Structured settlements in medical malpractice cases make good economic sense for the future, but what happens when a cash crunch hits?
Most structured settlements from court cases are usually in the form of an annuity. However, having said that, it might be necessary for you to have some cash right now. This is something to talk to your personal injury attorney about, as many lawsuits are paying large sums from a jury award over long periods of time.
Normally, larger injury settlement plaintiffs receive their award in an upfront large amount of cash, with the rest set up to span a period of time ranging from 10 to 30 years or more. The intention is that monthly payments keep the wolf from the door. However, things don’t always happen that way.
Cash crunches are not always predictable and these days with the rising costs of medical care and treatments, the usual 3 to 5% increase a year in monthly payments does not always make ends meet. While this conundrum used to pose a significant problem, the law has subsequently been amended to allow you to sell future payments for cash right now.
Some of the medical crunch emergencies may involve additional hospital or medical treatments, transportation (a new vehicle to accommodate disabilities), avoiding bankruptcy, home improvement and repair to allow for wheelchairs, walkers, etc., and any student loans that need to be eliminated. Whatever the reasons, if you need cash now, it is possible to make that happen.
Usually a finance company is interested in buying the future payments of your structured settlement for cash. If you want to sell all your future settlement payments, you may, but you may wish to hold on to some for later. A copy of your settlement needs to be sent to the finance company first to see if it is possible to buy your future payments. If it is, you must have a judge approve a court order for you to actually get your money. Ideally, the finance company will manage the court order process on your behalf.
Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta business law, Atlanta criminal defense visit, Webbdorazio.com.