One of the first questions our new clients ask is how much their settlement should be worth. For the most part, an Atlanta car accident lawyer doesn’t have the answer to this question. It usually takes months to truly gauge the value of a car accident case. The second question they ask us is how long it’ll take for them to get paid. Again, while most cases settle within the first year, there’s no firm date for when you’ll get paid.
It all depends on the facts of your case. It also depends on how many people are owed money in relation to your case. Here we’ll discuss how settlement proceeds are distributed. We’ll also offer some ideas about how long it can take to complete a settlement. If you’ve been involved in an accident and aren’t sure if you have a claim, give our office a call so you can find out. You don’t want to wait too long and risk missing the statute of limitations.
Most Car Accident Cases Settle Long Before Trial
Ask any Atlanta car accident lawyer and they’ll tell you that more than 90% of all lawsuits settle. Some may not settle until the days leading up to trial. However, most are settled at some point in the first year of litigation. There will be a lot of back and forth between the two sides.
Your attorney will fight to get you more money while the insurance company pushes to pay less. Finally, the two will come to a number that seems fair. This settlement figure will take into account your outstanding medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses. The goal is to make sure you are made whole at the end of things.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Will Fight for As Much Money as Possible
Although the ultimate goal is to settle your lawsuit, your Atlanta car accident lawyer also wants to get you as much money as possible. They aren’t going to accept a lowball settlement just to close the case. You have to remember – car accident lawyers work on a contingency basis. They get a percentage of your settlement proceeds. So, rest assured that your attorney will do whatever they can to get you the compensation you deserve.
Your Settlement Could Be Structured in a Variety of Ways
An important thing to know about your legal settlement is that it can take many forms. You may get a lump sum upfront as soon as the settlement agreement is signed. This can be good, especially if you have a ton of bills piling up. However, you don’t want to settle low just because you’re short on cash.
You don’t want to be short-sighted. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer understands this as well. If they think you should hold out for more, they’ll let you know. If they think you should take the lump sum and run, they’ll tell you that as well.
The other type of settlement is a structured settlement. This is when you receive either monthly or quarterly checks carved out from your settlement proceeds. If you get a long-term settlement, you’ll want to make sure they account for interest.
Your Attorney Will Be Paid First
Some people complain that it isn’t for their attorney to get their fee right off the top. The truth is that this is the only fair way to do it. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer is the one responsible for getting you the settlement in the first place. They also took the risk of getting nothing if you went to trial and lost. Their contract indicates that they take anywhere from 30-40% of your settlement or damages.
All Medical Bills Must Be Paid as Well
Once your attorney’s fees are paid, you need to make sure all of your medical bills are paid. Some insurance companies will even write separate checks for the medical providers. It’s easier and it guarantees that these third parties will be paid immediately and not have for weeks to get their money.
You Receive Whatever Is Left After Everybody’s Paid
Nobody wants to get hurt in an accident. Very rarely does someone purposely hurt themselves. True, there could be people out there who make a living this way. The Atlanta car accident lawyers are familiar with these people and try to screen them from the very beginning. You have to appreciate this. You must also try to remember that it’s not your lawyer’s job to make you rich. It’s only their job to make you whole. If you’re looking for someone to help you after a car crash, call one of our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers.