Litigation Finance: The Industry that Continues to Evolve

Most industries tend to find their formula and stick with it. Sure, some companies may sell seasonal products and offer special promotions, but you won’t see McDonalds suddenly decide to start to make and sell lawnmowers. Lawsuit lending is not one of those static industries.

First off, the whole business is probably only about twenty years old. Before that, if you needed to obtain needed money before your lawsuit ended, you either had to get money from your wealthy friends or your attorney would (sometimes illegally) loan it to you. Now there are companies to do that for you.

This industry is one to keep your finger on the pulse, though. Changes are happening every day to the way the industry functions, what it charges, where it can work, and how it is regulated. Here a few ways the industry keeps evolving:

States Come and Go

Due to the varying laws in different states, funding companies change where and how they can fund. It is currently legal to fund in all 50 states, but there are certain regulations in some states that make it difficult to obtain funding there. What’s more, each company may differ with which states it can fund.

These lists don’t always stay the same, though. Some states that were once poor funding states could have had changes in their regulatory laws, and suddenly they can once again be fundable. Other states simply require funding companies to change their funding structure. The takeaway here is that if you are currently in a tough funding state, that doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Check with funding companies every so often to see if there have been changes in your state.

Time = Knowledge

The first time someone had a bad reaction to a drug, there may not have been much known about it. As more and more people came forward with similar problems, attorneys as well as funders started doing more research about those cases. This knowledge has helped form an understanding about how these problems happen and about how lawsuits that result might end up.

This benefits you especially in terms of funding. Some companies may not be able to consider certain case types when there isn’t much demand for those accidents. As more time passes and more information becomes available, companies become more knowledgeable. One case type that can’t be funded today could be perfect for funding in a month. Continue to check with funding companies to see if your case type has become available for consideration.

Fees can change

Interest rates have come down drastically in litigation finance from the early days. Fifteen years ago companies were charging 5.99% compounded monthly interest rates or higher. Funding today is very affordable and promotions can happen that lower rates even more. Make sure to find a funder who can give you a good rate. Your financial future is at stake.

The perception is changing

Before attorneys knew what legal loans were, many were skeptical. They would advise their clients against it without even knowing what it entailed. Today attorneys are more versed in the process. In fact, many attorneys even refer their plaintiffs directly to funders to get a loan because they know that money can help the client reach the case’s true settlement value. Your attorney’s cooperation is essential and fortunately they are more willing than ever to do so.
Staying abreast of changes is a smart idea. Check with your attorney to see how getting financial help can result in a bigger return for both you and your attorney. Ask funding companies if the details of your application have changed due to changes in the industry. Everything changes and, in this case, it’s for the better.

7 Things to Do (or Not Do) After an Accident

Uplift Injury and Accident Checklist

School can teach you many things, from math to history to vocabulary to science. Unless you’re in school to be a lawyer, though, there aren’t really any classes with real-world applicability about being in an accident. You can only trust movies and television shows so much.

Here I’m going to walk you through a few pointers of things you should and shouldn’t do after you’ve had an accident. DISCLAIMER: this blog should not be construed as legal advice; you should always consult an attorney to obtain legal advice.

1) Get an accident/incident report taken on the scene if possible

There are many reasons why an accident report or incident report doesn’t get completed after an accident. It could be that both sides felt it was a small incident and decide mutually not to get the police or supervisors involved. Some states don’t even require the police to get involved. It can be that the guilty party knows they are guilty and convinces the innocent party not to get a record of the accident.

In any case, always try to get a report written. If it’s an automobile accident, call the police and have them take a report on the scene. If you weren’t at fault, it will be very important to document what happened. Even if you were at fault, even partially, it’s good to have your side of the story in writing at the scene.

If the accident happened on the job or at another premises, the owner may be reluctant to fill anything out because they don’t want to admit liability. Insist that a report be drawn up. Make sure any witnesses at the scene stick around to give their perspective on the accident.

2) Take pictures at the scene

In the olden days, before the advent of smartphones, this step would not have been practical. Not everyone had a dependable camera on them at all times. Now with a good camera on most phones, you can chronicle an accident immediately after it happens. I once had an access hatch fall on me (I caught it) and I took pictures of the aftermath. This became very important when, three days later, it fell off again and hit me square on the head. Because I had photographed both accidents, it proved that the maintenance staff was negligent in repairing the damage and I won my suit. If you fell because of a defective stairway, take a picture of it before the landlord fixes it up.

3) Seek treatment

Often times an accident happens extremely quickly. This is especially true in motor vehicle accidents. Things happen so fast that you don’t have time to process what happened. This might make you feel fine after even a very bad accident.

It’s dangerous to refuse medical help now. Your body will have extra adrenaline coursing through it, masking any pain that might be under the surface. Go to the hospital or a doctor if it’s suggested. If you don’t go the day of, seek treatment soon after. Don’t be stubborn and wait.

4) Listen to Your Doctor

This may seem obvious, but if the doctor thinks that it’s best that you go to therapy three times a week for three months, make every appointment. Don’t think that, just because your back is feeling a little better, you’re done. Injuries don’t often work like that. Complete every treatment.

