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From all the cases you’ve ever seen from the headlines in newspapers reading “Injured collects 3 million” or from a website that an attorney has posted reading “Smith fights 4 years for 2.5 million” what does this really mean? If you have a personal injury case, should you expect to receive the full amount like these headlines read? Well, unfortunately no. Depending on your claim, it may not even be worth this much in the first place, a board certified personal injury attorney would be the best to help you decide the estimated value of your claim.

But if you do collect, does this money go straight into your pocket? Unfortunately not, it gets split in a number of different directions. Do you get your share first? Nope, you didn’t win the lottery from but you will get your portion in the end.a

Here’s how the break down from a personal injury case usually goes:

The medical expenses. If you used your health insurance to cover the hospital visits, x-rays, and medications then this is where the first shipment of cash goes. Doctors that performed surgery on you will also be rewarded at this point.

Cost of Trial. Preparation of the trial isn’t free for anyone, which is where a portion of the money flows. Additionally any doctors that testified will receive compensation for their time due to missed surgery, appointments with clients, etc.

Lost wages. Someone may have had to come to trial unexpectedly, which means a portion of the money will go towards sick leave reimbursement.

Lawyer contingency fee. You’ll see anything from 33% to as high as 40% of the money going to the lawyer, this all just depends on the contingency fee agreement.

The injured victim for any intangibles. You collect last, which includes scars, etc. and any other intangible.

You can order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim, to learn more about personal injury claims in Virginia.

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Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.