Structured Settlements 101: A Quick Guide to Getting What You Deserve
Structured Settlement vs. Lump Sum Payment: What Should You Choose?
So you’re filing a personal injury claim and you want to know if you should negotiate a structured settlement or just go with a lump sum payment.
When weighing out a structured settlement vs. lump sum payment, it’s hard to decide when you’re not really sure what either of them means, or what the benefits are to either option.
The reality is that structured settlements in Canada are common. About half of the cases that go to court end up with this outcome. This means that there are a lot of structured settlement examples your Toronto personal injury lawyer can show you to give you an idea of what you need.
Let us help you with these decisions so you can begin the rest of your life in peace. With the proper information, you’ll be able to make an educated decision. We’ll show you how to get a structured settlement and make sure that everything is in order.
Read on to find out the answers to all your burning questions about structured settlements.
What is a Structured Settlement?
When you settle your personal injury claim, you’re going to have the option of filing a structured settlement or choosing a lump sum payment.
A lump sum payment means that all of the money that you are awarded will be paid to you right away in full.
On the other hand, a structured settlement is an annuity that is paid out to you over time. This means that you’ll receive the compensation amount over a certain period of time, which is negotiable by you. You can choose however many years, or even decades, you’d like, as long as it’s more than 5 years.
Sometimes, the paying party will push for one direction or another, but you ultimately have to agree to the decision. Regardless of what’s chosen, make sure it’s something that you’re comfortable with and prepared for.
For a sample structured settlement, ask your Toronto personal injury lawyer to walk you through the documents.
How do Structured Settlements Work in Ontario?
Structured settlements are only available for people negotiating personal injury settlements.
When you file, it will go through an insurance company. The insurance company will then make the payments to you on whatever basis you choose. Whatever option you pick will be honoured by the insurance company and complied with by the paying party.
These types of payouts can be done in a few ways. You could opt for monthly payments over a certain time period or make them a larger amount less regularly. The period has to be a minimum of 5 years.
Can a Structured Settlement be Changed?
You can design your specific plan to increase at certain points during your lifetime. This is beneficial if you know you’re going to be facing a major surgery or an incident that would require more financial support.
A structured settlement is secure, and guarantees your payments will be made until the end of the term. Even if the insurance company folds, or the paying party goes bankrupt, you will still get your money.
How long does it take to get a structured settlement?
Your structured settlement will begin immediately after your case is settled and all of the terms of the contract are negotiated.
Most of the time, these settlements are issued for personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. For wrongful death claims, the money would be paid to the victim’s family or beneficiaries.
In a wrongful death settlement, the money would be paid out starting immediately. This is partly because of the urgency of funeral costs and payment for various procedures.
Since they are only issued for personal injury settlements, it’s common that you’re seriously injured and want to recover from your pain. This means you probably don’t want to take any risks when it comes to payments and financial recovery.
The money will begin right away to ensure that you can begin therapy, rehabilitation, or any other treatment to heal your injury and your mind.
Why Would I want One?
You might want this instead of a lump sum for a few reasons.
Firstly, it comes in on a regular basis and you won’t get all the money at once. That means you’ll be able to stretch it out over more time and make your money go further
Secondly, a structured settlement is tax-free. The only time you would have to pay tax on your settlement is if you were to turn it into an investment or capital growth.
A third advantage is that there are 3 guarantors involved in a structured settlement, so you’ll feel more protected that your money will be paid out until the end of the term. These guarantors are the life insurance company, Assuris, and a casualty company in charge of the annuity.
Assuris is a government-endorsed non-profit organization aimed to help you ensure that you’ll get your payout, regardless of the circumstances.
At the end of the day, the most important aspect of a structured settlement is the fact that you’re going to get peace of mind and you can start the healing process.
The Downside to a Structured Settlement
However, like anything in life, there is a downside to a structured settlement.
The insurance company or the paying party could likely be paying out less than what the actual damages were. It’s all calculated based on an estimation of the costs you’re going to face in the future. This can lead to an inaccurate total.
In addition, you might be thrown off by the idea that your claim is going to be open and active with the insurance company for a long period of time.
Sometimes, you might just want to get it over with and receive the lump sum payment. This way, the insurance company won’t have you on file for what seems like forever, and you can go about getting on with your life.
It’s entirely up to you as to what option you choose when you collect your settlement. Talk to one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Conte & Associates to be sure the option you choose is right for you.
Trust the Expert Personal Injury Lawyers to Help You Navigate A Structured Settlement
If you’re looking for help with a structured settlement, you can count on Conte & Associates to make sure you’re fully compensated. We’ll fight aggressively to make sure every last cent makes it to you.
We’ll show you how to get a structured settlement the right way. Trust your Toronto personal injury lawyer to make sure you get what you deserve.
Don’t put your quality of life at stake. We work with the top medical experts in Ontario to make sure that you have the best advice on your side. Find us at our offices in Whitby and Oshawa, or working with clients throughout the GTA.
Contact us now for a free consultation to see how we can help ease your pain.