Note: if you think your doctor is suggesting things that seem abnormal or excessive, it’s okay to seek a second opinion. But in general, you don’t know medicine better than your doctor (even with Web MD at the your disposal).

5) Consult with an Attorney

Every accident doesn’t mean a lawsuit, but it’s a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your accident. Some warrant legal action, some don’t. However, avoid doing so frivolously. If you rear-ended a stopped car because you were sending a text, don’t think you can sue that car in front of you for your injury.

6) Plan your Finances

For some, an accident may just mean a couple of days off of their desk job and then back to work. For others who may be more seriously injured or whose job may involve physical labor, it can be weeks or months of lost wages. Some even lose their job because they’re no longer able to work. Take a good look at how much you need to get by. If you have some savings tucked away, good for you. If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, it might be time to see if a friend, relative, bank, or lawsuit funding company can get you a loan to get by.

7) Don’t Miss Legal or Medical Appointments

If you do find yourself having to file a lawsuit, make sure you do what your attorney asks. There will be forms to fill out, questions to answer, and appointments to make. Court appointments are especially important. Missing even one of these can have a bad impact on your case. Some lawsuits are thrown away if the client is uncooperative. Life can get in the way, sure, but if you know you can’t make an appointment, inform your attorney ahead of time so she can reschedule. Don’t simply no-show.

There are probably 100 things that you should do after an accident, but these are some of the more important ones. Not every one of these things will apply to everyone (some states have different requirements for accident reports, for instance), but this should give you an overview of what to do, and definitely what no to do.

Law & Order – Great TV, Bad Benchmark

Don’t Trust Everything on Law & Order

Have you ever turned a courtroom drama show and been glued to the set? Some handsome young attorney is yelling, pleading, coaxing, and wrapping the jury around his finger. An unhinged witness suddenly explodes with a big bombshell about the defendant? The judge manages to deduce the answer with a brilliant line of thought?

Those shows are riveting and the writing in them is often very good. The title of this blog is about Law & Order, but really, this isn’t just about that one show. Crime and court dramas are everywhere, some great, some less great. They’re in movies, they’re in books. You can’t search on Netflix for five minutes without stumbling across one. But there’s a problem with many of them:

They’re not realistic. That’s not to say they’re not true; many of them base their plotlines on real court cases. The problem is that these shows and movies portray a few things very wrong, or at least portray them too glamorously. Here are some things that courtroom drama shows get wrong, and how knowing this could change how you view your own lawsuit.

Not every accident results in a lawsuit

Since most of these dramas take place inside the courtroom, it makes sense to only show trials. This might lead a viewer to think all accidents go to trial. Not only is that not true, but not all accidents even result in lawsuits. Smaller fender benders might be resolved with the two people involved and their insurance companies. Even if a lawyer is brought into the fold, your lawyer will quite often reach a settlement with the insurance company. For motor vehicle cases, it’s probably more common to settle before a lawsuit is ever filed. Even more complex cases can resolve without going to court.

Attorneys spend more time with paperwork than in the courtroom

The idea of a beautiful attorney in her power suit strolling through a silent courtroom gets people to watch these shows. The same attorney in a business casual outfit in a small office filling out paperwork would not. The fact is that attorneys spend much of their time doing research, writing or modifying legal documents, preparing demand letters, and talking to other attorneys and insurance adjusters on the phone. As a matter of fact, some attorneys never go into a courtroom and instead hire out other law firms if they need to go to court. If your attorney is not actually in court on your case, it doesn’t mean they are ignoring the case. Much of the work is done behind the scenes.

The timescale is WAY off

If the dramas were to be believed, two weeks after your accident you’ll be holding back the tears as you testify before a jury. It just doesn’t happen that fast. There’s a lengthy process that has to be followed. Information has to be exchanged. Medical treatment has to happen. A demand needs to be made. Counter offers might be received. If there is no resolution, a lawsuit needs to be filed. More information needs to be traded. Meetings need to be set up. Questions need to be asked and answered. Sometimes experts are called in to write reports. Dates are set and then often rescheduled. More information needs to happen. And on and on and on. Two weeks is not realistic. Two years is more likely.

The courtroom scene itself is probably less exciting than you’d think

In some cases, like automobile cases, they may only be trying to establish one or two things. Your injuries, for example, are already known. The defense might just be trying to prove that their client was not 100% responsible for the accident. Doing that might mean they have to pay less to you in the end. As such, court scenes are just questions and answers asking about how you remember the accident. It may come down to one witness to the accident being more reliable than the other. It’s not that common to hear someone yell “AHA!” like you do in courtroom dramas.

If you win, you don’t immediately get the money

In those shows, after the plaintiff wins a verdict, the next shot of them is on a yacht. Not only do you not get money the next day (sometimes it can take weeks or even months to get paid), most times you don’t get to spend it on luxury items. Your bills probably piled up during the lawsuit unless you were able to get a pre-settlement loan on your case. Those have to be paid. Sometimes a plaintiff still needs medical care even after their suit is over. That isn’t free. The truth is a settlement, even a big one, is usually not a victory; it is you getting justice for your pain and suffering. Getting your life back on track often takes more than just money.

