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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Licensed to Practice Law
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my case is settled,(car accident settlement). What other fees

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my case is settled,(car accident settlement). What other fees besides my attorney's 33% if there are any, should I expect to be taken out of the settlement money. Are there hidden charges from my attorney?Or maybe something in the contract with the attorney I signed and overlooked?

question 2- My attorney told me there is a law not allowing me to take out my cut without using a structured annuity. is this true ? And Is this the best option? He wants me to agree to a structured settlement annuity before knowing what my cut is going to be, i only know the settlement amount agreed and that he takes 33%. Hopefully you can help Thanks !!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Q: What other fees besides my attorney's 33% if there are any, should I expect to be taken out of the settlement money. Are there hidden charges from my attorney?Or maybe something in the contract with the attorney I signed and overlooked?
A: You will also have to pay any costs that the attorney incurred. For example, if you had an expert witness prepare a statement, then that expert will need to be paid. You would have to cover that cost. Or if the attorney had to send documents somewhere via FedEx, then you will have to pay for that. In other words, the 33% is literally just the attorney's fees and does not generally cover any other expenses associated with the litigation. People sometimes overlook that, but it's no different than being charged for the doctor's fees, and also being separately charged for lab work or x-rays. In addition, it's also possible that you incurred medical bills as a result of the accident. If so, and if those bills have not yet been paid, then it's possible that your attorney will have to pay those unpaid bills from the settlement before giving you the remainder.

Q: My attorney told me there is a law not allowing me to take out my cut without using a structured annuity. is this true ? And Is this the best option?
A: No, that is not the law. You can agree on a structured settlement, or you can refuse and demand a lump sum. It is up to the parties. You do not have to agree to it (and if the law required it, then why is he asking for your agreement?). As for whether you should take it, that depends. Generally speaking, if you demand a lump sum, then you'll probably be offered less. The reason, of course, is that a dollar is worth more now than it will be in the future. So, it's likely a question of whether you'd like a steady stream of income or a lump sum now. I will point out that structured settlements get tax benefits, but you'll need to speak to a CPA about that, and you'll need to know that amount that you will get of course.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated.

Thank you for using our service!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank You for the response ! Can you clarify when you said it is up to the parties on the last question? Does this mean the settlement amount and agreement is based on my side agreeing to a structured settlement ?

 

Another question of mine would be. Does the attorney or insurance companies make any money of structured settlements? Im asking this because he is pushing for this adamantly, and makes me wonder why.

 

If I go for a Lump Sum is it tax free ? (probably not but worth asking)

 

I am dissapointed that my attorney would tell me that taking out my cut is against the law without a structured settlement, makes me trust him less now.

 

Also,He has already presented me with different lifetime benefit plans from a structured settlement firm of his choice, with an initial investment amount that he thinks is right and expects me to choose a plan in the next couple of days. How much control over this do I really have? and what should be my next step in handling this situation the right way. Thanks Again

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

Q: Can you clarify when you said it is up to the parties on the last question? Does this mean the settlement amount and agreement is based on my side agreeing to a structured settlement ?
A: You do not have to agree to any settlement. It is purely your choice. You can make a counteroffer with different terms, or you can tell them forget it and continue moving forward with the trial. It is entirely up to you. I imagine your attorney will be upset if you demand a trial instead of taking the settlement, but it is ultimately up to you. You can demand any terms you'd like, whether it be a lump sum, or a structured annuity.

Q: If I go for a Lump Sum is it tax free ? (probably not but worth asking)
A: No, lump sums are not tax free. However, compensation for pain & suffering is tax free. Compensation for lost wages is not tax free since you would have had to pay taxes on the wages if you weren't injured.

Q: How much control over this do I really have? and what should be my next step in handling this situation the right way.
A: Well, like I wrote above, it is your choice as to whether or not to accept what is being offered. You ultimately have the final say. Your attorney cannot make that decision for you ... he can merely advise you. In general, I would be apt to take his advice simply because he likely handles many similar cases and knows what is best in this situation. On the other hand, I understand your point about him telling you that you had no choice under the law, when in fact there is no law requiring structured settlements in auto accident cases. I'd probably ask the lawyer to explain why he thinks that the structured settlement is better than a lump sum. He may have very good reasons.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your expertise.


