What is a structured settlement?

computer keyboard structured settlementWhen it comes to car accident injury claims, it is very common for the case to be settled before going to court. This means that the crash victim and the at-fault driver (or usually his insurance company) agree on a sum of money that will be paid to the victim. This compensation can cover a wide range of accident-related expenses, including medical care, lost wages, property damage, and more. In most cases, the compensation is awarded in one lump sum payment. This is not the only option, however. Injury victims may find their interests are better served through a structured settlement agreement.

What Is a Structured Settlement?

A structured settlement is an arrangement in which the injury compensation is provided to the victim in regular payments over time. Every structured settlement is unique, and it can be tailored to the specific needs of each situation. The payments can be made weekly, monthly, or in whatever timeframe is most beneficial. The timeframe for the structured settlement is agreed upon by both parties at the time it is accepted.

When a Structured Settlement Is Best for Alaska Injury Victims

While lump sum payments are more common in injury claims, a structured settlement can offer specific benefits for victim and their families. Victims may want to consider this type of arrangement if:

  • You don’t need a large sum of money right away. Injury victims may need money from the settlement offer to buy a new car or cover high medical costs, but this is not the case for everyone. If you don’t need to use that money right away, it may be more effective to receive the money over time.
  • You worry about the temptations associated with a lump sum. Temptation lurks for everyone when a large sum of money suddenly appears. It may be difficult to resist the urge to spend on unnecessary or lavish items. This is especially important for those who may have serious or long-term injuries that may require future medical bills that will need to paid.
  • You worry about the demands of others. When a person comes into a large amount of money, it may be the case that family members or friends will take this opportunity to ask for a handout. While it’s natural to want to help those you love, the compensation from a settlement is awarded because it is necessary for victims to obtain medical care and remain financially stable. If it will be difficult to turn down these requests, a structured settlement can help.

Deciding What Type of Settlement Is Most Beneficial

There are advantages and disadvantages of both lump sum payments and structured settlements. Before an injury victim decides which path is best, it’s important to consult with an attorney and a financial advisor. Typically, once any type of settlement agreement is made, it is very difficult to go back and make changes to the terms of the agreement. Victims and their families need all the information about their rights and how any type of settlement will affect them going forward.

At The Law Office of Ben Crittenden, attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many accident victims understand their rights and explore all options to find the most beneficial arrangement. The compensation awarded to victims can have a significant effect on the success of recovery, and it’s important to have all the information you need to make the best possible decisions. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident, contact Ben today to learn more about how he may be able to help. Call his Anchorage office or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch directly with Ben.