Frequently Asked Questions About Collecting Settlement Money From A Lawsuit

You’ve probably stumbled onto this article because as a plaintiff in a lawsuit, your case is taking longer than you expected. If you’ve been anticipating a payout at the culmination of your suit, the wait probably seems to be dragging out forever. 

You may have been asking yourself a ton of questions: When will my lawsuit finally be over? How much can I expect to be awarded at the end of it? How are settlements paid out? And probably the most pressing question of all: When will I receive my settlement money? 

If these questions sound all too familiar, the good news is that “when” can be a lot sooner than you might think. For plaintiffs who’d rather not wait out the endless months until their trials have concluded, pre-settlement lawsuit funding could be the answer you’re looking for.

Taking out a pre-settlement loan allows you to take a cash advance from your anticipated settlement amount prior to the final resolution of your case. Basically, if you’re looking for an easy way to get some much-needed cash now, then pre-settlement funding may be right for you.

How do I know if pre-settlement funding is right for me?

It’s a valid question, and with so much conflicting information surrounding case funding, it’s easy to get confused. But lawsuit settlement funding has been around a long time, and for good reason. Especially in these trying times, people are finding themselves even more financially strapped than usual. Who couldn’t use a little extra cash under these circumstances? Getting your hands on your settlement money earlier than expected could be a huge relief. A pending lawsuit is practically like holding onto a winning lottery ticket. Why wait to cash it in?

Won’t my case be heard soon enough?

The legal process can be slow-moving, and many plaintiffs have not considered the economic anxiety they will incur as they wait for their cases to conclude in order to collect their settlement money. Your lawsuit may drag on for months or even years as your bank account gets drained. If you’re wondering how you can survive the uncertain settlement check timeline, it may be time to consider pre-settlement funding. 

With the added detriment of COVID-19 causing even further delays within the legal system, the courts are even more backlogged than usual. Taking out even a small advance against your anticipated settlement money is a great way to relieve your financial stress until your case finally makes it to trial. Lawsuit funding is becoming a very popular option for plaintiffs who want cash now but don’t want to wait for their cases to settle.

How so?

Fighting a lawsuit can be costly. From the date you file until you actually go to trial can take a very long time. This can create ongoing monetary issues as you wait for a judgment in your favor.

Plus, if you’re dealing with injuries related to your lawsuit, that’s yet another added expense. Medical bills aren’t going to pay themselves. Maybe your injuries prevent you from working. Or maybe you were wrongfully terminated and that’s why you are no longer receiving a salary. Or maybe you can work, but now you find yourself unemployed and/or dealing with lessened income from coronavirus-related closures. In any case, you need cash and you need it now. Settlement money can really help when you suddenly find that your expenses are piling up. 

I am having some trouble meeting my financial obligations.

This is where settlement money can really assist your cause. Do you need money to pay bills? Medical expenses? Mortgage, rent, or insurance? Maybe you’d like to take a vacation with your family. Or start a business. What about car payments, or utilities, or college tuition, or… you get the picture. 

If you’d like to ease the financial stress caused by these or any other outstanding bills, taking out settlement money may be the right choice for you. It’s up to you to decide if a monetary influx is important to your needs at this time. 

It can’t be as easy as you’re making it sound.

Actually, the pre-settlement process is pretty simple. The first step will be to talk to your lawyer about it. He or she will then help you to research the best funding company that will suit your needs. Once you’ve decided on a funding company, your next step will be to fill out an application. This should not be a lengthy document, and filling it out should be completely free of charge. 

Generally, the information the funders are looking for will be your basic contact information, the type of case you’re litigating, and the name and phone number of your attorney. At that point, the funding company will reach out to your lawyer for further information. They will review your case, and if your lawsuit has merit, your loan will be approved. You can expect to have your settlement money in your hands within 24-48 hours.

What kind of cases even qualify to receive pre-settlement money? 

Most funding companies focus their efforts on automobile accident and personal injury cases, including slips and falls, premise liability, medical malpractice, and construction accidents, amongst others. Some other lawsuits that are sadly all too common are wrongful termination, age or racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse. Nursing home abuse, wrongful imprisonment, police brutality, labor law, Jones Act or maritime law, Fela or train accidents, verdict on appeal cases, commercial litigation funding, civil cases involving general negligence, wrongful death, Hernia Mesh, IVC Filters, Round Up, Essure, attorney case cost funding, breach of contract, and more.

