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Old 07-08-2011
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,793
Default About 65-70 percent of those large awards go to attorneys........

lawyers get 50% as their contingency fee if the case goes to court, 33% if it settles. Out of the the client's remaining portion are paid all expenses. If it is a big case with experts, forensics, bla, bla, blah, the costs could eat up another 20%. The lawyers also charge for copies, usually @ a buck a page, phone calls @ .25 per minute.

In PI cases, the damages awarded are usually limited to total medical plus lost wages and future lost earning potential. So if a 20 YO was paralysed, the future lost earnings would be where the million dollar award would come in. In injury cases there are no punitive damages, unless gross neglegence is involved, a very hard thing to prove.


Medical: $100,000
lost wages 20,000
future earnings
(20Kx50) years 1,000,000

Total settlement 1,120,000

Legal Fees 560,000
Legal Expenses 80,000

Paid to Injured Party 480,000 (probably in structured settlement by judges order)

So the injured party has $480 out of a million 125, to be paid out over 20 years at maybe $2500 per month. Injured party sells the structured settlement to J.G. Wentworth for $125,000 cash and goes to Vegas for one big party, comes back and files for SS disability.

The unpaid medical bills were in there somewhere. If the doctors and hospital were smart, they filed a lein on the settlement, and it was taken out of the clients $480K before they saw a nickel. If they weren't, they could file suit and get a judgment and lien against the structured settlement.

My late cousin was a very wealth PI lawyer, I must have seen a dozen of these million dollar cases.

Real world!

There has to be a limit on a corporation's liability somewhere, otherwise every injury would go to a jury who award millions and would bankrupt the business.

Not to say all corporations are pure, but most carry adequate insurance.

Now WalMart is another case altogether. Lawyers are reluctant to sue them, because they will never settle on small cases, and on the big cases they send in the real high powered law firms. Most lawyers don't have the financial resources to fight WalMart, so they pass on cases against WalMart.
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