Only a handful of personal injury cases ever go to trial. This is because most personal injury lawsuits in Kamuela, Hawaii result in negotiated settlements. The terms of these settlements can vary depending on the facts of each case. However, most settlements involve an agreement to dismiss an injury claim in exchange for a monetary payment.
WE’LL FIGHT FOR YOU
Category: Personal Injury Law
For the most part, you will not pay taxes on your personal injury settlements in Hawaii. That being said, there are circumstances where your settlement could leave you with some form of tax obligation. In some cases, it is possible to avoid these obligations through careful tax planning.
The best way to ensure you do not overpay for taxes on your personal injury settlement is by working with a seasoned attorney. The right legal counsel could help you not only secure fair compensation for your injuries, but also to understand how it might impact your tax bill as well.
Generally The Compensation For Personal Injury Settlements Are Not Taxable
For the most part, anything receive from an insurance company or defendant as part of a personal injury settlement will not be treated as taxable income by the government. It makes no difference if you resolve your case early on in the process, or if a settlement is reached after a lawsuit has been filed.
The prevailing rule when it comes to both state and federal taxes is that your settlement will not be taxed if it is compensation for a physical injury. This is true for both negotiated settlements and trial verdicts. If you are recovering compensation based on your physical injuries or illnesses, it is not considered income by either the state or federal government.
The reason your settlement is not taxable income is because personal injury settlements are designed to make you financially whole following an accident. If the government keeps a portion of your settlement, you are still not made whole. For that reason, you will generally not be required to pay taxes on the compensation you secure for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, or other damages.
Exceptions Can Always Apply in Hawaii
Just like with most things, there are some exceptions to be aware of regarding this general rule. For example, although your negligence claim proceeds might not be taxable, any damages you recover based on a breach of contract claim could be. The foundation of your lawsuit will play an important role in determining if your settlement is taxable.
You could also face the possibility of a tax bill if you are awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are uncommon, especially in personal injury cases. As the name implies, these damages are not intended to compensate you for your losses following an injury. Instead, they are designed to punish the defendant for their behavior and deter others from acting in a similar way. These damages are taxable.
There is also the possibility of earning interest on a judgment. Even if that judgment stems from a personal injury case, you could be taxed on that portion of your compensation. Interest is common in cases where a verdict is awarded at trial but not immediately paid by the defendant.
There are other ways your settlement could result in tax liability. For example, many people who are waiting on a settlement will use the medical expenses from their accident as a deduction on their taxes. While there is nothing unlawful about this, recovering compensation on the same bills you used as a deduction is effectively double-dipping. In this case, you could face tax liability for your settlement.
Protecting Your Rights In Your Settlement
There are steps you can take to avoid any confusion over your tax liability. When you reach a settlement, it is in your best interest to negotiate language that makes the nature of your settlement clear. This is important if you have multiple claims against the same person. For example, if you have both a personal injury case and a breach of contract claim against the same individual, your settlement agreement should make it clear which portion of your compensation is dedicated to each claim.
If the language in your settlement agreement is unclear, you are at risk of confusion at tax time. If the IRS is unclear on the portion of your settlement that is taxable, you could receive a bill for the full amount. The insurance companies turn settlement information over to the IRS, so it is vital that the information is clear. An attorney from our firm could help ensure your settlement agreement takes your tax liability into account.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Tax Liability from a Personal Injury Settlement in Hawaii
When you settle your personal injury case, the chances are good that most if not all of your compensation will not be considered taxable income. While this should reassure you, it is important to note that some exceptions apply. An attorney could not only resolve your settlement in a way that avoids unnecessary tax obligations, but they could also help you understand how your settlement might impact your taxes to begin with.
If you are ready to pursue fair compensation for your injuries, now is the time to act. Contact the attorneys of Olson & Sons today for your free consultation.
There is no easy answer to the question “what is the average payout for a personal injury claim?” This is the case for more than one reason. For starters, public information about the outcome of most personal injury cases is limited. What’s more, there is no central place where research regarding settlements are retained.
The average amount of a personal injury claim might provide you with some useful information, but the reality is that every case is different. Your ultimate settlement could be higher or lower than the average. Thankfully, our team of attorneys could help you evaluate your case and provide you with a fact-based estimate of what it might be worth.
Issues With Determining The Average Value of an Injury Settlement in Hawaii
The vast majority of personal injury settlements never result in the public learning the terms of the settlement. In fact, many injury cases are resolved without public awareness of the claim at all. That is because it is not uncommon for personal injury cases to settle without the filing of a lawsuit.
Most personal injury settlements include a written agreement that spells out the terms both sides must comply with. Typically, the party agreeing to pay the settlement requires language in the agreement that keeps the terms of the settlement private. This is intentional, as it prevents other would-be plaintiffs from getting a picture of what an insurance company might settle a claim from.
