It has taken nearly four years for a plaintiff to be awarded compensation for a serious injury she received when her car was hit by a cement truck in Wayne County, Michigan. The compensation payment is the largest ever awarded in Michigan – $17.8 million – and according to the plaintiff will now allow her to have closure and start the healing process.
While waiting for years before recovery, it is not difficult to rack up huge bills for medical treatment and everyday household expenses. Further, worrying about ongoing loans and a mortgage adds to the stress.
Being compensated sometime in the future does not help during the months and years of waiting. Fortunately, there are ways accident victims can cope and that is through applying for a pre-settlement loan.
These pre-settlement loans, also known as settlement funding or lawsuit loans, are available to tide an injured victim over until settlement is reached. Lawsuit funding of this kind is available to plaintiffs who have retained an attorney and have a case pending either pre-suit or after a complaint is filed.
The plaintiff was 36 years old at the time of the accident when her Volkswagen Jetta was rear ended on Telegraph Road in September 2010. The accident was caused by a cement truck that pushed her up against a utility pole. It was determined that the truck driver was distracted, reading paperwork while driving at 50 mph.
Plaintiff’s injuries were severe enough to prevent her living independently after the accident. She underwent shoulder surgery, a hip fusion and three spinal fusions. She now has a series of plates and screws in her spine. She says that she is in constant pain and her traumatic brain injury (TBI) left her unable to look after herself.
Personal injury claims in Michigan are not awarded lightly. Like many other states, “no-fault” provisions exist which prevents anyone who is injured in a car accident filing a lawsuit against a driver who has caused their injuries. The injured victim first has to turn to their insurance company – both for medical costs as well as vehicle damage. In cases where someone has been killed or has suffered particularly serious injuries – as was the case with this plaintiff – the victim can sue the party at fault under an exemption. The exemption allows the plaintiff to claim for “pain and suffering” in addition to medical costs and loss of income.
Insurance companies are not always forthcoming when it comes to settling lawsuits. Typically personal injury lawsuits can take years to settle.This leaves injured victims with mounting bills and mounting stress that if they cannot pay for adequate medical treatment, their long term health might be compromised.
One answer, at least for personal injury claimants, is to apply for a pre- settlement loan. These loans are only arranged when a personal injury attorney has been engaged on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney’s legal fees are only paid if the lawsuit is successful.
The same applies to the lawsuit loan. The lender will provide funding of the lawsuit advance normally when the chance of success is reasonably high. A portion of the risk is then assumed by the lawsuit lender. The pre settlement loan only needs to be repaid when the lawsuit reaches settlement. If the case is unsuccessful, the advance is not repaid.
Another beneficial feature of settlement funding transactions is that the money can be used at the client’s discretion without any limitation whatsoever.