Firms Make Millions By Exploiting Injury Settlements

Posted on Jan 05, 2016

Settlement for your serious injury case should take care of you.

Any family affected by a permanent injury caused by medical malpractice or in an accident knows how devastating and life changing it can be, and how a settlement can help pay for what you need.

So this is sad and sickening.

Recently, a Washington Post article uncovered an unfortunate truth: companies take advantage of seriously injured people, many with brain damage and cognitive deficits because of their injuries, who receive structured settlements by buying their settlements for pennies on the dollar. How does this work?

In short, companies are offering immediate lump sum payments in cash for the right to receive the periodic proceeds of an injured person's settlement - say, for example, a worker gets an $11 million settlement to be paid out over the course of 10 years. One of these firms would offer to buy the settlement for $1.5 million in cash, right now. Often times, people take the deal because they want large sums of money, many because they are being taken advantage of by someone they know or have become friends with. 

BUT, they're essentially losing around $10 million dollars if they sign over their rights to that ongoing income. 

Here at Donahoe Kearney, we negotiate for structured and lump-sum settlements - since we have a small number of cases, we can work with each client to see what type of settlement would work best for them considering their injury, needs, lifestyle, and many other factors. Some of our clients would do better with lump-sums, others would do better with structured settlements. Many, many clients have both.

And you can click here to see some of them through our client reviews and case results. 

The problem of companies buying injured workers' settlements for pennies on the dollar is happening all over our region. It's happening in Maryland, and it's happening in Virginia according to the Washington Post article. 

To buy a structured settlement, companies have to get court approval. But, who would give court approval for a 'transfer of structured settlement' where there is such a huge difference in the value of the settlement and the amount the company is buying it for?

In Virginia at least, the article mentions that one lawyer has filed THOUSANDS of these cases to buy structured settlements - this is far more than any other lawyer in the state - and they all go through the Portsmouth Circuit Court, where they almost always get approved.

We never, ever tell our clients to sell their structured settlement.  It's a bad deal. 

So if you know someone who was seriously injured and has a structured settlement, tell them to be careful and avoid this trap. The best way to do that is to make sure you have an attorney on your side in DC to help you manage the entire case and make sure you get the right settlement for you, so that you do not run out of money and become desperate for immediate cash and try to sell off your settlement for pennies on the dollar.

There is a lot to know if you're faced with a serious, life changing injury - and you have to learn it in a hurry.  Use our website or call us for a free, no obligation consultation so we can help you make the best decision for you and your family.

It will be helpful to talk to a professional so you don't have to guess or worry about what you're going to do, and its free.  But don't wait.  Every case has time limitations and you need the information that can help you now.

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer