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A personal injury lien is a third party’s right to take some or all of your settlement to satisfy repayment for an advance of money or services. In a personal injury case, this is most frequently a cash advance or medical treatment on lien.
Treating on liens means the healthcare provider does not ask for any up front payment for the treatment. Instead, the injured party or their attorney signs a document guaranteeing the provider will be paid from the personal injury settlement (usually before you are).
Every case is different, and it really depends on several key factors that we discuss here.
But in general, our research shows that the average successful personal injury case takes around 1.5 years from the day the accident occurs to the day the injured person receives their check. But remember, this is an average. Some cases settle in as little as a few weeks, while others can take much longer or not settle at all.
The value of a personal injury case is determined by the severity of the case, largely tied to the injuries. PI cases are calculated using the medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatment and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is the least predictable number in this equation. There’s no set equation, but this number is a monetary way to compensate for the pain, inconvenience and impact to your life caused by your injuries.
Diminished value (DV) is the cost of your car’s loss of reputation (yes, your car has a reputation) following an accident. Even if your car is repaired by a quality and qualified professional using all the necessary procedures to restore it back to its pre-accident condition, potential buyers won’t be willing to pay the same price. That difference in the pre-accident value of your car to the post-repair value of the car is how diminished value is calculated.
Once you have accepted an offer from the insurance company, your attorney will work with the insurance company and prepare final settlement documents for you to review and sign. Once final settlement documents are signed, your attorney will request the insurance company to send the settlement check. While you wait for the settlement check from your attorney, any outstanding bills and liens will be resolved. Once your attorney has received the settlement check from the insurance company, they will distribute your proceeds directly to you via check or ACH/wire transfer.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency model. This means that you pay nothing up front, there’s no hourly rate for the time the lawyer spends on your case; instead the lawyer will take a percentage of your settlement if it settles. If you happen to lose your case, you owe nothing.
After a crash the most important thing to do is ensure you and everyone in your car are safe. If you are safe and able, you should get photos of the scene and of the vehicles and exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers. You should try to get any information that proves the accident happened and document as many details as possible.
In order to pursue a personal injury settlement, there must be another party responsible for the accident who is able to personally, or more commonly through insurance, provide compensation. You must also have suffered damages in the form of a physical injury or emotional trauma.
Once you sign up with Mighty you will be paired with a Mighty case manager. We have a team of people (including your Mighty Law lawyer) who specialize in each area of your case; car repairs and rental, medical providers and treatment, settlement and negotiations, and a whole lot more. You will have direct access to your team through a single contact and you can reach them by email, text, phone or even by scheduling a video call.
Your Mighty case manager will stay with you from intake until your case settles. They will also be available to you anytime you need them down the road.
If you sign up with Mighty, your Mighty Law lawyer and the Mighty team will take over dealing with all the insurance companies involved in providing coverage. We will work with your insurance to understand your benefits under all applicable policies - the most common are your auto insurance and health insurance companies. We will confirm coverage, policy limits, and benefits. Then we will work with the insurance companies to get your bills paid and resolve your case. This includes car repairs, diminished value, medical bills, time missed from work and any other aspects of your personal injury settlement that come up.
While we will work hard to make sure you receive just compensation for your case, not every case resolves in the client’s favor. If you don’t recover, you don’t owe Mighty anything.
Mighty Law, like most personal injury firms, works on a contingency basis. That means you only pay us a fee if you win - meaning you get a monetary settlement. If that doesn’t happen, we absorb the cost of the time and other expenses we incurred in your case. You won’t get a bill at the end or be responsible for any of it.
Mighty will even ensure you have the resources to move forward with things like getting your car repaired and understanding your options for treatment so you can move forward with your life.
Get started by filling out our form here. We will obtain your contact information as well as the details of your case. It is important to provide us with as much information as possible about the accident and how you’re feeling. Once we have collected all the information, a Mighty Law attorney will review your case, and determine if its lawyers and the Mighty team can assist you. Once it’s been determined your case fits our criteria, we will send you a client agreement from Mighty Law to electronically sign via email or text. The client agreement is the first step of a case and allows Mighty and Mighty Law to speak to the insurance companies on your behalf. Our team will be there for you to walk you through each step and answer any questions you may have!
With Mighty, you'll have 60 days from starting to try out the service without any commitment. If you leave during that time, you'll never owe us anything even for the legal work and expenses we incurred up to that point. We do this because we think it's important that people are able to try us out before committing. And even once the 60 days are over, you'll only pay if and when you win your case.
Simply stated, Mighty Law’s fees are lower than what a traditional personal injury firm charges which is 33-40% of your gross settlement as a fee. Mighty Law starts with a fee that is 10% lower than and gives 10% back on medical costs not covered by workers compensation or health insurance, and 10% back on other expenses directly related to your case, including borrowing fees.
Mighty knows that recovering from your injuries is much harder if you are worried about your car and how you are going to get around so we will help you resolve every aspect of getting your car repaired.
