If you've been talking with an attorney about a wrongful death claim, or if you're in negotiations for a settlement, it's important that you understand what your options are for receiving that settlement payment. When it comes to wrongful death suits, there are some considerations that apply when you're choosing your payment option that wouldn't necessarily be relevant in other cases. Here's a look at what you need to know about your settlement options and the considerations you have when it comes to your wrongful death payments.
A lump-sum payment settlement is just what it sounds like. You'll settle your wrongful death claim for a specified amount, and you will receive that amount in full in a single payment. You will, of course, be responsible for paying your attorney's fees (unless otherwise negotiated), and you'll have to pay income tax on this lump sum as well. This can reduce your settlement amount significantly in some cases, depending on the tax bracket it puts you in.
However, a lump-sum payment can be advantageous in some wrongful death cases. For example, if you filed a wrongful death claim after the loss of your spouse, and you are the breadwinner in the household, you already have consistent income coming in to cover the bills. What you may not have, though, is life insurance to cover the burial and funeral costs or the additional money to cover any medical bills incurred due to the accident.
Accepting a lump-sum payment, in this case, will allow you to cover those final expenses for your loved one without the financial strain that this could otherwise cause.
A structured payment agreement distributes your settlement money in even payments over a predetermined period of time. You'll be guaranteed this money according to the payment schedule, which could be important if the wrongful death claim was filed on behalf of a sole-income spouse that has left you without an income.
In this type of situation, your spouse likely had life insurance through their job, and that life insurance can cover the burial and funeral service expenses. However, you may be worried about how you're going to make ends meet long-term while you're trying to get yourself back into the workforce. A structured settlement for your wrongful death claim could provide you with peace of mind for your finances while you're looking for work and trying to re-establish your life.
Talk with your wrongful death attorney about your financial situation to help you decide which settlement option is the best one for your needs.Share