How Much of My Car Accident Settlement Will I Actually Keep?

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Thanks to high profile cases and fictitious lawsuits on television, people think car accident injuries result in massive payouts. Some believe they’ll walk away with millions of dollars for themselves. However, this isn’t the case. The point of a personal injury lawsuit is to help you recover your losses. This means the money you get will largely go towards covering your expenses. Multi-million-dollar insurance claims and lawsuits are rare. Even then, victims still won’t get to keep all the money they’re awarded.

It’s important to remember that you can only claim damages for losses you actually suffered. Your Indiana car accident lawyer will work hard to make you whole, but they probably won’t make you rich. It would be unethical to try to get you money you don’t actually deserve, regardless of what you see on TV. In this post, we’ll look at some of the factors that will determine how much money you get to keep. Your lawyer should inform you about all the things which apply to your case, so you’ll have realistic expectations.

Factors Your Lawyer Will Consider When Negotiating Your Settlement

Several things determine how much you can claim in compensation. These include:

  • How much of your medical expenses were covered by your insurance
  • How much your medical bills are expected to be in the future
  • How badly your vehicle was damaged
  • How much you owe in legal fees
  • How much you have to pay your attorneys


For most car accident victims, health-related bills account for a large part of the settlement. However, if your claim included non-economic damages like pain and suffering, this money will be for you. The more serious your injuries are, the higher your losses and expenses are likely to be. If you suffered a permanent or long-term disability, you can therefore file a claim for more than someone whose injuries are minor and temporary. Your Indiana car accident lawyer will do everything possible to get fair and full compensation for you.

How Your Medical Bills Will Get Paid

When you get into an accident, you may go to the hospital. Going to the emergency room may cost you a few thousand dollars and if you need to be hospitalized for a while, you’ll be looking at tens of thousands of dollars. Surgery and long-term physical therapy will drive up the costs even more.

If you have private medical insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, the insurer will cover at least part of the costs. However, if you were involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the insurer will expect to be reimbursed when you receive compensation from the at-fault party. They will take a lien against your lawsuit, so they get paid first when you settle your case or win in court.

Other Expenses That Need to Be Paid

Your medical bills will likely be your biggest concern, but they aren’t the only expense you have to consider. Your attorney will take your case for free but once they secure compensation for you, you will need to pay. There are lots of costs associated with building a case, even if it doesn’t go all the way to trial. Some of the things you may have to pay your attorney include:

  • Discovery
  • Filing fees
  • Expert witnesses
  • Travel costs for witnesses
  • Transportation costs
  • Postage, copies, and supplies


These could add up to thousands of dollars in some cases. Finally, you’ll have to pay your attorney for their work. Attorney’s fees usually amount to between 30 and 40 percent of your total settlement.

As you can see, you won’t be able to keep all of your settlement. However, you’ll be able to pay your bills, get compensation for lost wages, and recover other economic and non-economic losses. This will relieve your financial burden and help you to move on with your life. In order to ensure you get all the money to which you’re entitled, you should work with a skilled, experienced attorney.

Contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood Today

The days and months following a car accident can be very difficult. In addition to dealing with painful and debilitating injuries, many victims find themselves dealing with financial difficulties. Fortunately, you can fight for the compensation you deserve with help from one of our car accident lawyers in Indiana. We offer prospective clients a free initial consultation and if you decide to hire us, you won’t have to pay us upfront. You’ll be able to focus on your recovery while we handle all the legal matters. Schedule your consultation today.

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