Liens Against a Lawsuit Settlement
You may be wondering how much you will receive from your lawsuit settlement. It depends on what liens you have on your case.
What is a Lien?
Liens are claims against a personal injury settlement to pay a debt owed by the plaintiff. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff doesn’t pay the costs of the case upfront, but rather if and when they receive a settlement.
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. Basically they work for free unless you win your case. Typically attorneys collect 33% of the settlement, or 40% if the case goes to trial, which rarely happens. In a workers’ compensation case the fees vary by state from 10-25% of the benefits.
Medical Expense Liens
If you were involved in an accident chances are you were treated for your injuries. In many instances the victim does not have health insurance or their insurance does not cover all of their expenses. Medical providers will pursue payment of bills through a settlement lien.
Health insurers such as government employee plans, ERISA plans, workman’s comp, Medicaid and Medicare can also assert a medical lien on the victim’s settlement.
In some states there is a no-fault law, which requires the insurance company to pay for all or a portion of the medical expenses regardless of who is at fault.
Child Support Lien
If you owe child support the insurance company paying your settlement will make sure to pay this before you receive any money. A child support lien gives the person collecting it interest in the payee’s (person who owes it) property, which includes a lawsuit settlement.
Lawsuit Funding Lien
Lawsuit funding is commonly taken out by plaintiffs of personal injury cases. When a person is injured they are often out of work and money becomes tight. Lawsuit funding enables them to get by in the short-term while their attorney fights for their maximum compensation.
Instead of taking a settlement offer out of desperation, lawsuit funding levels the playing field between the plaintiff and the deep-pocketed insurance company. Lawsuit funding is paid out from the settlement after the prior liens are paid, but before the plaintiff receives their portion. Lawsuit funding companies will use the other lien amounts to determine how much they can lend to a client.
What am I left with?
After all the above liens are paid the plaintiff receives the remainder of the settlement. In the event that your case is settled for a small amount, your attorney can negotiate with the lienholders to increase the amount you receive. However, each of these lienholders rendered a service and expect to be paid what they deserve. The attorney is an expert in law that prepares and fights your case for you. The ambulance, hospital, doctors and nurses all helped you when you were in pain. The lawsuit funding company gave you cash to keep paying your bills while your case took longer than expected.
Bridgeway Legal Funding
Bridgeway Legal Funding is a lawsuit funding company. We charge low, simple rates to our clients leaving them with larger settlements. If you have a pending lawsuit and you need cash, but want to maximize your settlement call us today at 800-531-4066!