If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s wrongdoing, you deserve fair compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Personal injury settlements can help offset the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic losses. But since the whole personal injury process is likely new to you, you might wonder how these settlements are paid out. This blog post, brought to you by the experienced Illinois personal injury attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C., will walk you through the process of receiving a personal injury settlement in Illinois.
Step 1: Calculate Losses
Before you can receive a settlement, your attorney must calculate the total value of the losses you have incurred due to your injury. These losses can be economic, like medical expenses and lost wages, or non-economic, like pain and suffering. Your attorney will gather documentation to support your claim, including:
- Medical records
- Doctor’s notes
- Employment documents
- Witness statements
This evidence will help determine the compensation you should receive.
Step 2: Negotiate a Settlement
Once your attorney has calculated the value of your losses, they will send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This letter will detail your injuries, the basis for your claim, and the amount of compensation you are seeking. The insurance company will then review your demand and may counter with a lower settlement offer. Your attorney will negotiate to help you receive the maximum compensation possible. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of your case and the willingness of the insurance company to settle your claim.
Step 3: Accept a Settlement Offer
When you and the at-fault party’s insurance company agree on a settlement amount, you will sign a settlement agreement and a release form. The release stipulates that you will not pursue any further legal action related to your injury in exchange for the agreed-upon compensation. It is vital to have your attorney review this document before you sign it to ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions and that there are no surprise terms in the document.
Step 4: Receive Your Settlement Payment
After you sign the release form, the insurance company will process your payment. In Illinois, insurance companies must pay the settlement amount within 30 days of receiving the signed release. If you have an attorney, the settlement payment will be sent to their offices. They will subtract their agreed-upon fees and costs from the settlement amount and issue the rest to you.
You may receive your payment as a lump sum or structured settlement, depending on the terms of your agreement.
Lump Sum Payment
Most personal injury settlements come as a single lump sum payment. This method allows you to receive the entire settlement amount at once, giving you immediate access to funds for medical bills and other expenses. However, a lump sum payment also comes with the responsibility of managing the money yourself, which may be challenging for some people.
In some cases, you may receive your settlement through a structured payment plan. A structured settlement provides regular, tax-free payments over a specific period. This method can offer long-term financial stability and may be especially helpful in cases involving severe injuries or ongoing medical care.
Step 5: Pay Outstanding Debts
Unless your attorney did so when they received your settlement check, you must take care of any outstanding debts related to your injury when you get your settlement. These may include medical bills, liens, or loans taken out to cover expenses while you awaited your settlement.
Step 6: Plan for the Future
Finally, it is vital to plan for your future after receiving a personal injury settlement. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need ongoing medical care, therapy, home modifications, or other accommodations. Work with your attorney, financial planner, or another trusted professional to ensure that your settlement funds will last for as long as you need them.
Contact Spiros Law, P.C. Today
Partnering with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can make all the difference in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, contact Spiros Law, P.C. today. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team is here to help you understand your legal rights, protect your interests, and fight for the compensation you deserve. With our experience, knowledge, and skill, you can focus on your recovery while we handle the details of your personal injury case.