Basic Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown: How Much Goes In My Pocket?

“How much money will I get for my case?” is one of the most common questions our personal injury attorneys receive. At Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand how anxious you are to receive your settlement check and get your life back on track. We can give you a better sense of what will actually go into your pocket based on the individual circumstances involved in your case.

Determining The Value Of Your Case

Determining the value of your case can be difficult. Individual factors can significantly impact your case, including:

  • Liability – The clearer the defendant’s responsibility for the accident, the more value your case will have. In contrast, if liability is uncertain, the case may be less valuable. If you contributed to the accident, Missouri’s comparative negligence law says that your amount of compensation is reduced by your degree of fault.  
  • Severity of the injuries – Personal injury accidents can involve anything from a minor soft tissue injury to a catastrophic injury. The more severe your injury, the more valuable your claim might be. This is because the goal of a personal injury claim is to fairly compensate you for your losses. If you suffer a serious injury, you are more likely to incur more expensive medical bills, have more lost income from work, experience more pain and suffering, and face long-term implications of the injury, for which you should be compensated. 
  • Individual factors – Other factors specific to your case can also impact the potential value of your case, such as the identity of the defendant, your health and pre-existing injuries, where the accident occurred, and the insurance available. 

Your personal injury lawyer will negotiate aggressively for a fair amount of compensation. 

Deductions From Your Award

Now that you’ve settled your case, you’ll want to know what you can expect to pocket. You will receive your share of the settlement after deductions are made to your award, which may include:

  • Medical liens – Sometimes, personal injury victims may receive medical care but not have insurance or another way to pay for these services. Some medical providers agree to provide immediate treatment and then place a lien on any potential recovery. Your lawyer will try to negotiate these liens to help you maximize your compensation. 
  • Case costs – You may have charges to pay for expenses related to your case, such as medical record fees, copy charges, and postage. 
  • Attorney’s fees – The attorney’s fee is outlined in your written retainer agreement. Personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee, which is why you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Your lawyer takes their fee out of the award and then provides you with the remaining amount after all other deductions have been made. While most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, there may be differences. For example, they might use a different percentage. Or, they might take their fee out before other deductions are made or take it out after the other deductions are made. 

Your lawyer can discuss your potential settlement amount and the amount you can expect to receive. 

Example Settlement 

Here’s how a personal injury settlement might break down:

You were in a car accident. You suffered a broken bone and whiplash. You sought medical treatment immediately. A medical lien of $20,000 was put on your care. You had medical record request charges of $250 and other case expenses of $750. 

Your attorney charges 33% before other deductions. After negotiations, your lawyer gets the insurance company to agree to a settlement of $200,000. Your lawyer is able to get the medical lien reduced to $15,000. Here is how your settlement might break down:

  • Medical lien – $15,000
  • Costs – $1,000
  • Attorney’s fees – $66,000

In this scenario, the value of your settlement check would ultimately be $118,000.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer With Any Questions You May Have

Were you recently involved in a personal injury accident? Most lawyers in this area of the law offer free consultations, so you can ask questions and receive legal advice about your case free of charge.

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

St. Louis Office
1430 Washington Ave Suite #226 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

Kansas City Office
1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

Or if you would prefer to reach out to us online, please visit our contact us page.