchange for performing any work or services. In most cases, the IRS will only tax specific types of settlement compensation, such as compensation for lost wages. A knowledgeable attorney can help you evaluate whether any portion of a settlement you are seeking is taxable.

Mediation in Personal Injury Settlements

Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process that takes place outside of the courtroom. Most personal injury cases result in out-of-court settlements because everyone involved wants to avoid the time, expense, and uncertainty of a trial. Mediation is a popular way to reach mutually agreeable arrangements without court intervention.

Attorney Liens on Personal Injury Settlements

In the context of a personal injury settlement, a lien is someone’s legal right to claim a portion of the money you receive as repayment for a debt you owe. When you are subject to an attorney’s lien, it means that your attorney has the right to deduct a portion of any settlement you receive as payment of the legal fees for their services.

Medical Liens on Personal Injury Settlements

A medical lien is a type of lien that a healthcare provider such as a hospital or other medical professional places giving them a right to compensation for their services. You or your attorney must take proactive steps to pay the amount specified in the lien to have the lien removed.

Medicare and Medicaid Liens on Personal Injury Settlements

If you receive healthcare benefits through Medicare or Medicaid and you are injured in an accident, either of these federal programs could place a lien against any injury settlement you receive. Medicaid or Medicare may have a right to reimbursement for any benefits they paid for medical expenses you incurred due to your injury. These liens are subject to strict federal regulations. You should work with an attorney if you have a Medicare or Medicaid lien against your settlement.

Personal Injury Structured Settlements

Many personal injury settlements come as lump sum payments, meaning you receive the full settlement amount at one time. For tax efficiency, some people prefer structured settlements in which payments are paid over a period of time. A properly designed structured settlement can produce payments that are income tax-free.

Personal Injury Settlement Calculators and Worksheets

Many legal websites offer personal injury settlement calculators that promise reliable estimates of the value of your potential settlement. These calculators ask you to enter information like the estimated value of your medical expenses, the costs of repairing or replacing damaged property, and the amount of any wage reductions you experienced due to missed time at work.

However, remember that the value of your settlement might include things like projected future losses and certain subjective losses, which are difficult to calculate without legal help. As a result, working with a knowledgeable attorney is always the best way to obtain a reliable estimate for your claim.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Settlement Take?

It depends. If it is clear who is responsible for your injuries and your claim isn’t too complicated, you could resolve it and receive a settlement in a matter of months. But it could take a year or longer to resolve if you have a complex injury case involving liability disputes, high-dollar claim amounts, and other complicating factors. A personal injury lawyer can handle every aspect of your claim and resolve it as efficiently as possible.

Will a Personal Injury Settlement Affect My SSI?

A personal injury settlement may affect your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This is because SSI benefits are needs-based. An increase in your reported assets can affect the amount of SSI benefits you receive. An attorney can help you structure your settlement to minimize the settlement’s impact on your SSI payments.

Contact Us for A Free Case Review

At Jividen Law Offices, PLLC, we have more than 35 years of experience seeking outstanding results for injured West Virginians like you. Contact our firm now for a free initial consultation to learn how much your personal injury claim is worth.