Should You Accept a Lump Sum or Structured Settlement for Injury in Boston
When settling an injury lawsuit in Boston, you might have several options regarding how you receive compensation. Lump sums and structured settlements might be options, and you should meet with an attorney to figure out which is right for you.
Whether a lump sum or structured settlement is a better choice depends on the unique factors of your case and your specific needs. Each comes with various pros and cons that should be carefully weighed with the help of a lawyer. Lump sums often provide more money up front, while structured settlement payments might be smaller but add up to more over time. When deciding which option is best, you need to assess how each option meets your financial needs.
If you reach a settlement agreement in your Boston injury case, you might have to decide between a lump sum and a structured settlement. Our Boston personal injury attorneys can help you decide which path to take. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan for a free case review at (617) 925-6407.
Is a Lump Sum or Structured Settlement a Better Choice for an Injury Case in Boston?
Whether a lump sum or structured settlement is the better option for your injury case depends on a myriad of factors unique to you. How were you injured? What are your damages? Do you have expenses that need to be paid right away? These are all questions you can discuss with our Boston personal injury attorneys.
A lump sum is one big settlement payment made shortly after settlement negotiations and the completion of the case. A lump sum settlement is often paid in cases involving general personal injury torts and Workers’ Compensation cases. Exactly what the lump sum payment covers depends on your situation, but you should consider coverage for economic and non-economic losses stemming from your injuries.
According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 231C, § 1, a structured settlement is an arrangement agreed to by the parties where the plaintiff receives periodic payments for damages and injuries as established by the terms of a settlement. How much money you receive with each settlement payment, how frequently you receive them, and how long they last depend on the terms of the settlement agreement.
Pros and Cons of Structured Settlements and Lump Sums in Boston Injury Cases
There are upsides and downsides to lump sums and structured settlements. Knowing which one to choose depends on your needs and how each option can fulfill those needs. Our Wakefield personal injury attorneys can help you weigh your options and make the decision that works for you.
Lump sums often come up in large personal injury settlements and Workers’ Compensation cases. As discussed earlier, a lump sum is usually a one-time payment from the defendant to the plaintiff. According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 152, § 48, in Workers’ Compensation cases, no lump sum agreement may be finalized unless an administrative judge or administrative law judge determines that the lump sum is in the claimant’s best interest. This means that the injured person not only gets a large sum of money up front, but a judge is looking out for them by making sure the lump sum is in their best interest.
Lump sums are particularly helpful for injured victims with many debts and expenses that need to be paid as soon as possible. For example, if you have very high medical bills from the numerous treatments needed for your injuries, you can pay these bills immediately after receiving your lump sum.
A downside to lump sum settlements is that the money must stretch to cover all your needs. For example, accepting a lump sum in a case involving on-the-job injuries usually means you will not receive weekly compensation checks. Any future needs might need to come out of the lump sum payment, so it is important to spend the money carefully.
You might also get a smaller amount of money than you would if the settlement were paid over time because the defendant cannot or will not pay that much all at once. For example, your case might be worth $500,000, but the defendant can only afford to pay a lump sum of $250,000 now.
One potential plus side of a structured settlement is that the rights to receive payments can sometimes be sold or transferred. You can transfer structured settlement rights under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 231C, § 2. Plaintiffs needing immediate cash can sell some or all future settlement payments in exchange for a lump sum. While this can benefit some, it should be thoroughly discussed with our Somerville personal injury attorneys before finalizing anything.
Another benefit is that you might get more money through a structured settlement than you would through lump sum payments. The primary benefit of lump sum payments is that you get more money immediately. However, the overall payments from structured settlements often add up to a greater amount in the long run.
A potential drawback to structured settlement agreements is that there might not be enough money up front. Your current needs might exceed the regular settlement checks you get, and you might still be in debt for a while. While transferring or selling your rights to receive periodic payments under a structured settlement agreement can be helpful, it is usually difficult.
How to Decide Whether a Lump Sum or Structured Settlements is Best for Your Boston Injury Case
A great way to decide between a lump sum and a structured settlement is to call a lawyer. Injury cases are known for being complex, and many injured plaintiffs are unprepared to navigate the laws and procedures necessary to advocate for their best interests. Our Salem personal injury attorneys can help you explore options and determine whether a lump sum or structured settlement is best for your case.
It is important to talk with your attorney about what you need now and what you might need in the future. If you have a lot of immediate expenses right now, a lump sum can help you pay them off. If you need a stable paycheck to rely on, a structured settlement might be best.
Contact Our Boston Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation
If you were injured in an accident, our Saugus personal injury attorneys can help you decide between a lump sum or structured settlement. Contact our team at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan for a free case review. Call us today at (617) 925-6407.