Why You Need A Settlement Planner
The intersection of settlement planning, settlement taxation, public benefit preservation and liens complicates settlements today. These matters are a fertile area for malpractice claims against personal injury attorneys. Without an expert’s guidance, keeping up to date on the changing facets of the law and ethical responsibilities in these areas is difficult at best. You should not underestimate the importance of hiring an expert settlement planner on your next case who can help guide you and your client through these complexities.
The use of structured settlements and trusts as a way to fund future needs for injury victims has become commonplace in today’s settlement landscape. Frequently, these solutions are proposed by the defendant as a way to settle the case. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, the techniques utilized by the defense in offering these solutions or the way the transaction is done may be to the detriment of your client. The settlement transaction can be complicated and can involve a host of legal issues that could present professional negligence traps for the personal injury attorney if he or she does not have their own expert to advise them.
Having an independent settlement planner involved in your case is vitally important. You need an expert that can be held accountable and legally liable to you. The defense typically will use their own specialist so why wouldn’t you? The defense’s expert works for them and is not held accountable or legally liable to you.
Nearly all settlement agreements release everyone on the defense side, including the defense’s settlement expert. So who will you turn to if the defense made an error or omission in the settlement planning transaction? With your own settlement planning expert participating in the placement of the financial products, you have their Errors and Omissions policy available but unless your settlement planner actually participates in the placement of the products, you may find yourself without any recourse should the transaction be handled incorrectly.