Texas Personal Injury Blog
Last Updated : June 10, 2024

How Personal Injury Settlements Are Paid Out in Texas

Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

If you’ve suffered harm due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. How are personal injury settlements paid out in Beaumont, TX? After successfully negotiating a settlement or winning a verdict in court, you might wonder how and when you will receive your settlement funds.

Reaching a Settlement Agreement

Before diving into how settlements are paid out, it is essential to understand how you can reach a settlement agreement. In most personal injury cases, the injured party and the at-fault party’s insurance company will negotiate to determine a fair settlement amount. This process may involve back-and-forth discussions, evidence presentation, and possibly mediation.

During the negotiation, your personal injury attorney will present evidence of your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They will use their experience and knowledge of similar cases to argue for a fair settlement on your behalf. At the same time, the insurance company will likely minimize the settlement offer to protect its bottom line.

Mediation may be necessary if the two parties cannot agree through initial negotiations. In mediation, a neutral third party facilitates discussions between you and the insurance company to help you find common ground and reach a mutually acceptable settlement.

Once both parties agree on a settlement amount, you will sign a settlement agreement. This legally binding document outlines the settlement terms, including the compensation amount and any conditions you must meet before the funds are released.

Receiving Settlements for Injury Cases

After signing the settlement agreement, the insurance company typically has a specified period to process the payment, usually within 30 days. However, before you receive the funds, you must complete several steps:

  • Release of Liability – You must sign a release of liability form stating that you agree not to pursue further legal action against the at-fault party in exchange for the settlement. This form ensures that the case is fully resolved and prevents you from seeking additional compensation in the future.
  • Lien Resolution – If any liens are attached to your settlement, such as medical bills or child support arrears, these must be resolved before you receive your portion of the funds. Liens are legal claims against your settlement that give the lienholder the right to be paid out of the settlement proceeds. Your attorney will work to negotiate with lienholders to minimize the impact on your final payout.
  • Attorney Fees and Costs – If you hired a personal injury attorney to represent you, their fees and associated costs will be deducted from the settlement amount, as agreed upon in your initial contract. Personal injury attorneys often work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
  • Case Expenses – In addition to attorney fees, any case-related expenses, such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, and the cost associated with obtaining medical records, will also be deducted from the settlement amount. Your attorney will provide you an itemized list of these expenses.

Once these steps are completed, your lawyer will receive the settlement check from the insurance company. They will then deposit the check into a trust account and disburse the funds to the appropriate parties, including any lienholders and themselves, for their fees and costs. Finally, you will receive your portion of the settlement by check or electronic transfer.

Understanding Injury Compensation

When pursuing a personal injury claim, you may seek compensation for a variety of losses. Possible damages you could recover include:

  • Economic Damages – Economic damages include tangible losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Medical expenses encompass all costs related to treating your injuries, such as hospital bills, doctor visits, medications, and rehabilitation. Lost wages refer to the income you lost due to missing work because of your injuries.
  • Non-Economic Damages – This refers to intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the physical discomfort and emotional anguish caused by your injuries. Emotional distress is the psychological impact of the accident, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Loss of enjoyment of life acknowledges that your injuries no longer allow you to participate in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Punitive Damages – In rare cases involving fraud, malice, or gross negligence, a Texas court may award punitive or exemplary damages to punish the at-fault party and discourage similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim but to convey that the at-fault party’s actions were unacceptable and intolerable.

Payout Process for Injury Settlements

The payout process for personal injury settlements in Texas can vary depending on the specifics of your case, but generally follows these steps:

  • Signing the Settlement Agreement – Once you and the at-fault party’s insurance company agree on a settlement amount, you will sign a settlement agreement outlining the settlement terms.
  • Processing the Payment – The insurance company will process the payment, which typically takes up to 30 days. During this time, the company will issue a check to your attorney’s trust account.
  • Resolving Liens and Expenses – Your attorney will resolve any liens attached to your settlement and deduct their fees and costs from the settlement amount. This process ensures that all parties with a legal claim to a portion of the settlement funds are paid accordingly.
  • Disbursing the Funds – Your attorney will disburse the remaining funds to you by check or electronic transfer. If you opt for a check, your attorney will mail it to you or arrange for you to pick it up at their office. If you prefer an electronic transfer, your attorney will transfer the funds directly to your bank account.

Contact Portner Bond, PLLC to Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim

The personal injury settlement process in Beaumont, TX, can be confusing, especially when you’re already dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of an accident. Understanding how settlements are paid out and what to expect during the process can make you feel more confident and informed throughout the claims process.

Don’t face the challenges of a personal injury claim alone. Contact Portner Bond, PLLC today at (409) 838-4444 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you pursue the settlement you need to move forward with your life. Let us manage the legal process while you focus on your recovery and well-being.