What is a Structured Settlement?
Large settlement amounts in civil lawsuits are often paid out in a structured settlement. These civil cases are generally the product of a at fault party causing some type of harm or damage to another person. The person has experienced a wrong that needs to be righted. When the monetary award of the court is significant, the insurance company will often opt to pay the monies out over a period of time.
It was proven that this specific medication caused lifelong damage and birth defects to the babies. As a result, the court ordered the drug industry to compensate these children who would become adults for the medical costs and issues they would experience over their lifetime. This was the birth of the structured settlement. Long term payments to these injured parties that would be paid for the duration of their life.
The Birth of Structured Settlement Companies
As a result of this new compensation method for lawsuit awards, companies sprung up that were willing to pay the recipient a lump sum in exchange for the rights to all future payments. This provided a win-win situation to award recipients that were willing to take less money to get a lump sum of money up front.
Although using a structured settlement company can be beneficial if you want the lump sum up front, it is imperative to take a look at some important features. Consider the purchase price of your structured settlement. This can and will vary considerably from company to company.
One factor is the duration of the settlement. A structured settlement company will be very interested in how soon the payments will begin and how long it will take before the entire amount will be dispersed. This will determine how much they are willing to offer you.
The timing of the payments is also key. If the payments are closer together, the purchase price will be higher. A dollar received now is better than a dollar received later in the company’s’ ideology. Another factor is the total value of the settlement. Obviously, a substantial settlement amount is going to be more attractive to most structured settlement companies. Smaller amounts may not be worth their while.
As the recipient of a structured settlement, pay close attention to the fees charged by the company that you choose. All fees vary from company to company, so please take the time to shop around. Look at the fine print, there may be broker fees, legal fees, and other fees, don’t be afraid to negotiate and ask questions.
The top ten rated structured settlement companies. Ten companies rank the highest most consistently. They are as follows: Fairfield Funding, Peachtree Financial Solutions, JG Wentworth, Olive Branch, SenecaOne, Annuity Transfers, Woodbridge, Stone Street Capital, Oasis Legal Finance, and Annuity.org. All of these structured settlement companies have different ways that they handle payments; however, they have favorable reviews.
Most importantly, this is your money that you have been awarded, so be careful to not allow yourself to be cheated. Although you may need the money urgently, take some time and do your due diligence. There are scams out there. Buyer Beware!
With just a little research, you can choose the company that will best meet your needs. Remember you are in the driver’s seat. You are in control of who you allow to buy your structured settlement, just keep in mind that the agreement is binding and final.