How do I know what part of the settlement amount is pain and suffering? Ive already asked for a document with the settlement amount agreed by both parties signed by the judge, my attorney told me this document wouldnt exist because the final amount decision was agreed over the phone with the judge, is this possible ? Im looking for a document at this point to tell me what amount is pain and suffering and what is something else.. does this document exist ?

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

Q: How do I know what part of the settlement amount is pain and suffering?
A: That can be agreed upon and specifically mentioned in the settlement agreement.

Q: Ive already asked for a document with the settlement amount agreed by both parties signed by the judge, my attorney told me this document wouldnt exist because the final amount decision was agreed over the phone with the judge, is this possible ?
A: That's possible, but it's not final. In other words, your attorney can get an offer over the phone, and it can even be agreed to over the phone, but either your attorney or the other party's attorney will need to draft the written settlement agreement. So, it's possible that as of now there is no written settlement agreement, but there should certainly be one in the future.

Q: Im looking for a document at this point to tell me what amount is pain and suffering and what is something else.. does this document exist ?
A: It should. One of the attorneys should draft such an agreement for both parties to sign.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. After receiving a Lump sum is there a law saying I cant Invest in an annuity after receiving it ? I asked this question to my attorney. And his answer was "its against the law".


 


Also, would you be able to explain why my attorney hesitant to show me paperwork of this "agreement" of both parties, is there any law behind this?(not likely but worth asking)


 


All Ive seen is a "release" agreeing to a settlement amount, would that release have explained which part of the amount is from pain and suffering?

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

Q: After receiving a Lump sum is there a law saying I cant Invest in an annuity after receiving it ? I asked this question to my attorney. And his answer was "its against the law".
A: No, there is no such law. If you were to get a lump sum, then you can do anything you want with it. It's your money.

Q: Also, would you be able to explain why my attorney hesitant to show me paperwork of this "agreement" of both parties, is there any law behind this?(not likely but worth asking)
A: I couldn't begin to guess why your attorney won't show you the paperwork. It's certainly a bit odd, and I'd likely be a little suspicious. He should show you everything. It's your case ... he's just representing you.

Q: All Ive seen is a "release" agreeing to a settlement amount, would that release have explained which part of the amount is from pain and suffering?
A: Generally, yes. Usually, a settlement agreement states that the plaintiff agrees to release the defendant in exchange for $X. Such a release can be written so that it breaks down the amount for pain & suffering. I will note, however, that it's possible (and even likely) that the insurance company gave your attorney a boilerplate release form and will not use any other form. It depends on whether the insurance company has counsel, or whether it hasn't gotten that far yet and the insurance company is representing itself against your attorney (in which case it will have boilerplates).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is it possible that the whole settlement amount is based off pain and suffering, in other words is there a chance that I could get my cut entirely tax free, is there other cases that this has happened?


 


Im asking this because, I believe most of the settlement amount was based off my pain, suffering,injuries,and psychological trauma from this accident. Question:Under law,Do injuries fall under pain and suffering ?

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

Q: Is it possible that the whole settlement amount is based off pain and suffering, in other words is there a chance that I could get my cut entirely tax free, is there other cases that this has happened?
A: Definitely. It depends on what your damages were. For example, if you didn't miss any work because of the accident, then you wouldn't be able to claim lost wages. In that instance, perhaps all of the claim would be tax free.

Q: Under law,Do injuries fall under pain and suffering ?
A: Generally speaking, if you are injured by a party who acted negligently, then you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. Granted, there may be occasions when the pain and suffering is slight or non-existent. But if you had pain and suffering, then you are entitled to compensation for that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You have been amazing sir. I could have not asked for a better expert.


 


Last Question: I had injuries, pain and suffering, psychological trauma with this accident, are ALL of these compensated tax free ?


 


THANK YOU ! You will be rated as Excellent Service !!! let me know if I can recommend you in any other way !!!!!

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

Q: I had injuries, pain and suffering, psychological trauma with this accident, are ALL of these compensated tax free ?
A: Generally, compensation for those are tax free. They are not income because they merely compensate you for injury.

Thank you very much for the complement, and thank you for using our service. I truly wish you the best in resolving this settlement.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 9701
Experience: Licensed to Practice Law
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