car accident lawyer Magna, Utah

Car Accident Lawyers Explain the Basics on Structured Settlements

In Magna, Utah, most personal injury claims end with settlement agreements. Experienced car accident lawyers are always willing to go to trial, but some – like the team here at Cockayne Law – are highly skilled negotiators, capable of securing the maximum in compensation without setting foot in a courtroom.

Whatever the path, if a successful outcome is achieved in your personal injury claim, the full value of your damages may come to you in a single lump sum payment. Then again, your car accident lawyer could negotiate a structured settlement instead. With that option, you would receive payments over time.

Handled properly, a structured settlement can be beneficial for an accident victim. That said, the payment option isn’t right for everyone. You’ll want to discuss the matter with your Magna car accident lawyer, but this guide should answer some of your questions.

How Structured Settlements Work

A structured injury settlement is an arrangement that allows for compensation to be provided over an extended period of time. Rather than one large lump sum that covers the entire amount you’re owed, you would receive the settlement funds at set intervals for years in the future or, perhaps, for the rest of your life.

An experienced Magna car accident lawyer can negotiate all of the terms of a structured settlement to ensure that the arrangement meets your needs. Depending on the situation, you might benefit from:

  • A large initial payment to catch up on the bills and purchase necessities
  • Payments that decrease over time if you expect medical costs to diminish
  • A steadily increasing steam of income to cover higher anticipated expenses
  • A substantial lump sum payment at the end of the compensation period

With a skilled car accident lawyer, your injury settlement can be structured to terminate upon your death or to be paid to your heirs for a specified length of time. Everything about the payment plan will suit your personal preferences – and as long as your settlement award is large enough, any type of arrangement may be possible.

Advantages of Structured Settlements

If your personal injury claim is resolved with a structured settlement, you can receive the funds you’re owed in whatever way you’d like. An experienced Magna car accident lawyer can negotiate the amount of payments, the frequency of payments and the length of the compensation period. As such, a structured injury settlement has several upsides, including:

  • The assurance of having a source of income for the future
  • No risk of frittering away the settlement funds too quickly
  • A strong possibility of paying a good deal less in taxes

In addition, accepting a structured settlement can help you avoid pressure from family and friends who are in a financial bind. You can help someone if you’d like, but with the bulk of your funds unavailable, you can honestly say that you don’t have extra cash to give or loan.

Disadvantages of Structured Settlements

After reading everything above, you might think it’s the best option for you. But as with most things in life, there are both positives and negatives to structured injury settlements. Before agreeing to resolve your case with this sort of payment arrangement, you’ll want get the opinion of your car accident lawyer – and you should certainly consider these downsides:

  • Not having access to settlement funds for unexpected expenses
  • No freedom to invest or manage the money to make it grow
  • Little can be done to change the arrangement once it’s finalized

What’s more, accepting a structured settlement could lead to a loss of public benefits, which could be worrisome if you don’t have private health insurance. Remember, too, that the state of the economy isn’t constant – and any unforeseen crisis, such as inflation or recession, could render the settlement payments insufficient to meet your financial needs.

Is a Structured Settlement Right for You?

As any Magna car accident lawyer would agree, the settlement arrangement you need depends mainly on your personal circumstances and your preferences. However, the amount of compensation you’re owed also plays a role in the decision – and if the total is on the low side, a lump sum may be a better choice. It really wouldn’t be worth the time and effort to set up a structured settlement for super small payments.

If your personal injury claim involves a larger amount of compensation, you should have a discussion with the lawyer handling your car accident case. To figure out what type of settlement arrangement is right for you, take the following into consideration:

  • Will you be able to return to work? Has your earning power decreased?
  • Do you expect your medical expenses to rise or fall as time goes on?
  • If you accept a large lump sum, will you be able to manage the money?
  • What’s more important, financial certainty or having control of your cash?

The friendly and knowledgeable team at Cockayne Law has extensive expertise with both lump sum and structured injury settlements. We can help you explore every option with your personal injury claim to arrive at the best possible payment arrangement. For more information, or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of the best car accident lawyers in Magna, Utah, contact us today.