Your Mighty case manager includes a property damage expert who, along with your attorney, can assist with each phase of your property damage claim. This includes:
- Analyzing available coverage - whether to use your insurance or the other parties’ for car repairs
- Understanding repair options and dealing with a deductible
- If your car cannot be repaired, helping you to get a fair settlement to buy a new car
- Rental car or other transportation
- Diminished value claim
Some people may be fortunate after their accident to have friends and family who are willing to help financially. Certainly, you can coordinate with those friends and family privately if they’re willing to help. But, we also know that some friends and family may feel more inclined to give you a loan if it’s likely they’ll get paid back. We can do a few things to help:
- With your permission, we can talk to your friends and family so they feel more comfortable that you have a good case and you’ll actually get a settlement.
- We can facilitate (at no charge) an interest-free loan between you and your friend or family member. Some friends and family may feel more confortable giving you a loan if it’s more formalized. And Mighty can guarantee to pay back your friend or family member from the settlement. To learn more about friends and family loans click here.
If your health insurance company paid your medical bills after your accident, they can file a claim to recover what they paid from your settlement later. This is called subrogation. Many health insurance policies have a subrogation clause in the fine print. How much they can recover depends on the policy, and Mighty and your attorney can help you evaluate your policy so you can choose the best path forward.
Yes, definitely. If you don’t have health insurance or the ability to pay directly, you have the option to treat on a lien or letter of protection (LOP). This means the healthcare provider does not ask for insurance or money up front, and instead you or your lawyer signs an agreement promising to pay the provider back from the personal injury settlement before you receive your share.
At Mighty, we have a broad network of healthcare providers who accept personal injury liens and LOPs. Note of caution: treating on lien is often more expensive than going through health insurance or paying up front. That said, you'll only have to pay if and when your case settles.
It’s possible your auto insurance policy includes Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay). If so, Med Pay will provide a specific amount of coverage for you (and your passengers’) medical expenses from a car accident regardless of who was at fault. These can help pay for hospital stays, medication, physical therapy, and more.
Med Pay is automatically included in your policy if you live in Pennsylvania, Maine, or New Hampshire.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is similar to Med Pay but also includes lost wages and other expenses arising from a car accident, regardless of who was at fault.
PIP is automatically included in your policy if you live in one of these states: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.
You’re not alone. After an accident, people who are injured may not be able to work or may have extra expenses because of their accident and injuries. Mighty recognizes this is a critical time for you and wants to help you get through it.
You have lots of options, although none as ideal as your case settling lightning fast and getting your payout - but that’s rare. Here’s some things to consider:
- Friends and family loans: If your friends or family are able to lend you money interest-free, Mighty can work with them to feel comfortable and secure that if your case settles successfully, they’ll get paid back directly out of your settlement proceeds. To learn more about friends and family loans click here.
- Grants and charitable gifts: Some people, for example those with children or who are experiencing homelessness, may be eligible for government grants or private charitable donations. We’ll work with you to explore if you may be eligible.
- Plaintiff financing advance: This is an option where you sell or assign a portion of your settlement to a financial company in exchange for upfront money. Usually, the interest and fees are more expensive than a typical loan or even credit card interest. The benefit to a plaintiff finance advance is if you lose your case, you'll be able to keep the advance you already have without owing anything back.
If your financial situation is stable, there’s likely no need to seek money before your case settles. But for many injured people, the accident can make it difficult to pay the bills or cause them to settle their case for less than they should. Getting cash to cover important expenses can cover your expenses now so that you get the settlement you deserve in the future.
Financing companies are often willing to give more money as long as the amount advanced remains below 10% of the value. If the first company you get financing from doesn’t approve you for more financing, but you find another company that does, that company may need to “buyout” the first financing company since financing companies often prohibit multiple fundings on a single case. These “buyouts” are expensive as they can often compound the rates and fees you pay.
Every case is different. Your attorney’s reputation, how far along your case is, and the individual merits of your case all factor into what financing companies might offer.
Plaintif financing rates tend to be higher than loans or credit card advances. One reason for this is that legal financing is non-recourse. This means that if your case loses, you owe nothing.
Rates vary from finance company to finance company. The typical ballpark cost could roughly equal 40% per year. That means if a financier advanced you $5,000 against your case and your case took 2 years, you’d pay back the $5,000 you received plus a $4,000 return.
A plaintiff financing advance is when you sell or assign a portion of your settlement to a financial company in exchange for upfront money. They are almost always structured to be non-recourse and not a loan, meaning if your case loses, you keep the money and pay nothing back. If you win, you reimburse the money plus any fees and further returns you agreed to at the time of the advance. Usually, these fees and returns are more expensive than a typical loan or even credit card interest.
While lawsuits can compensate you for expenses incurred as a result of a defendant’s actions, this can take a while, usually months or even years. During that time, expenses can pile up in the form of rent, bills, food, medical costs, etc., many of which have accumulated as a result of the events which led to your claim. Injured people use financing to help bridge the gap between their immediate needs and an expected settlement.