Basic San Antonio Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown: How Much Goes in My Pocket?

Navigating personal injury claims in San Antonio, Texas, can be overwhelming, especially when you’re already dealing with the emotional and physical aftermath of an accident. Understanding the financial breakdown is crucial for both victims and their families. So, how much do lawyers take from a settlement, how do payouts work, and how much do the victims really get?

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

After agreeing on the terms of a personal injury settlement, the money is sent to your attorney and transferred to an escrow account. This secure account, managed by a third party, holds the funds until all financial matters are taken care of. 

Your lawyer’s first responsibility is to ensure liens are satisfied and fully paid. Liens are debts owed by you to medical providers, government entities, or other third parties.

Once the liens are settled, your lawyer then takes their fee from the escrow account. The percentage a lawyer may receive in a settlement case can greatly vary. This amount is usually contingent on factors like experience, the complexity of the case, and geographical location.

Lump Sum vs. Structured Payment

So, how are settlements paid out once an agreement is reached? Personal injury settlements can be paid out in two different ways: as a lump sum or through a structured settlement. 

A lump-sum payment involves one single payout that encompasses the entirety of the compensation agreed upon in the settlement. This allows the injured party to have immediate access to the funds, which can be beneficial for those with pressing medical expenses or bills due to lost wages.

On the other hand, a structured settlement involves a series of periodic payments. This payment structure can offer better long-term financial security and may be more favorable for those with ongoing care requirements or future medical expenses related to the injury.

What Percentage Does a Lawyer Get in a Settlement Case?

Though it may vary, most personal injury attorneys in San Antonio charge a contingency fee, meaning the lawyer only gets paid if the client wins the case or settles out of court. In this scenario, the lawyer takes a percentage of the total settlement amount as their fee. 

So, what percentage do lawyers take? The usual rate for personal injury attorneys is from 33% to 40%, depending on criteria such as the complexity of the case and whether it settles or goes to trial.

It might appear that personal injury attorneys take a significant percentage – but without their expertise, you could end up with nothing. Additionally, they assume the financial risk, as they might invest hundreds of hours working on a case and never receive payment if the case doesn’t result in a favorable outcome.

Be Aware of Other Expenses

Apart from the contingency fee, there may be additional costs incurred throughout the process of your case that will ultimately be deducted from the settlement. Typical costs involve fees for expert witnesses, court filings, depositions, and private investigators, among other things.

To avoid any surprises, always request a clear and thorough explanation of what these additional costs might entail and ask your lawyer to update you on any significant expenses that arise throughout your case.

How Much To Ask for in a San Antonio Personal Injury Settlement

Calculating the appropriate compensation you should ask for in a personal injury settlement can be tricky. There isn’t a universal answer, as compensation depends on several factors. One major factor is the types of losses you’ve incurred. 

Economic damages are tangible monetary losses resulting from the injury. These include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any ongoing treatment costs.

Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life. 

In rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for exceptionally negligent or harmful behavior.

It’s essential to maintain an open line of communication with your attorney, as they will know how to determine what you’re entitled to.

Set Up a Free Case Review With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in San Antonio

In a personal injury settlement, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve is crucial to recovering and moving forward with your life. By understanding the payout process, learning how attorney fees impact your total settlement amount, and working with a skilled attorney, you can get what you’re owed.