STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT FUNDING
Keith Kleinick is a licensed structured settlement broker who can give you information about structured settlements if you are currently receiving compensation payments for a brain injury case. We represent plaintiffs in New York City (NYC), Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, and the surrounding areas.
In 2003 a 14 year old boy went into a local New York area hospital for a routine and fairly common neurosurgery procedure. The patient suffers from an accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus. This condition is usually treated by a procedure called Ventriculoperitoneal or shunt insertion, which is a surgical procedure performed to place a catheter into a brain ventricle to drain cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricular system. Though the procedure sounds serious and does carry a degree of risk, it is performed quite often and shunts have to be replaced often specially in children because of natural growth and development, but also because they could get clogged or because of infection.
During the procedure there was a problem inserting the shunt into the ventricle and a major artery was severed causing a severe brain hemorrhage which left the boy in a coma. The patient remained in a coma for two years after which he was able to communicate but incapable of caring for himself. He still experiences short-term memory problems, has trouble with concentration, and motor problems. The family brought suit against the hospital and the surgeon responsible for the torturous ordeal. After a long and arduous court battle the family was awarded a structured settlement in the amount of $7 million, including $3 million awarded by the hospital in cash and the balance to be paid over a 20 year period.
What is the advantage to the plaintiff in choosing a structured settlement instead of a lump sum settlement?
A long-term structured settlement has numerous advantages including:
- Security; A structured settlement provides guaranteed long-term income for medical and everyday expenses.
- Tax; The federal tax code was amended to encourage structured settlements by providing 100% exemption from federal and state income taxes.
- Flexibility; Individuals can decide the date of commencement of payments, duration, and periodicity to include monthly expenses, present age, and retirement in their plans.
- Financial; Victims do not need to worry about planning for long-term investments as the periodic payments can be structured to take ample care of their needs post retirement.
- Time; Structured settlements can prove favorable to both the defendant and the plaintiff as they can be settled without having to go to court.
- Retirement; Structured settlements can be integrated with other income sources and/or insurance to reflect shifts in income at certain stages of life.
- Peace-of-mind; Structure payments may offer significantly greater protection from creditors and divorce.
- Avoid probate; Structure payments automatically bypass probate court if there are designated beneficiaries. Lump sums are subject to the probate process.
We realize that no amount of money can make up for your loss or allow you to resume your life just you had before your accident. But a well structured settlement can bring a form of relief to a family or an individual bogged down with medical bills and lost revenue after a catastrophic accident, it can also cause many problems if mismanaged or spent too quickly. Always consult a professional before you decide on a structured settlement buyout or any changes to you structured settlement as there may be penalties for changes.