Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer: Structured Settlement vs. Lump Sum Settlement
May 18, 2012
You’ve won your personal injury case and will finally receive your just compensation. Your Davie personal injury lawyer brings up the matter of how your money will be awarded: structured settlement or lump sum settlement? That’s a good question, as there are pluses and minuses on both sides, and the best choice depends on you and your unique situation and needs.
A lump sum settlement is exactly what it sounds like: You receive the entire settlement upfront in one payment. Unfortunately, taxes may be the most compelling reason not to choose this option, although in some cases, taxes may not apply at all. It depends on the terms of your award. Though the portion of your settlement that is direct compensation for what the government has termed “observable bodily harm” will be tax-free, any monies you are awarded for emotional injury, lost wages, and future medical expenses will be taxed. Another hazard of accepting a lump sum settlement depends on your personal spending habits. If you have concerns that you might not be wise with a large sum of money, then it’s probably best to build in a layer of discipline by having the money portioned out to you over a period of time, such as occurs with a structured settlement.
In a structured settlement, every penny you receive will be tax-free, regardless of whether or not it’s due to observable injury, emotional damage, or other losses and expenses that would be taxed if paid in a lump sum settlement. A structured settlement often helps recipients manage their award more wisely, as it will be paid to you in regular payments over an extended period of time. One note of caution, however: Should you choose a structured settlement, you can’t change your mind later.
When it’s time to discuss your personal injury award, your Davie personal injury lawyer will have much sage advice to offer. Be as candid as you can with yourself and with your personal injury lawyer when having discussions with regard to your settlement so that you will be best served and protected by the decision you ultimately make.
Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey are seasoned personal injury lawyers in Davie with a winning record of guiding auto accident victims to fair and reasonable compensation from insurance companies. The Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey team has tried more than 100 jury trials and obtained verdicts, judgments, and settlements in excess of $100 million for their clients. Please visit our website at https://www.lwmpersonalinjurylawyers.com/ or call our offices at 954.525.2345 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a Davie personal injury lawyer.