What is a Structured Settlement?
A structured settlement is an agreement by an insurer or other responsible party to pay damages to people who have suffered injuries resulting from wrongful death, personal injury liability cases, or workers’ compensation cases. The payments are made over a period of time and under the conditions laid out in the settlement agreement, with the understanding that the injured party will hold the at-fault party free from any future liability. Structured settlement payments are generally tax-free, and can pass on to a person’s heirs or beneficiaries in the event of their passing.
Structured settlements are often negotiated in cases in which the amount of damages is quite large. They can provide the security of knowing that, rather than receiving one extremely large check that could easily be spent unwisely or make the person vulnerable to scams aimed at robbing them of their money, they will instead receive a periodic payment. These periodic payments are often better suited to allow the recipient to live a financially comfortable life, pay their day to day expenses, and meet medical bills and obligations when they have suffered a permanent, life-altering disability.
While there are advantages to having a structured settlement and periodic payments, there are disadvantages. Once the terms for payment have been established, they can’t be renegotiated. Another disadvantage is that, by distributing funds in periodic payments, the person receiving the payment is prevented from investing the lump sum amount and potentially benefiting by the investment.
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Structured Settlements Protected Under S.C. Law
In South Carolina, structured settlements are protected under the Structured Settlement Protection Act. This act protects victims and their families from being taken advantage off in obtaining or transferring a structured settlement. While television commercials tempt people receiving periodic payments with lump sum cash offers, the Structured Settlement Protection Act aims to make sure they are completely informed before making such a major decision, with potentially negative ramifications. Under South Carolina law, a person looking to sell a structured settlement is required to be provided with a complete listing of fees associated with selling the settlement, and they are also required to obtain legal counseling before finalizing the sale. The person selling the payments has the right to change their mind and cancel the agreement within certain time frames.
Contact Our Experienced South Carolina Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm today. Our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys know the serious, potentially life-threatening injuries caused by these accidents. We’ll fight to hold responsible parties accountable and help you get the maximum compensation allowed by law. Call us today for a free review of your case in Charleston.