If you’re a trial lawyer, no one needs to tell you that litigating a catastrophic injury case can be a lengthy and complex process — even after settling. However, there are tools and solutions that help streamline some of the steps to get to the finish line.
Over the years, I have worked with many attorneys to establish qualified settlement funds (QSF) to give them the time they need to thoughtfully address the myriad of decisions involved in the disbursement of settlement funds.
Why establish a QSF? There are four primary benefits.
Benefit #1: Great for Plaintiffs. With a QSF, plaintiffs and their attorneys have the benefit of more time to plan, the ability to negotiate liens, and deal with many of the complexities that may arise.
Benefit #2: Great for Attorneys. Lawyers can take their fees immediately. Doing so can improve cash flow of fees by 30 to 180 days, depending on court approval or other issues.
Benefit #3: Great for Defendants. When the defendant makes a payment to a QSF, they get an immediate deduction for the payment, just as if they paid the plaintiffs directly.
Benefit #4: Professional Assistance. Establishing a QSF means hiring a professional administrator to source lien negotiators and assist in creating a Medicare set-aside if necessary. More expert hands on deck is helpful when it’s time to make long-term financial decisions.
QSFs can be advantageous during the settlement process. Finding the right administrator is pivotal, however. Be sure to work with one who has the experience required to understand the many facets of the settlement process and be the partner you need.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).