If you need to get an advance on a pending settled case our pre-settlement funding services and the guide below is a perfect way to educate yourself about the industry.
All You Need To Know About The Pre-Settlement Lawsuit Funding Industry After Your Case Has Settled
If you have suffered personal injuries due to someone’s negligence, you are likely to get compensated if you present a watertight case to the courts of law or an out-of-court settlement. However, the ruling in your favor and the order to pay you may take a long time, if you’ve ever dealt with the legal process you know it’s never a fast turn around time even after the case has been settled and thats not including an appealed case that may delay the funding even further. After the court passes its verdict, you will still have to wait for the money to hit your account and thats where a settled case funding company also known as a settlement funding lender comes into play.
The long wait leaves you with mountains of bills, besides the mental torture and pecuniary embarrassment. Fortunately, there is a way out. This article takes you through the pre-settlement lawsuit funding and settled case funding to inform you of what to expect at every stage of your legal claim.
Settled Case Funding vs. Pre-settlement Lawsuit Funding
Settled Case Funding is a mechanism through which a plaintiff who receives a judgment can request financing of a certain amount of money in anticipation of receiving their settled cases funds. This usually happens after they receive a favorable court verdict but can also happen before the trial is over or the case has been settled. Pre-settlement funding takes into consideration that lawsuits take quite some time to go through the wheels of justice, leaving the victim, in this case, the plaintiff who could be you reading this article, in serious financial trouble at a crucial time in your life when you may need financial support and assistance the most.
A Settled Case funding loan is not a traditional loan per se but rather a form of an advance settlement to give some breathing space to the plaintiff and enable them to meet some immediate financial obligations. These may include medical bills incurred following the injury, legal fees to pay the attorney helping with the court case, pay up loans owed to mainstream financial institutions, and mortgage payments. The advance settlement may also help meet daily living expenses such as food, rent, and utility bills.
To qualify for a settled case funding loan, a plaintiff is supposed to first file a lawsuit through a personal injury attorney. With the help of an experienced plaintiffs attorney, the plaintiff can then approach a lawsuit funding company and apply for advance settlement as the case progresses. The company will then review the application and decide whether to fund or not fund your pre-settlement claim. The decision is largely made based on the likelihood of the court case returning a favorable verdict for the plaintiff and how far along the case is. After review and approval, the plaintiff will receive the payment ideally within the same business day via wire, check, or western union, depending on the company’s internal policy and service standards this may vary as long as a week.
What is “settled case funding”?
If you have suffered personal injuries, you have likely been in the corridors of justice for a long time. Because playing catch up with insurance companies and defense attorneys is not the most endearing task you could have asked for when you filed your claim. If all goes well and you win the case, actual compensation takes another long time, in some cases running into months and years.
For the long-suffering victim, waiting for the money to reach their bank account may take even longer hence multiplying their misery and anguish. Settled case funding comes in handy to give the plaintiff a reprieve. Settled case funding is the mechanism through which a plaintiff receives some advance payment from a lawsuit funding company pending the court awarded full payment.
How can settled case funding help you?
Settled case funding might be beneficial to you for the following reasons:
• It helps you meet immediate financial obligations such as paying rent and mortgage enables you to pay your attorney for the services rendered in prosecuting the matter in court
• It allows you to repay outstanding loans taken from financial institutions
• It allows you to continue living comfortably, especially if you were not working
• It saves you from pecuniary embarrassment
• It does not matter how good or bad your credit score is to qualify
• It may also finance your court costs if the defendant files an appeal against the award
In addition to the above benefits, the lawsuit funding company also assumes the defendant’s risk of non-payment. This is particularly crucial where the defendant goes bankrupt and becomes unable to meet its financial obligations.
What lawsuits qualify for settled case funding
The nature of lawsuit types that typically qualify for settled case funding include, but not limited to:
• Medical malpractice where a medical professional act negligently, leading to injuries or pain
• Birth injuries where a baby is born with injuries as a result of a mistake by a healthcare worker
• Consumer fraud where the consumer of a product or service suffer avoidable harm or fraud
• Auto accidents where someone suffers injuries as a result of an accident involving a motor vehicle
• Product liability in cases where the use of a product resulting in harm to the user
• Premises liability in cases where the occupants of a premise suffer an injury within the premises
• Workers compensation where an employee suffers injuries in the course of their work
• Wrongful termination in cases where an employee is sacked without due process
• Wrongful death in cases where a person dies as a result of the actions of another person
The compensation is awarded to their appointed or determined next of kin. Other claims that could benefit from settled case funding include commercial disputes such as breach of contract and patent infringement. Consult with your preferred lawsuit funding company to ascertain whether your claim falls within its ambit.
The process of applying for settled case funding
Different lawsuit funding companies have their internal policies outlining how awardees may apply for funding. Typically, here is how the process unfolds;
1. The plaintiff, either in person or through their attorney, writes a letter to the lawsuit funding company expressing their willingness for settled case funding.
2. The lawsuit funding company may request more information such as the court proceedings and final verdict, including the amount awarded, the insurance obligations, and a copy of the executed general release between the plaintiff and the defendant.
3. The company will then conduct due diligence on the application
4. Barring any emerging issue, the money requested will then be released to the plaintiff within a short duration.
What to look for in a settled case funding company
The lawsuit funding space is still in its infancy and remains largely unregulated. The major downside of this state of affairs is the infestation by unscrupulous companies that exploit plaintiffs and compound their misery. On top of that they have negative reviews on sites like Yelp.com & Avvo.com and you as a consumer need to be weary of potential scams.
Here are some factors to look for in these companies before entrusting them with your lifeline.
Unfettered transparency: Transparency is the most important attribute of a reputable legal funding company. When you contact such a transparent company, you should be able to speak with a live person. All your concerns should be handled clearly, and there should be no vagueness or inconsistency in the answers. The company should also have a permanent physical address not some WeWork or virtual office address.
No hidden charges: The fees and interest rates charged by a reputable company should be displayed on the contract. The company should not charge any hidden fees. In addition, you should not be required to pay upfront an application fee to evaluate if you qualify for funding.
Collaborates with your attorney: A reputable lawsuit funding company should not have trouble working with your attorney. Suppose a company dissuaded you or does not foster a good working relationship with your attorney. In that case, this is an indication that there are hidden cards under the table, and you should reconsider working with such a company.
Affiliation: Look whether the company is affiliated with professional bodies such as the American Legal Finance Association. Affiliation to an association indicates that the company has met the requirements to qualify for such membership. It also shows the company is in good standing.
Customer reviews: Check how the settled case funding company has been reviewed by past customers and make a good judgment on whether they will help you. You can also ask your friends for recommendations based on how their issues were handled.