An Underappreciated Tool that Packs a Punch in the Litigation Endgame
A qualified settlement fund (QSF) is an escrow account that holds settlement proceeds to buy time for proper planning after settlement. The QSF offers benefits to the plaintiff, the defendant, AND the attorney. Here’s how.
What Does a Qualified Settlement Fund Do?
When a QSF is in place, plaintiffs and their attorneys have more time to plan for settlement, negotiate liens, and deal with a variety of complexities that may arise. Simply put, it takes them off the heat so they’re not pressured into hurrying through these critical financial decisions. Meanwhile, the plaintiff’s attorney most likely won’t be waiting to get paid, as sometimes is the case in litigation. If the state allows, with a QSF attorneys can take their fees immediately, even if the plaintiff is still working through major decisions like trust planning and preserving government benefits.
A QSF also takes defendants off the hook right at settlement, as they can get an immediate deduction for the payment when they make a payment to a QSF. It’s as if they had paid the plaintiffs directly.
So, why are these litigation escrow accounts so unknown by experienced litigators?
One of the greatest tools in the hands of a litigator is a means to control the endgame. That’s what a qualified settlement fund can provide. By hiring the right administrator and having an expert working directly for attorneys and their firms, they can resolve the prickly issues inherent in settlement.
When Might an Attorney Establish a QSF?
Types of cases that would benefit from a QSF include:
- Single event or traditional individual lawsuits
- Personal injury
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Employment discrimination
- Sexual assault and harassment
- Patent and intellectual property
As a QSF administrator, Milestone offers professional litigation distribution services, settlement planning, structured settlements, lien negotiation, and a host of other valuable services for lawyers and their clients. Feel free to call us to discuss whether a QSF is right for your case.
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).