What Can You Do While Waiting for a Personal Injury Settlement? Attorney Janet Lowder Explains

I’ve seen personal injury cases take up to five years to get settled if they go to trial, and the best personal injury attorneys help their clients prepare for the financial hardships that may arise in the interim. Immediate medical expenses may include hospitalization, as well as long-term rehabilitation in a nursing home. Once the individual returns home, there may be costs for attendant care and renovations for accessibility. If their injuries resulted from an auto accident, they may need to repair or replace the vehicle.

 Attorney Janet Lowder

Attorney Janet Lowder

Beyond such immediate financial hits, there’s often a huge drop in household income. Social Security Disability payments don’t begin for five months following the incident. So if the claimant was the family breadwinner and doesn’t have short-term disability insurance, there could be a period when no funds are coming in. Even if the primary breadwinner isn’t the injured party, one parent may stop working in order to act as caregiver.

To deal with this shortfall, families need to evaluate all the options available to pay for medical expenses. They may be eligible for public benefits to help defray healthcare costs. If an auto accident was involved, medical bills may be directed to the insurance company, which will then be repaid through the settlement. If none of the costs are covered by insurance, and the family is getting calls from collection agencies, their attorney can issue a “letter of protection” to advise health providers that they will be reimbursed once the case is resolved. That stops the collection agencies, which often takes some pressure off the families.

Many people use credit cards or loans from family members to make it through this period, repaying those debts once the case is settled. While lawsuit loans are available, we don’t recommend them except in extreme cases, because their rates are extremely high.

Until the case is settled, families should keep detailed records of all expenses, including transportation costs. And any loans should be documented in writing.

By Attorney Janet Lowder, Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A.

Posted on September 12, 2018 .

Structured legal fees to save taxes now and build retirement assets

In this last segment of the series, "Why do so many trial lawyers retire broke" Mark Wahlstrom looks at the single most powerful tax and retirement planning tool trial lawyers have; Structured legal fees. Want to pay yourself before you pay back taxes and legal finance? Well a structured legal fee allows you to carefully and ethically defer income, pay back financing at preferred rates and lower current income tax liabilities. Watch this video to learn how to lower taxes, build retirement assets and get off the debt finance cycle for good. http://wahlstromandassociates.com/

Posted on August 17, 2018 .

Trial lawyer retirement planning, 468B trusts aid tax and retirement planning

In part three of his series, "Why so many trial lawyers retire broke" Mark Wahlstrom looks at how 468B settlement trusts can be used to assist trial lawyers in deferring taxes, lowering litigation finance costs and allocating future cash flow to retirement assets, all while doing what is best for the client. These are one of the least used and poorly understood settlement planning tools available to trial lawyers and Mark Wahlstrom breaks down how they can solve a multitude of problems for lawyers AND help build retirement assets. http://wahlstromandassociates.com

Posted on August 8, 2018 .