Structured Settlements in North Carolina Personal Injury Cases – All You Need to Know

The objective of a personal injury case is for the injured plaintiff to prove liability for their damages and to recover compensation for those damages from the defendant who injured them. While it is possible for a plaintiff to receive a lump sum, it is vital to understand what to expect from structured settlements in North Carolina personal injury cases. These payment plans are common in cases in which defendants cannot afford to pay out lump sum settlements.

What Are Structured Settlements in Personal Injury Cases?

A structured settlement is essentially a payment plan for a personal injury claim. When you are able to successfully prove fault for your recent personal injury, you have the right to claim compensation for any and all damages the defendant inflicted. Your personal injury lawyer will assist you with accurately calculating your claimable damages, and they will also play an important role in disbursing your payment after receiving a settlement or case award.

It’s possible for the victim of a personal injury to recover compensation from the defendant’s insurance. If their claimable damages fall within the scope of the defendant’s coverage limits of their insurance policy, the insurance company will likely issue a single lump sum payment to the injured claimant. However, if the plaintiff does not fully recover through insurance, or if insurance won’t pay for all of their damages, they need to file a personal injury suit.

The plaintiff in a personal injury case may be able to claim far more compensation than they initially expected. If insurance comes into play, a successful insurance claim may only cover a portion of the total damages. Their personal injury suit effectively accounts for the remainder. As long as the defendant is proven to be entirely responsible for the injury, they are entirely liable for all associated damages.

If the defendant does not have the ability to pay the entire settlement in a single lump sum, the parties involved in the case will need to work out a structured settlement. Their respective attorneys can negotiate the exact terms, including the amount of each payment, the frequency of payments, and how many payments must be made to resolve the case.

If you are required to pay attorneys’ fees, a portion of each payment will go to your attorney. If you are able to claim attorneys’ fees from the defendant, it will not diminish your recovery. Most personal injury attorneys represent their clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning their fee is a percentage of the total compensation recovered from the defendant.

Many personal injuries result in severe damages that adversely affect the victim’s life in various ways, sometimes for years to come and sometimes permanently. A structured settlement can be an invaluable recovery option for a plaintiff in this situation as it can provide ongoing financial security. Whether you are able to recover a lump sum payment or a structured settlement, having legal counsel you trust is invaluable for ensuring the fullest possible recovery.


Q: How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

A: In North Carolina, personal injury settlements are typically paid out in three possible ways. The first would be a lump sum if the defendant is able to pay the total compensation owed to the plaintiff in a single payment. The second would be a structured settlement, which is essentially a payment plan that enables the defendant to pay what they owe over time. Third, trust funds may be created when a plaintiff is a minor or in other circumstances.

Q: How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?

A: In North Carolina, pain and suffering compensation can be calculated in various ways. There is no set formula that a plaintiff must use to determine pain and suffering compensation, nor is there a cap on pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury cases. Your attorney can help you determine a suitable amount that reflects the severity of the harm you suffered and the scope of any long-term or permanent effects you are likely to face.

Q: How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

A: The potential value of your personal injury claim in the state hinges on multiple variables. As long as you can prove the defendant is entirely at fault for your damages, you can hold them accountable for all the economic losses you suffered from their actions and the pain and suffering they inflicted. Your attorney can help you maximize the total compensation you obtain from a successful personal injury suit.

Q: Can I Resolve My Personal Injury Case Privately?

A: Yes, it is possible to resolve your personal injury case privately in the state as long as both you and the defendant are willing to compromise in settlement negotiations. This process allows all parties involved to have more control over the final outcome of the case and keep the proceedings private. However, if a settlement does not work out, the case will need to be resolved in litigation.

Q: What Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A: The cost to hire a personal injury lawyer can depend on the lawyer’s billing policy. In the state, the majority of personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis. If you have a contingency fee agreement with your attorney, your fee will be a percentage of the total compensation they secure for you. Once you receive your settlement, your attorney will subtract their legal fees and then disburse the remainder.

Christina Rivenbark & Associates strives to help every one of our clients maximize their recovery. If you believe that you have grounds to file a personal injury suit, trust our firm to guide you through the process of filing your claim and uncovering all the available avenues of compensation you can seek from the defendant. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we provide.

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