Structured Settlements and Personal Injury Law

Ok, you have finally settled your Massachusetts personal injury claim.  Now what?  In most instances, the insurance company responsible for paying you for your injuries will cut you a check.  This settlement check is usually one lump sum payment.  But sometimes, it makes sense to spread the disbursement of settlement monies over time.  The vehicle to do that is through a structured settlement.  But what is a structured settlement?  I found the following on the Amica Insurance Company website that answers this important question:

  • Simply stated, a structured settlement is a bodily injury claim settlement packaged format of cash and future periodic payments. The future payments are provided through the purchase of a special annuity by the defendant from a life insurance company. This annuity is a contract whereby the life insurance company promises to make periodic payments to an injured party as part of a bodily injury claim settlement or to a surviving family member to whom a large settlement has been awarded. These are just two examples of when a structured settlement can be used. Structured settlements have become popular because they offer substantial benefits to all parties involved in the settlement agreement.

It oftentimes makes sense to structure a settlement when the claimant is a young child (in order to provide for his/her financial security later in life) and, for cases that have settled in excess of $100, 000.0.  You therefore have to make a decision.  Would you rather not wait and receive your settlement monies in one lump sum?  Or, would you rather wait and receive payments over time which will net you more money than the lump sum payment would?  These are issues you have to discuss with your Massachusetts personal injury lawyer.