You've sustained debilitating injuries in an accident that was caused by another party. You know that he was insured, but you're uncertain about what that really means. You might have heard that insurance companies are taking a hard line on paying out large settlements. In the meantime, your hospital bills, medical expenses, mortgage payments, and everything else that you aren't able to pay while you're out of work are mounting.
Insurers know what you're going through, which is why they are often so successful at settling for a lesser amount than what they may eventually be obligated by the Texas civil courts to pay. However, before you accept a seemingly large sum of money from an insurance company or their attorneys, there are some things that you need to know about the money that you'll actually be receiving.
Attorney Contingency Fees – If you've retained the services of a Texas personal injury lawyer, it's likely that he is going to be compensated on a contingency basis. Because the attorney only gets paid if you do, he or she must be compensated for the assumed risk. Because Texas does not place limits on attorney contingency fees, they can be anywhere up to 40% of the settlement amount. It is important to note that the attorney's slice of the pie may be well justified if the settlement is increased (or not diminished) because of his or her involvement.
Medical Expenses – Naturally a settlement should cover your doctors' bills, emergency care, physical therapy, medication, and any other money that was paid or credited to you during your recovery. Medical care creditors will be reimbursed from the proceeds of your settlement.
Insurance Companies – If you've made a claim to your insurance carrier, they will also seek compensation from your settlement. Before considering a settlement, you should also be aware as to the amount that your insurers are expecting to recover.
Calculating the amount left over after a settlement can be complicated. In addition to the above mentioned components, there are also lost wages, pain, and suffering. You may find that the actual sum that you'll receive after deductions is inadequate to your needs. Before accepting any settlement from an insurance company or their designee, you should consult with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney.