How Lawsuit Funds are Dispersed
Once a settlement or judgment is reached in the personal injury case, the attorney and recipient must evaluate whether to have the funds distributed outright to a plaintiff or to use a structured settlement or a supplemental needs trust, or a combination of both. The client, as well as the attorney, must consider some very serious factors.
These factors include whether the client might benefit from available public benefits programs now or in the future, and whether the client can manage responsibly a large amount of funds. The attorney also has a responsibility to protect his/her client against creditors if possible. Investment strategy and protection against liens and estate claims by state agencies must also be looked into.
All of these considerations are taken into account after satisfying liens against the proceeds of the lawsuit settlement or trial. Private insurers and health care providers as well as Medicaid or Medicare may have contractual and statutory claims to be reimbursed for the expenses of caring for a tort plaintiff.