Personal injuries can lead to significant setbacks for victims. Unfortunately, anytime a person is injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity, they are likely to sustain significant medical bills. Additionally, injury victims have to endure the pain and suffering caused by the injury, and they are often unable to work while they recover. When a personal injury victim is successful with a claim against an at-fault party, they will likely be awarded a settlement. Here, we want to discuss how personal injury settlements are paid out in Colorado.
Who is Owed What After the Case Is Settled?
When a settlement is finally agreed upon in a personal injury case, the claim will be over with altogether. After a settlement has been paid, there will be no way for the injury victim to go back later and ask for more money because they will have already signed a release of all future claims.
When a settlement check is handed over, it will show the total amount agreed upon by the injury victim (and their attorney) and the defendant. In general, it will not be a categorized list to show where this money should go after it has been paid. However, there are various parties that will typically need to be paid from the proceeds of the final settlement. The attorney for the injury victim will be the one to receive the settlement check, and they will disburse the funds where they should go.
Medical expenses and medical liens
First and foremost, most personal injury victims will have unpaid medical bills that need to be satisfied from the final settlement amount. In many cases, injury victims and their attorneys will be able to work with doctors to help get the bills reduced so that the injury victim can have a reasonable settlement amount left.
There are times when medical providers will file a medical lien against the personal injury claim. This is done to protect the medical provider’s right to collect any unpaid medical bills out of an eventual settlement or jury verdict. The lien will result in the medical provider’s name appearing on the settlement draft.
Courts costs and legal fees
Most personal injury lawyers in Denver will take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the injury victim will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs while their case is ongoing. However, they will have to pay an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement after the case has concluded. The percentage paid to the attorney for legal fees will depend on what the attorney and the victim agreed to initially, but this generally hovers in a range of around 30% – 35%.
We recognize that this may seem like a fairly high percentage to be paid in legal fees. However, when an injury victim works with an attorney, they generally receive much larger settlements because an attorney will understand the legal system, and they will have the resources necessary to handle every aspect of the case. Most injury victims who work with an attorney received much larger payouts, even after the legal fees have been paid.
Compensation to the injury victim
After medical bills and legal fees have been paid, the personal injury victims will generally keep the remainder of the settlement. Much of the compensation that is remaining will revolve around lost income and non-economic damages, which include the pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages.
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity in Colorado, reach out to the team at Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. to get help as soon as possible. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 303-355-7202.