If you are injured in a California personal injury accident caused by another person’s negligence, the law allows you to file a claim in order to recover financial compensation to help cover your medical bills and other damages. Most people, however, have never been involved in a lawsuit and do not understand how the personal injury process works, especially the settlement payout.

How is a California personal injury payout structured?

After you have won your case and all involved parties have come to an arrangement on the amount of the settlement, there are still a few things that have to happen before you can pocket your award money.  

If you were injured in a negligence-based accident in California, reach out to the California personal injury law firm of Beckerman Anderson and protect your right to compensation by scheduling a free consultation with our attorneys. 

Personal Injury Settlement Amounts

How Are California Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Before jumping directly into the process of paying out a personal injury settlement, it is necessary to keep in mind that the amount victims are ultimately awarded varies considerably in each individual case. A quick Google search will produce results for hundreds of thousands of personal injury settlement calculators that claim they can give you a general idea of what your case is worth. Considering, however, that each case is unique, it is best to go over the particulars of your accident and injuries with a California personal injury lawyer who can fully assess your circumstances and give you an estimate that is based on your specific situation.   

Even then, once consultation with a qualified attorney has provided you with a ballpark figure of your claim’s potential value, it is still no guarantee that their estimate is the exact amount you will win. Your precise injuries, necessary medical care, and various other damages that you have incurred will all play a significant part in how much your case is ultimately worth.

In most instances, your best odds of securing the high-dollar settlement you need and deserve is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. They will be able to walk you through each phase of the legal process, defend your rights, assist you in gathering evidence that supports your claim, and negotiate an equitable settlement with the insurance company on your behalf.

So, after all of this has been done, what happens next?

A Release Form is Signed

Once all involved parties have agreed on the final settlement amount, you will be asked to sign a Release and Settlement Agreement form before any money is paid out. This form releases the at-fault parties and their insurers from any and all future liability. In other words, the release form ensures that you will not be able to file another lawsuit against the at-fault party or their insurer for further financial compensation.  

The Insurance Carrier Sends Us Your Settlement Check

Once the at-fault party’s insurance carrier receives your signed release form, they will write a check for the settlement amount and mail it to your attorney. Although the settlement check will be made out to you, it has to be delivered to your attorney so they can confirm receipt and ensure everything is paid out as it should be.

We Deposit the Check

After we receive your check, it will be deposited into a legal trust account. This ensures that your money is protected while the resolution of your personal injury case is pending. A legal trust account is secure, only available through certain financial institutions, and they do not earn interest. 

We Help You Pay Your Medical Bills

One of the primary reasons your attorney will hold onto your settlement award is to confirm that all of your medical bills are settled. In personal injury cases, it is normal for victims to undergo treatment without paying any of their medical bills since healthcare providers allow medical liens to be applied. This means that the victim’s debts can be negotiated and paid after their case has been settled.

Once your settlement money is received, your attorney will enter into negotiations with your healthcare provider as well as any third parties that may be involved until all of your medical debts are cleared. Bear in mind that this can be a rather time-consuming process since it usually involves a lot of back and forth before the lienholders reach an agreement.

You Collect Your Money

After your medical liens and any other fees and expenses, like attorney’s fees, have been settled, your lawyer will then conclude your case. During this stage, you and your lawyer will get together to evaluate your settlement package, which will contain copies of your signed release form and receipts for all of your paid expenses. Once you have gone over and signed all paperwork, your lawyer then gets paid, and you take everything that is left over. The personal injury lawyers at Beckerman Anderson will handle every stage of the payout process for you so you can concentrate on your recovery. 

What Are My Payout Options?

When it comes to collecting your personal injury settlement, you will have two choices:

  • Structured settlement: A structured settlement is dispersed over time in regular monthly installments. This is a smart option for victims who want a future income that they can rely on and who do not want to blow through their settlement money. A structured settlement also provides some tax exemption benefits.
  • Lump-sum payment: A lump-sum payment means you get all of your money in a single payment. This choice is most suitable for anyone who is well-versed in money management and won’t recklessly spend it all at once.

The way your settlement is paid out is entirely your choice. If your settlement was on the small side, it may be advantageous to collect all of your money at once. If, however, your settlement was large, a structured payment plan could be the better choice, especially when it comes to earning interest.  

Let Us Handle Your California Personal Injury Claim

At Beckerman Anderson, our job isn’t done until you receive your final settlement amount. We work diligently to ensure that our clients walk away with full and fair financial compensation after all their costs and expenses have been paid.

If you were injured in a California accident, speak to a California personal injury lawyer from the law offices of Beckerman Anderson by calling (949) 409-4299 and schedule your free case review. We can also be reached via the contact form on our website.