I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I would like to get this lawsuit over because once it’s over, I can move on. I’ll have closure.”
However, the end of the legal process is not the end of your ordeal. In addition to dealing with any long-term injuries, you must now manage what could be a significantly large amount of money.
Most people haven’t gone to school to learn how to manage money, which is why you should hire three people after winning a large sum of money in a lawsuit: financial advisors, life care planners (in the event of a catastrophic injury), and a structured settlement advisor.
Let’s take a look at how this team of advisors can help you make your settlement money last the rest of your life.
Hire a Financial Advisor to Manage Funds
Once a settlement or judgment amount is paid out, a plan for how to preserve and protect the money—how to keep it from being mismanaged or lost—should be in place. This is where hiring a good financial advisor will be necessary. An experienced truck accident attorney would have been down this road before and will be able to help you select the right advisor.
You need an expert to properly manage a large settlement amount, even if you’ve handled your normal finances just fine your whole life. If the recipient isn’t you but a loved one, hiring an advisor becomes even more important.
For instance, in some cases, the recipient is a minor. Nobody would think it was a good idea to give a child millions of dollars. And it might be equally imprudent to give a large sum of money to someone with no financial management background.
I recommend contacting a reputable financial planner to advise you on the best options to manage the funds. Furthermore, I suggest working with financial planners who are paid by the hour, rather than those who get paid based on what they sell. You want somebody who gives independent advice based on your particular circumstances, rather than someone who might point you in a particular direction because it means financial rewards for them.
Hire a Life Care Planner to Manage Long-Term Help
If a catastrophic injury resulted from the truck accident, as they often do, you’ll also want to hire a life care planner. Whether it’s you or a loved one, the accident victim may be dealing with their injuries for a long time, if not the rest of their life. You’ll need an expert to help you know what future financial obligations exist.
Life care planners are experts on assessing the overall economic loss that results from the accident. For example, if a person is going to need medical care for the rest of their lives, the life care planner will put together a future medical plan that takes into account all the costs and developing needs of the patient. The person may need medical care, therapy, equipment, transportation, modifications to their house, or assisted living.
It is the life care planner’s job to determine all the current and future needs of the injured party and come up with a plan that ensures, as much as possible, that everyone involved will enjoy a financially secure future. Again, an experienced truck wreck attorney will be able to help you select a future care expert.
Hire a Structured Settlement Advisor to Manage Growth
Lastly, you may want to hire a structured settlement advisor to help you manage your settlement.
Structured settlement advisors assist people with the purchase of an annuity. When you buy an annuity, you enter into a relationship with a company that pays you or a designated third party at set intervals.
The advantage of a structured settlement is the money grows, and you get interest on it, but you don’t have to pay any taxes on the interest, so the money grows tax free. The disadvantage of the structure is it only pays out under the exact terms of the contract, so it lacks the flexibility of other money management tools. For it to work, it must be done properly, and an experienced injury attorney will understand what needs to be done.
A structured settlement is a good way to manage children’s access to the money. With a structured settlement, the family can decide how much money the child will get for each year—for instance, what they can receive during college or when they decide it’s time to buy a house.
Make Your Settlement Last
You can’t buy closure or ever fully heal from some injuries, and no amount of money can fix that. But whether you’re using your settlement money to pay for everyday expenses, for ongoing medical expenses, or growing it in an annuity account, you should aim to preserve it for the long term.
Especially if you have a lasting injury, you want your funds to outlast the medical bills. By hiring a good financial advisor, life care planner, and structured settlement advisor, you can guarantee that your money gets well managed for as long as you and your family need it.
For more advice on trucking accidents, you can find Semitruck Wreck on Amazon.
David W. Craig is the managing partner at the law firm of cc. He is board certified in Truck Accident Law. David sits on the board of regents for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA) and has over 30 years of experience representing truck accident victims. David is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and a proud recipient of the Thurgood Marshall “Fighting for Justice” Award. He was also named a top 10 trucking trial lawyer in Indiana by the National Trial Lawyers Association. To connect with David, visit ckflaw.com.