Have you recently been awarded a settlement in a wrongful death case? If so, there are few facts that you should know about collecting on this settlement. Taking the time to review these facts outlined below can help you to avoid any unexpected surprises regarding your payment.
Your Lawyer Will Get Their Money First
Most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency basis. If this is the case with your attorney, it is important to understand that your settlement check will be sent directly to the lawyer before you receive any funds. This check will be cashed so that the lawyer can collect their legal fees and any other fees that you owe. Once this amount has been deducted, the remainder of your settlement will be sent to you along with a detailed accounting statement showing the different fees that were assessed.
Structured Payments May Be Discharged As Part Of A Bankruptcy
If the court awarded you a structured settlement rather than a lump sum payment, you could find that your payments suddenly disappear sometime in the future. This is because current bankruptcy laws allow individuals and companies to discharge negligence payments as part of a bankruptcy action. If the individual or company that is responsible for paying your settlement is not currently on solid financial ground, you may wish to consider selling your structured payments to an investment firm. While this option will only allow you to collect a certain percentage of your total settlement amount, it will also safeguard you against the risk that the debt will be discharged.
You May Be Forced To Share The Proceeds Of Your Case
In some cases, the law will require that you share any settlement funds you receive as the result of a wrongful death case. Oftentimes, these statutes are employed when more than one person suffers equally from the loss of a loved one. For instance, if your parent was to die as a result of negligence, both you and your siblings would be equally impacted by this death. However, only one of you will be legally allowed to file a wrongful death claim. In this situation, the court may require that the proceeds of your case are distributed equally amongst you and your siblings.
While the task of reaching a settlement in your case may seem like the hard part, distributing and receiving this settlement may be equally complicated in some cases. In order to help you through the process of collecting your settlement and dealing with any legal obstacles you may encounter, it is extremely important that you request a final consultation with your wrongful death attorney before your case is officially closed. For more information about how a wrongful death case might proceed, contact a firm such as Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel.