You With Your Structured Settlement
If you are seeking a structured settlements consultant to assist you with an annuity settlement, you should be aware that there are several criteria that the best consultants adhere to when it comes to their services. One of these criteria is to make sure that they understand all the laws surrounding structured settlements. Since it is the seller’s responsibility to buy the annuity at a specific rate, they need their best guy to do this for them.
However, that does not mean that you must let the seller bring his or her personal injury lawyer to the table! Let the defendant bring his or her injury lawyer to the table with the structured settlement’s consultant, but always insist that your injury lawyer will work directly with you to develop the most favorable plan possible for you. Never allow the personal injury lawyer to sit at the bargaining table with you, but certainly, advise your lawyer to only contact you if and when necessary.
You should also always insist on a written contract between you and the structured settlement consultant. Often personal injury cases involve long, drawn-out court battles that require a lot of time and resources that neither you nor your lawyer can reasonably devote. In this type of situation, a good understanding of the settlement and the legal procedures involved is essential.
Without this understanding, you may be setting yourself up for future problems if you allow the insurance company to pressure you into accepting a less than optimal settlement. You will also find that your lawyer will likely have to spend more time defending your case because of the need to retain expert witnesses and other experts who can testify about how the workers’ compensation benefits you will receive are inherently unfair.
Finally, do not rely upon the word of a personal injury lawyer or the advice of a structured settlements consultant when making your decision about how much you want to receive for your settlement annuities. Many people make the mistake of believing that they can receive a large lump sum in one lump sum payment and that there is no need to evaluate their settlement options further.
Structured settlements are designed to provide you with long-term compensation. They should not be used as a “get rich quick” scheme. You should always consult with your lawyer and with the expert financial adviser with whom you are dealing before deciding how you will distribute your settlement annuities.
Your best option when it comes to deciding how to distribute your structured settlements is to work with a reputable financial advisor or attorney. You will find that an experienced lawyer will have a better understanding of the implications of the structured settlements than an insurance company lawyer or an insurance company compliance consultant.
These professionals know that you should never accept any settlement offer from the insurance company on the sole premise that the insurance company will never force you to sell your settlement payments. If they do, you are probably being set up for a lifetime of paying high taxes on the cash value of your settlement payments.