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Structural Settlement Consultant
Oftentimes, I am called in to lawsuit negotiations as a structured settlement consultant. It becomes my job to clearly define the possibilities with such a settlement, and the options. The attorney’s for both sides will grasp at whatever helps their case, but I am always in the position that I must make sure the injured party understands everything that is being discussed.
I Explain What Is A Structured Settlement
I have learned that I cannot take anything for granted. It is important to go over every facet of this subject. This applies to people who are injured in some type of accident, such as: Slip & Fall, Auto Accident, Medical Mistakes, Workplace Accident or any other personal injury. It even applies to winners of Lotteries.
Very often there is an offer of an out-of-court settlement. This is always by way of a structured-settlement plan, which is simply a promise to pay a fixed amount of money, for a fixed period of time. The fiduciary instrument used to accomplish this is an annuity, which is usually issued by a large Life Insurance Company.
The annuity is as secure as the insurance company that issued it, and this is why only the top rated Life Insurance Companies are used. This way, the claimant is assured of a continuous stream of income. The whole point is to provide income to an injured party who may be disabled as a result of their injury, and unable to work but may require medical attention well into the future.
This is why these settlements can be from a short time period, all the way to an entire lifetime. The settlement can be quite creative, in order to fit the needs of the claimant. You can have a lump-sum of cash up front, followed by a defined period of fixed payments, and even have another lump-sum of cash scheduled in the future sometime.
I Explain The Concept Of Cash Now
Many times a client calls me and asks if there I anything I can do to help them get more money out of their settlement. What I tell them is that they can sell their income-stream to an investor, for a large lump-sum of cash now, when they need the money. This must be offered at a discount, which is less than the face value of the annuity. Don’t forget that the investor needs to make a profit if he is going to lay out a large sum of cash with nothing to show for it but the promise of future payments.
When a person “cashes out” their settlement, they have a sudden windfall of funds that can either be used wisely, or inappropriately. I have seen people change their lives for the better, and also I have seen people do stupid things, and end up with even more financial problems. The bottom line is: Proceed With Caution. If you seek out a structured settlement consultant to explain everything, you will come out ahead.
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