The Finn Blog

Structured Settlements: Taxable Damages

Sixth in a series of blog posts dedicated to helping clients decide when a structured settlement should be considered.

Today’s Installment: Taxable Damages

May 21, 2019 – If you’re a regular follower of our educational content, you already know there are few subjects we’re more passionate about than structured settlements for claims and lawsuits involving taxable damages.

We’ve studied it, researched it, created analytical tools to help clients make more informed decisions about it, presented MCLE classes to attorneys about it, written articles for national and regional periodicals about it, and complained to Congress about it.

In short, if you need help on this topic, you’ve come to the right place.

(more…)

Structured Settlements: Policy Limits

 

Fifth in a series of blog posts dedicated to helping clients decide when a structured settlement should be considered.

Today’s Installment: Policy Limits

May 17, 2019 – People and businesses buy liability insurance to protect against personal or corporate financial loss when lawsuits are brought against them.

Resolving lawsuits can be problematic enough under the best of circumstances. But when accidents are severe enough and/or the liability limits too low to adequately compensate the plaintiff for their loss, the challenge is magnified.

Structured settlements can play a vital role in those situations where the accepted value of the case exceeds the policy limits.

(more…)

Structured Settlements: Post-Verdict Negotiations

 

Fourth in a series of blog posts dedicated to helping clients decide when a structured settlement should be considered.

Today’s Installment: Post-Verdict Negotiations

May 15, 2019 When personal injury lawsuits are adjudicated, it’s a safe bet that one side or the other will be displeased with the end result. Usually it’s just a matter of degrees of disappointment.

Once the jury renders its decision – whether a defense verdict, one of the “runaway” variety in favor of the plaintiff, or somewhere in between – litigation participants have few choices about what happens next regardless of which side of the v. they stand.

They can accept the verdict, appeal it, or seek to compromise the decision.

In all but a few rare instances, a structured settlement can be a powerful, if underused, tool at this phase. Yet surprisingly, many claims professionals and attorneys (plaintiff and defense) alike incorrectly assume that a structured settlement is not possible once a verdict is rendered.

While it is true that a final judgment with no appealable issues triggers constructive receipt and therefore cannot be structured, in most cases structured settlements are not only possible but quite useful following a trial.

(more…)

Structured Settlements: Catastrophic Injuries

 

Third in a series of blog posts dedicated to helping clients decide when a structured settlement should be considered

Today’s Installment: Catastrophic Injuries

May 10, 2019 – While structured settlements are useful in resolving a wide variety of liability disputes, those involving catastrophic injuries are especially well-suited to this method of claims resolution.

When an accident leaves a person tragically impaired requiring health care and living assistance extending well into the future, there are several reasons a structured settlement should always be the first choice when negotiating and finalizing these lawsuits or claims.

(more…)

Structured Settlements: Fatalities

 

Second in a series of blog posts dedicated to helping clients decide when a structured settlement should be considered

Today’s Installment: Fatalities

May 7, 2019 – “Death is a crisis that all families encounter, and it is recognized as the most stressful life event families face . . .”

The preceding quote was excerpted from Chapter 4, “Death, Dying, and Grief in Families” (Murray, Toth & Clinkenbeard, 2005), of Families & Change: Coping with Stressful Events and Transitions, a best-selling text of compilation scholarly research on a topic most of us would sooner avoid.

No death can be minimized, but the unexpected, sudden death of a loved one leaves families feeling especially violated as they struggle for comfort that is too slow in arriving and acceptance of a new reality they never asked for.

The ensuing grief takes a significant emotional toll on psyches and many families fracture to the point of permanent dysfunction as a result.

When survivors file insurance claims and wrongful death lawsuits due to negligence alleged to have caused a fatality, they experience a new set of stressors inherent in the litigation process which can prolong their suffering and worsen their already-fragile sense of being.

And that’s just the emotional toll.

(more…)

Car Accident Statistics

May 2, 2019 – Although Distracted Driving Awareness Month officially ended Tuesday, we feel no shame in reminding our clients that attentiveness behind the wheel and vigilance in carrying out driving responsibilities should never take a vacation.

Thus, our belated post on the topic.

If we had our way, however, the U.S. Department of Transportation would change it to Distracted Driving Awareness Century.

One of the best sites we’ve found to highlight our driving habits and the human cost that comes with our reliance on two-or-more-wheeled motorized transportation is (click the link):

100+ Car Accident Statistic for 2019

The site provides verifiable, irrefutable statistics reminding us of our duty to our fellow travelers and of the potential consequences when our attention spans lapse.

(more…)

Structured Settlements: Minors

 

First in a series of blog posts dedicated to helping clients decide when a structured settlement should be considered

Today’s Installment: Minors

May 1, 2019 – I once had a plaintiff attorney tell me he hated structured settlements “except for minors.”

“It’s the only way I can get a judge to grant my petitions,” he explained.

Judges had rejected some of his earlier petitions where there was no plan for the minor beyond a single lump sum payable at age 18 from a low interest-bearing blocked bank account.

He wasn’t wrong. While jurisdictions vary, generally courts prefer structured settlements to blocked accounts for a few reasons:

(more…)

The Illogic of Annuity Trashers

April 29, 2019 – Articles, commercials and opinions of those who trash annuities shouldn’t bother me as much they do.

But seeing the general public constantly bombarded with misleading information on the issue, I can’t help wondering how many people are swayed by them to their detriment.

And feeling angry about the disingenuous and self-serving prejudice.

People aren’t always conscious of it, but they often base their financial decisions on emotion rather than logic. Fearmongers who play to this behavioral science truism can sway the odds in their favor when it comes to issuing financial advice.

And the slant is very transparent when you take the time to logically dissect their rationale for advising against annuities.

For instance, allow me to pick apart some of the more obvious biases in “Why annuities are a bad idea for almost everyone” from the August 18 issue of MarketWatch (free subscription may be required):

(more…)

Ignore Medicare in Liability Settlements at Your Own Peril

April 5, 2019 – Since its passage in 1980, the Medicare Secondary Payer Act has been largely ignored by the personal injury litigation community. But like the person who continues to drive under the influence of alcohol rationalizing they’ve never been caught, it’s unwise to continue depending on luck to avoid adverse consequences of failure to comply with the law.

A Maryland law firm recently learned a valuable (and expensive) lesson on the imprudence of failure to consider Medicare’s interests when settling personal injury lawsuits.

According to a press release issued by the United States Department of Justice, District of Maryland, Meyers, Rodbell & Rosenbaum, P.A. entered into a $250,000 settlement with the government because they “failed to reimburse the United States for certain Medicare payments made to medical providers on behalf of a firm client.”

This announcement serves as a reminder to ALL law firms, plaintiff and defense alike, of the importance of taking Medicare’s interests into account when resolving lawsuits.

(more…)

Life Company Videos

 

April 2, 2019 – To help spread the good word about structured settlements, several of our life company partners have recently unveiled some professional videos designed to help clients better understand this dynamic claims resolution tool.

In no particular order, here are links to some of these videos designed to enlighten you:

About Structured Settlements – From Prudential Structured Settlements, this is a general information video focusing on the financial security that comes with structuring one’s settlement and describes how they work.

What Are the Rules & Requirements for a Non-Qualified Assignment? – From MetLife, this video features MetLife Structured Settlement Leadership describing the unique features of this product used for taxable settlements, and the requirements needed to implement them.

Why Do I Need a Structured Settlement? – From Pacific Life, this one’s been out for a little longer but worth re-sharing since it emphasizes the importance of making the right decision when one’s personal injury claim concludes.

(more…)

Finn Financial Group