Even if your case hasn’t been listed here, it may still qualify for pre-settlement funding. The most important factor is that your case has merit. Cases that show clear fault on the defendant or clear injuries to the plaintiff will be approved for pre-settlement money. Defendants must also have good insurance to ensure someone will pay for the damage they caused to the plaintiff. That’s really all it comes down to.

Not every case will be approved, but plaintiffs have been awarded settlement money for lawsuits of every kind. A good lawsuit funding company will find a way to get you the money you have coming to you.

Okay. So how do I find a good lawsuit funding company? 

Your lawyer will most likely be able to suggest a funding company that specializes in procuring settlement money from lawsuits. If not, it may be time to take matters into your own hands.

A simple internet search is a good way to get started. You can search terms like “lawsuit funding loans” or “settlement money from lawsuits.” It will be best to also specify your state, and it couldn’t hurt to plug in a few relevant keywords about your type of case. That will ensure you receive the most relevant search results for funding companies that will be a good match. 

The most important thing to look out for is that they are a direct funding source that provides fair rates, not a broker that will tack on additional and unnecessary charges. This way, you can ensure that you get to keep more of your payout when it comes time to settle your case. The fees can vary, so what matters most is that the payback terms are clearly disclosed on your contract.

Even if you applied for settlement money with another company in the past and were denied, it’s possible that you simply selected the wrong people to work with. It may seem overwhelming at first, but asking the right questions will help you zero in on your options.

There’s no commitment just to speak with a funding company, and no obligation to fill out an application. The application process should be free, and the payback terms should be explained in detail so there’s no confusion when it comes time to sign the contract. If it turns out you don’t like any particular terms, you can simply deny the loan and move on to a different funder, or decide not to take out settlement money at all.

Isn’t case funding just like a bank loan?

Pre-settlement loans aren’t like bank loans, with a very important distinction between the two. If you are looking for financial relief in your time of need, the last thing you’d want to do is add to your debt. Bank loans do exactly that, whereas lawsuit settlement loans are non-recourse. 

Non-recourse means you don’t have to pay back the lawsuit money if you lose your case. There is no recourse from the funding company if your lawsuit ultimately fails, meaning that the funding company won’t come knocking on your door looking for money you never received.  No monthly payments; no interest fees. No harassing phone calls; no payback. 

This is part of the risk that funding companies will assume in providing settlement money ahead of your case’s resolution. With a bank loan, the borrower has to have extensive collateral, an acceptable credit rating, and be prepared to incur fees and interest charges. Since pre-settlement funding requires a different set of criteria, credit approval isn’t needed to qualify. Settlement funding is based entirely on the merits of the case, and nothing else. 

Unlike a bank, a settlement loan is a no-risk proposition for the consumer, and can provide financial relief in your time of need.

How much settlement money can I get?

Most funders will work within percentage limits, which are normally anywhere from 15% to 20% of the total value of your anticipated settlement amount. But you should only take the amount of settlement money that you absolutely need to get by. In the end, case funding can be expensive and will cut into your ultimate payout at the conclusion of your trial. Contrary to what people might think, lawsuit funding companies do not like to see this happen.  If they are reputable, they will advise you to only take what you need.

However, keep in mind that instead of settling your claim for a lowball offer just to get a quick payout, you can take out your settlement money today, enabling you to hold out for a larger payout down the line at the culmination of your case. Basically, it’s possible for a cash advance against your lawsuit to pay for itself.

Are there any upfront charges I need to know about?

Some inferior pre-settlement funding companies charge an application fee, an origination fee, or some other kind of bogus processing fee which can cost hundreds of dollars, but a reputable funding firm won’t have any upfront costs. Your application should be reviewed for free, and any payback fees should be lain out clearly in your contract before you sign. 

This is why you’ll definitely want to speak to your lawyer. He or she can help you with the process if you ask their advice, but keep in mind they may also discourage you from taking settlement money from your case. It’s never a bad thing to take any legal counsel under consideration, but ultimately the decision is yours. 

If you decide to proceed, do your research. Find out which funding company will best suit your needs, then give them a phone call and ask some questions. If all goes well, the funding company will ask you to fill out their application. The process to obtain settlement money is quick, easy, and most importantly, transparent. 

Legal-Bay has been in this business a long time. We’ll be happy to speak with you and answer any lingering questions you may have when it comes to your settlement money. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

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