These confidentiality agreements make it difficult for the public to access data about the settlement in most personal injury cases. There are other issues that make it impossible to determine the average settlement as well. There is no central repository for the public settlement information that is available, meaning that there is no way to review the settlement information that is available easily. Outside of reviewing court records across all 50 states, this process is unlikely to be helpful.
How An Attorney in Hawaii Could Evaluate Your Case
The lack of clear information on the average payout for a personal injury lawsuit should not dissuade you from pursuing legal action on your own. While you might not have access to this information, an attorney could provide you with insight into what your specific case might be worth. Some of the ways your attorney could evaluate the strength of your claim include:
- Interviewing You. You are the ultimate expert on how your injuries have impacted your life. If you are unable to work or do the things in life that you love due to your injuries, your attorney could use that information when evaluating your case.
- Reviewing Medical Records. Medical costs are a big part of many personal injury cases. Your attorney could review your records and the bills that go along with them to determine what fair compensation might look like.
- Reviewing Property Repair Estimates. Property damage claims can make up a major part of some personal injury cases. This is especially true for motor vehicle accidents. You could recover the cost of repairing or replacing your damage property.
Potential Damages Available To You
Before you can understand what your payout might be for a personal injury settlement, you should be aware of the types of damages that could be available to you. These damages include:
- Medical Bills. The cost of medical care can be overwhelming. If your personal injury case is successful, you might be entitled to recover damages for the cost of hospital bills, emergency medical care, prescription medication, and other forms of treatment.
- Lost Wages. Missing work is an unfortunate reality for many injury victims. If your time away from work leads to you missing paychecks, you could recoup your los wages through a civil lawsuit.
- Pain and Suffering. You might be entitled to compensation for the physical pain you experience due to your injuries. This compensation could be significant, especially if you are living with long-term chronic pain.
Talk to an Attorney To Learn About Your Legal Options in Hawaii
Understanding the average payout for a personal injury claim is not as simple as looking it up in a database. In fact, there is little public information regarding personal injury settlements in general. Thankfully, this should not impact your ability to secure fair compensation following an accident. Your attorney could review the facts of your case and provide insight into what to expect.
The team at Olson & Sons is ready to help you evaluate your injury case and understand what a settlement offer from the other side might look like. If you are ready to get started with this process, reach out right away to schedule your free consultation.
If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of someone else, you might be entitled to recover monetary damages. That said, securing fair compensation can be difficult without the help of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kona. A lawyer could help you avoid the pitfalls that can come with personal injury litigation and get the monetary award you deserve.
The guidance of an attorney is important, but not every lawyer is created equally. The give yourself the best chance at securing the outcome you deserve, it is important that you work with legal counsel that understands the personal injury process. Keep reading to learn how to find a personal injury lawyer that is right for you.
Seek Out Relevant Experience
When it comes to hiring personal injury lawyer in Kona, experience matters. That said, the type of experience is also very important. An attorney that has been practicing law for 20 years might not be right for your case if that time was spent working on mergers and acquisitions or tax controversies.
Instead, it is vital for you to find an attorney with a track record of success in handling personal injury lawsuits. Attorneys that focus their practice on personal injury cases could apply that hands-on experience to your case. This could benefit you throughout the process, from identifying a fair settlement offer to developing a winning trial strategy.
Identify Attorneys That Rely on Contingency Fee Agreements in Kona
There are different ways for attorneys to approach recovering their legal fees. Some attorneys bill by the hours, while others pursue cases based on flat fees. When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, it is in your best interest to seek an attorney that works on a contingency fee basis.
With contingency fees, your attorney will only get paid if they recover compensation on your behalf. They recover a portion of the damages they obtain in your case. This has the advantage of allowing you to pursue your personal injury case without the need of paying any upfront legal fees. What’s more, you will never owe an attorney any legal fees if they are unsuccessful in securing compensation on your behalf.
Select an Attorney with Trial Experience in Kona
Some personal injury attorneys shy away from litigation. While most personal injury cases will not ultimately go to trial, it is vital that you find an attorney that is not afraid to take your case in front of a jury.
In fact, you could benefit from hiring an attorney that prepares every case as if it would ultimately go to trial. Aggressive pursuit of a personal injury case could put you in the best position to secure fair compensation. In some cases, insurance companies are more likely to make a reasonable settlement offer when it is clear that you are prepared to take the case to trial if need be. An attorney with trial experience could make the chance of securing a reasonable settlement offer more likely.
Consider your Location when finding a personal injury lawyer in Kona
The jurisdiction where your accident occurred is also an important considering for your personal injury lawsuit. It is important to have an attorney that is familiar with practicing law in the court where you intend to file your case.
