Should You Accept a Structured Settlement?Structured settlements in personal injury cases require some legal help. But who can help? The best way to get help on any personal injury law subject is by consulting with an experienced lawyer. However, the final decisions should be made by you with some guidance from your lawyer. For example, in many cases structured settlements help give more stability after a major injury. You might have trouble walking after being hit by a car, and the settlement pays you money in steady amounts so you can live a normal life. That's in fact one of the benefits of structured settlements. Let's go over some more.
Benefits of Structured Settlements
If you have a permanent injury which makes it impossible for you to work, a structured settlement can have lasting economic benefits. You typically pay much less taxes in a settlement. If you have trouble managing larger amounts of money, a lump sum may not be in your best interest. You might also have an easier settlement because some companies prefer paying over time rather than lump sums.
Spending all your settlement money seems like an easy mistake to avoid. However, many believe more money will come in, and blow the entire windfall within a matter of years. If you get it spread over 20 years if not the rest of your life, and have it managed by a professional, you have more economic security.
You can also plan for future problems with a structured settlement. If you fear future medical problems because of the injury, you can plan for such costs in the settlement plan.
Downsides of Structured Settlements
You don't want too much control of your money; that may sound odd, but it's because of the IRS. If you control your money too much, the tax benefit you gain will sometimes be lost. You want a professional to manage your money, but that can take the management process out of your hands.
In other situations, you may experience severe economic problems. The economy may go downhill, you may lose a lot in the stock market, your spouse may lose his or her job, and you will have no protection. These are examples of where a lump sum may buy you the time you need.
You usually get about the same amount in a structured settlement, but you can never be sure. Insurance companies sometimes prefer structured settlements because it can save them money in the long run. They won't disclose the value of the settlement, only how much you get.
Structured settlements are not for everyone, but the benefits likely sound better than the downsides. In the end, it's up to you. What you can do is consult with a lawyer on the case. No matter your opinion or what offers are on the table, you need to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Who can help?
A local, professional, and experienced personal injury lawyer is invaluable in personal injury settlements. Quite often in personal injury cases you will get settlement offers before even going to court. And the more proof you have of fault and injury, the better the settlement. If you have trouble keeping money in the bank, a structured settlement may be better; it may also be a deciding factor in both sides agreeing to compensation. If you're good with money and want more control, getting your money in a lump sum can give you more financial freedom.