Michael Padway &
FUNDING ISSUES FOR PERSONAL INJURIES
You will have to deal with major financial decisions in connection with your injury. For serious personal injuries, the amount at stake may be the largest amount of money you will ever deal with in your life. Funding a major injury is expensive, complicated, and frustrating. Here is a very abbreviated place to start:
Lawyers who handle Personal Injury claims are usually paid by contingency fee - this is a percentage of the amount that is successfully recovered for the client. If there is no recovery, the personal injury lawyer does not get paid. The lawyer will usually also advance the costs of your case. This can be a very significant amount of money, because experts, court reporters, investigators, and others who help advance your case must be paid.
Very few people have enough medical coverage to handle a lifelong injury. You can exhaust even a good medical plan in the first year. There are many different ways to help fund your hospital, therapy and medical bills. How you fund your medical expenses can have a dramatic effect at the end of your case, because many medical plans, Medicare, Worker’s Compensation, and many county and state medical care payors require you to pay them back when you get a settlement. Michael Padway & Associates personal injury lawyers will deal with insurance companies and the defendant’s lawyers to get you the money you need. We understand the problems that you face if you have to pay for your early medical care from your settlement.
When the injuries are truly catastrophic, the settlement offer may seem initially like a large amount of money. In fact, it often is. The question becomes, how does this offer compare to the value of my case? Is this an amount that I should gamble against the result in a jury trial? What will be left after fees, costs, and lien claims? Did your personal injury lawyer understand all of the nuances of your injury and present them properly? How can a personal injury lawyer do that if they don’t have experience with these types of cases? Was your case presented with understanding of your specific situation and its effect? A settlement may cut off your right to benefits you are receiving, such as Medicare. After settlement, you may not qualify. Does your personal injury lawyer know how to deal with this problem? [You may want to discuss a “special needs trust” that puts the settlement into a trust that won’t disqualify you under Medicare formulas].
One option for settlement of a large case is a "structured
settlement" providing payments over a lifetime. These can present
issues in negotiation and evaluation, because there are so many factors
that can influence the value of what you are getting. Even the strength
of the insurance carrier making the payments is a
Litigating a major personal injury case involves more responsiveness and understanding of the client's needs than other cases. It involves far more involvement in the life and medical care of our clients. The level of commitment is much higher. More trust is required, and many hours are spent assessing our client’s present and future needs. This is a difficult, but personally rewarding area of personal injury work, and it is a kind of work that we have long enjoyed helping with.
You will find information on this web page about two programs
that pay benefits to people with disabilities: Social Security Disability
Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. It also provides information
on how to apply for benefits, how to obtain forms, how to obtain benefits
publications, and how to contact Social Security Online.
Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the toll-free TTY number at 1-800-325-0778 between 7 AM and 7 PM, Monday through Friday.
Disability Benefits: A Social Security Administration Online Publication (Download): http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html
Read this online booklet if you want to know more about disability benefits that are available from Social Security. Specifically, it describes who is eligible for benefits, how to apply, and what you need to know. This and other publications are available online or in booklet form by contacting the Social Security Administration. Most of the publications are also available in Spanish.
How can I find out if I am eligible for Medicare Assistance?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, which provides health insurance for 39 million Americans. Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people 65 years of age, some persons with disabilities who are under 65 years of age, and persons with end-stage kidney disease.
We recommend that you are represented by a specialized Worker’s Compensation Attorney, but it is always a good idea to be informed.
For a minor injury case, you may be just as well off handling the matter with a little guidance to avoid a mistake. However, the more money that is involved, the more incentive the insurance company has to deny your claim, or even just to stall. When the money involved becomes particularly large, the insurance companies virtually never pay without an lawyer. The best way to handle an insurance company, especially in a good case, is to immediately find a personal injury lawyer who is properly suited to handling your specific case.
If you or a loved one has been injured, call the California personal injury lawyers of Michael Padway & Associates at 415-777-1511, or fill out this online contact form. Meet with us and find out how we can help you start rebuilding your life and get you a fair settlement for your injury. Serving Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles & Ontario, California. Also serving Washington, D.C.
Michael Padway & Associates
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