By Kristin Walter on September 19 2018 11:39:11
In the simplest of terms, a structured settlement is a payment to the injured party made in regular installments over a period of time. This is different than getting a cash award in a lump sum up front. For example, if a person was in an accident and it was ruled that the other party was at fault, the other party may have to pay damages. If the amount was one million dollars, instead of a check being cut for one million dollars, it would be paid out in monthly installments over a period of a few years. For instance, a one million dollar settlement paid out monthly over ten years would mean a check paid to the inured party in an amount a little over eight thousand dollars per month. A structured settlement can vary as to how it is paid out. Some forms of structured settlement are paid out monthly and others annually.
In some cases where the structured settlement on periodic basis is no longer required, such as in cases of worker`s compensation where the medical bills no longer need to be paid after the individual is discharged from the hospital, selling off the remaining portion of the structured settlement can produce a tidy lump sum that could be used for other necessities.
Structured settlements first started to gain popularity in 1982 when Congress passed the Periodic Payment Settlement Act. This was introduced to allow settlements to be paid out over time in order to benefit both the party paying the claim as well as the victim. Those people who have had a personal injury due to an accident or who have had a worker`s compensation claim can benefit greatly by having the money from the settlement arrive in regularly scheduled amounts across a long period of time. A structured settlement is a good idea in most cases.
With regard to the funding agency, structured settlement funding has many advantages over other modes of settlement funding in terms of managing larger amounts of cash, tax exemption, flexibility, and stability. It is also possible for the person selling his settlement to be taxed for the amount he receives through the sale, although he might have been tax free prior to transfer. It is better to consult a lawyer before signing a contract with a structured settlement funding company as he can provide the required legal assistance. A structured settlement funding company which buys a settlement does that only for profit and the profit comes from the payments that otherwise the holder of the policy would have received. Major disadvantages of structured settlement funding are the high commissions on the purchases by the companies and in equal payments; inflation causes reduction in real value of payments.