How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out in Florida?
Personal injuries happen due to the reckless and negligent actions of others involved. At the Law Offices of Pardy & Rodriguez, our Orlando personal injury lawyers help you hold them accountable. Through a personal injury settlement, we make sure you get the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs. If you’re wondering ‘how are personal injury settlements paid out?’ keep reading to learn more.
Are you entitled to a personal injury settlement?
According to Orlando Health, personal injuries are one of the leading causes of death in Central Florida. They send more than 130,000 people throughout the state to hospital emergency rooms each year.
Personal injuries include broken bones, burns, cuts or lacerations, damage to soft tissues, and potentially debilitating back, neck, and head injuries. Leading causes of personal injuries include:
- Car accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Accidents involving bicyclists or pedestrians;
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Getting struck by or against objects;
- Sports and recreational accidents;
- Accidents due to defective or dangerous products.
When these accidents happen due to the reckless and negligent actions of others, you have the right to hold them accountable. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, our Orlando personal injury lawyers focus on getting you the compensation you are entitled to in a settlement.
Common types of compensation in a personal injury settlement
A personal injury settlement is designed to compensate you for losses you suffer due to the negligence of others. Referred to as ‘damages’, these include:
- Economic damages: These are actual costs associated with your injuries, such as your current medical bills and lost wages, as well as any future expenses you are likely to incur.
- Non-economic damages: These cover intangible losses, such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
- Punitive damages: These are additional monetary damages generally awarded in court cases where the at-fault party engaged in particularly willful and negligent behavior.
How personal injury settlements are paid
It takes time to determine the exact nature of your injuries and damages, which impact how much money you’ll be able to ask for in a settlement. Section 95.11(3) of the Florida Statutes allows up to four years to file a personal injury lawsuit, but our experienced Orlando personal injury lawyers will push to negotiate a full settlement for you as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life.
Part of the negotiation process includes determining how your personal injury settlement should be paid. You have two general options:
- A lump-sum payment: Collecting a lump sum payment in the form of a check provides certain benefits. It gives you the cash flow needed for large purchases and investments, yielding profits through returns or high-interest rates.
- Structured payments: These often take the form of an annuity, which you may receive on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. This provides security in meeting current costs and future expenses while preventing any mismanagement of funds. Converting your settlement into an annuity also protects it against any creditor claims or lawsuits filed against you.
Taxes, attorney fees, and other deductions on personal injury settlements
Another question you may have is “are personal injury settlements taxable?” Under IRS guidelines, you are not required to pay taxes on any compensation you receive in a personal injury settlement for economic or non-economic damages. These include medical costs, lost wages, and pain or suffering. However, you are required to pay taxes on any punitive damages you receive. Other fees and expenses that will need to be deducted from your settlement include:
- Attorney fees: Our Orlando personal injury attorneys generally handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning you pay no attorney fees unless we get money for you. Once a settlement is reached, the standard percentage for attorney fees is 33 and 1/3 percent. This amount is often negotiated into any settlement offers you receive.
- Court costs: Filing fees and other court costs can total several hundred dollars or more. These can also be negotiated as part of your settlement.
- Outstanding medical expenses: Medical providers are often willing to defer payments in personal injury cases. Once a settlement is reached, any outstanding amounts owed will be deducted.
- Additional expenses: Depending on the complexity of your case, payments may need to be deducted for accident reconstruction experts and other experts who contributed to the success of your case.
Our Orlando personal injury lawyers will fight for your full settlement payout
At the Law Offices of Pardy & Rodriguez, we have over three decades’ worth of experience helping personal injury victims get the maximum amount they are entitled to in a settlement. Our firm is dedicated to you and makes each client a priority. To request a free consultation, give us a call or contact our Orlando personal injury lawyers online today.