Tip #1 – Get the right to structure!

September 24, 2012

Top 10 Structure Tips - Tip #1

A new blog series- "10 things everyone should know about structures...but may not"

Welcome to the first in a series of 10 tips for lawyers and claims reps working in the world of personal injury and structured settlements.  Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be presenting 10 “tips” on structured settlements. Some of you may think they are obvious, but for many, these tips will provide a helpful foundation on the basics of structure negotiations.

Tip #1 – Get the right to structure!

With the exception of Court-ordered structures, a plaintiff cannot structure without the consent of the funding casualty insurer.

In the past year alone, our office has had more than a dozen files assigned, where the right to structure a portion of the settlement funds was NOT included as a term of settlement.

On these files, plaintiff counsel was put in the position of having to continue negotiating with the casualty insurer…this time for the right to structure.  On some of the files, that consent to structure was secured.  On others, it was not.  This made it necessary for a number of plaintiff lawyers to report this to their E & O carrier.

Of course, obtaining the right to structure as a term of the settlement does not mean the plaintiff must structure.  It merely secures the option for the plaintiff to do so, after being fully informed about the benefits of a structured settlement.