The law may be the same across the state, but there are many factors that can differ from one courtroom to another. Judges often have rules that are specific to their courts, and these rules might not be obvious to anyone who has not practice there before.
An attorney with experience in the court you intend to file your lawsuit in could also provide you with useful insight into what to except. Some judges rule a certain way, and juries in one jurisdiction are more likely to side with the plaintiff than another. Look for an attorney that practices in your local area.
Find an Attorney You Get Along With In Kona
There is more to finding an attorney for your personal injury case beyond reviewing their resume or discussing their experience. You are likely to spend substantial time speaking with your attorney, so it is important for you to have a good working relationship with your legal counsel. Finding an attorney that you are comfortable with is important and could simplify the process of securing fair compensation for your injuries.
Contact Olson & Sons For Your Personal Injury Lawyer In Kona
There are many factors you should consider before you hire a lawyer to pursue your personal injury case. Experience is important, but it has to be the right experience. You should find an attorney that will not only aggressively pursue your case to trial if the need arises, but also one that has done so for other clients in the past.
The attorneys of Olsen & Sons are ready to advocate for you throughout every step of your personal injury lawsuit. Reach out today to discuss your options during a free consultation.
Unsure of how does personal injury law work in Hawaii? If you are hurt due to the negligence of another person or entity, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries. Personal injury law covers the legal proceedings that could help you secure fair compensation from the person that caused your injuries.
If you have been hurt through no fault of your own, a personal injury case could be your best chance at securing fair compensation while holding the other party accountable. The team at Olson & Sons is prepared to help you aggressively pursue your claim and secure the compensation you deserve.
Civil vs. Criminal Lawsuits in Hawaii
A personal injury lawsuit is a form of civil legal action. This type of lawsuit is different from a criminal case that could result in a person’s incarceration. It is easy to confuse these types of cases, as the same incident could result in both civil and criminal proceedings. For example, a physical assault could lead to a criminal arrest but also serve as grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Civil cases are brought directly by the person that has been harmed. The state plays no part in overseeing a personal injury lawsuit, and the outcome of these cases will not result in jail time or fines. Instead, a successful personal injury case will lead to a monetary award against the defendant.
Criminal cases are overseen by a state prosecutor. While criminal acts generally involve an offense targeting a specific person, that individual does not have the power to pursue a criminal case on their own. If the state is successful in pursuing criminal charges, it could lead to jail time and fines.
What is Negligence?
Not every injury will result in a viable personal injury lawsuit. In order for you to obtain a monetary award, you must establish that the negligence of another party has led to your injury.
Generally speaking, negligence is any type of careless, reckless, or intentional act that leads to your injury. If a person knew or should have known that they were putting you at risk of being harmed, they could face civil liability for the damage they cause. There are four elements required to prove negligence, which include:
- Existence of a duty of care owed to the plaintiff
- Breach of that duty
- A causal link between the defendant and the plaintiff’s injuries
- Compensable damages
In order for you to obtain a monetary award for your injuries, it is necessary that you prove all four of these elements. The failure to establish one element could leave you without any compensation. Our firm is prepared to help you build the strongest case possible and show a jury your injuries are the product of another party’s negligence.
How an Attorney Could Successfully Resolve Your Personal Injury Case in Hawaii
Our attorneys could help you achieve a favorable outcome in your personal injury case in different ways. In many situations, our firm is able to obtain a fair settlement offer from the other side. When settlement is not an option, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to trial and work towards a fair verdict from the judge or jury.
Settlements are not uncommon in personal injury cases. In fact, far more injury cases are resolved through settlement than trial. While insurance companies will frequently make offers to settle these cases, not all offers are the same. Insurance companies are driven by profits, and the first move their adjusters often make is a lowball settlement offer.
Many insurance companies will work to quickly settle a case before an injury victim has time to hire an attorney. Some settlement offers might seem reasonable at first, but it can be difficult to estimate future injury expenses without the help of an attorney. That is why you should never settle your injury case without speaking with our firm first.
When a case does not settle, taking it to trial is your best option for securing fair compensation. Our firm will handle every aspect of trial preparation while continuing to pursue settlement until the last moment. If you prevail at trial, the court will issue a judgment in your favor against the defendant.
Contact Our Firm To Discuss How Personal Injury Law Works in Hawaii
Personal injury law work in Hawaii covers a broad range of potential cases. From car accidents to defective product injuries, this area of the law provides the injured with an avenue to secure fair compensation from the negligent party.
If you have been hurt due to another person’s negligence, now is the time to discuss your legal options. Your time to pursue an injury case is not unlimited, and any delay could put your recover at risk. Contact the team at Olson & Sons right away to schedule your free initial consultation.