Personal injury damages are almost always made in a lump sum. Very rarely will there be a situation where the defendant will pay in installments. At Finney Law Office, we always demand the defendant make payment in a lump sum. We do not agree to installment payments absent exceptional circumstances. Installment or periodic payments can also be known as structured settlements. Periodic payments over time are considered structured settlements. There are two main reasons why we demand lump sum compensation as opposed to agreeing to a structured settlement.
- It allows the client to put the case behind them. A personal injury case, whether a trucking crash, motorcycle crash, injury on the job or something similar is a traumatic experience. It is not something anyone would choose to go through over and over. Nor is it something that person would choose to prolong. The average case can take anywhere from 9-15 months, some times longer. By the end of it, the client has been through a myriad of experiences: surgery, medical care, bills, lost work, pain, loss of use, depositions, trial, appeal, etc… Most people want the entire situation behind them so they can get back to their normal life and family. A structured settlement does not allow for that. A structured settlement prolongs the situation and does not allow for any closure. At our office, we believe in getting the case over quickly, efficiently and fairly. That includes obtaining compensation for you in a lump sum.
- It guarantees payment. Many things can happen with structured settlements—the defendant can go bankrupt and another fight can ensue to collect what is yours. The defendant can stop making payments and cause you to try and track the money down. Unless you get all the money in one lump sum, there is always a chance you will have to continually fight to keep the periodic payments coming. Regardless of what anyone says, the only certain way to guarantee you receive your full settlement amount is through a lump sum payment.
There are many resources and opinions on whether a structured settlement is a good idea or a bad idea. Some people say it prevents a plaintiff from burning through a settlement too quickly—allows them to save money they need for future care. Others say it prevents the plaintiff from obtaining full compensation. At our office, we believe in obtaining a lump sum upon settlement. Structured payments can cause ongoing headaches in collecting and can prevent a client from moving on in their life. There are other resources on how to properly ensure your settlement will cover your future medical costs and care apart from structured settlements. In certain cases, a structured settlement may be the only option. In those rare cases it should be explored. But in the vast majority of cases, lump sum compensation is the best way to ensure payment to put the case behind you. Those two factors are why we demand lump sum compensation from defendants.
Contact the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at the Finney Law Office today at 314-646-0300 for more information on seeking the compensation you deserve as an injury victim.