If, however, you won in court but it could be months before you get paid, there are ways to get funding on those settlements. Contact us for more information. And remember, not everything is as you see it on TV.

Managing Expectations

How To Manage Your Expectations in Lawsuit Funding

Have you applied for a lawsuit funding loan only to be turned down or approved for way less than you thought you would? Then when you tried another company, you were told the same thing? Your attorney told you your case could be worth millions! How could these companies not get that?

Well, there are many reasons why a funding company would behave differently than you’d expect. Here are a few things you can do so that you aren’t wasting valuable time treading the unfamiliar waters of legal funding.

Make sure your state and case type are able to be considered

While most case types and most states don’t present a problem, there are a few out there that can be problematic for funders. What’s worse, some companies will fund in a difficult state while others won’t, so there isn’t even one list of “good” entities. If one company denies your case type, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad case. Try another company – but make it clear up front that you have this unusual case type or state so you aren’t wasting your time or theirs. Being denied for these reasons doesn’t mean anything about the value of your case; sometimes, funders just can’t consider them for some other reason.

Research Your Case Type

Thousands of people before you have gone through your exact situation, whether you had a motor vehicle accident in FL or you have an unpaid wage claim in NY. There are records online that show what lawsuits have settled for. If you see that someone with similar injuries to you in the same area got a $50,000 settlement, it’s probably not likely that you’ll get $2,000,000. Similarly, if your state tends to settle cases that have your injury and a funder tells you that they feel it won’t settle, then it is probably worth getting it evaluated by another funder.

I give this warning, though. Take things you read on the internet with a grain of salt. Many things you read are really just sales pitches, so the information may not be 100% accurate. Try to get information from a few sources.

Learn About Your Specific Case

A funder might approve you for a small amount on a motor vehicle case where you had a broken leg. Your attorney told you the case would settle for the full policy limit! Why are they only giving you a small amount? Well, there could be many reasons. Let’s say the policy limit in your case is $100k/$300k. Don’t walk away thinking you’ll get $300,000 (that’s the total amount that can be given out in one claim, but only $100,000 is available for each plaintiff). Then let’s assume there were 4 other people in the car. They all have to get paid too out of that $300,000. Then, even if you were the most injured, maybe the surgery you had was put on a lien and the hospital needs to be paid.

A funder offering you a lower amount than you expected doesn’t mean they don’t like your case, there are simply more factors at-play.

A demand letter isn’t a settlement offer

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a client say that their case is worth $250k because that’s how much their attorney is asking for. What your attorney demands is not the same thing as your case value. It CAN be, of course, but that isn’t a given. Quite often cases settle out for less than the attorney demands, and that lower amount is STILL a reasonable payment for your pain and suffering.

Your attorney may be looking at your case with rose-colored glasses

This isn’t about your attorney lying to you. In fact, many attorneys won’t even give a case value to your case before it settles. But in an attorney’s brain, she may be thinking of a ‘best case scenario’ when talking about the value or the timeframe of your case. If she says your case should be done in a year, she may very well think so at the time, but new obstacles may delay that. Medical reports may show negative (or even positive) developments that will change the potential value or timeline of your case.

An attorney won’t take a case that he thinks has zero chance of settling, but he may be convinced your case is better than it is because he assumes everything will go right. If a funder offers you a smaller amount than what you thought, it might be time to modify your expectations.

In Conclusion

Funders can be wrong, but so can attorneys. The important thing for you is to have realistic expectations for both your lawsuit and your funding loan. A sprained ankle on a slip and fall has never resulted in a $10mm settlement. Knowing more about other cases like yours, about your cases in particular, and about your attorney can help you keep expectations realistic when moving forward. Realistic expectations can reduce or eliminate disappointment altogether.

Anything Your Attorney Can Do, You Can’t Do Better

Anything Your Attorney Can Do, You Can’t Do Better

How You Might Think It Workspro se, no way - lawsuit funding requires an attorney

If legal drama shows like Law and Order have taught me anything, it’s that a good lawyer only needs a few things to be successful: a confident voice, the ability to think on his toes, and a good power tie. Scene after scene takes place in the courtroom, where well-dressed attorneys toss around witty legal banter in a totally unnatural way. The one with the best hair tends to win.

How it Really Works

What they don’t show is the hours of tedious and complicated paperwork they need to have prepared and filed, adhering to specific state-contingent deadlines. Even an attorney in one state, say New York, needs to know rules and guidelines for each county in which they might need to file a lawsuit. (There are 62 different counties in NY, by the way.) Google can teach you quite a bit (some of it even true!) but it is no replacement for 8 years of rigorous education and trial-by-fire.

Where Others Have Failed

So why is it that some people think they can shirk an attorney and try to beat the insurance company giants on their own? TV dramas and John Grisham books might have something to do with it, but it’s often simpler than that: greed. Plaintiffs think they can win more money on their own than by hiring an attorney. Not only do they think that they can do an attorney’s job better than a lawyer, but they realize that not having to pay an attorney will give them a greater percentage of their supposed bigger settlement.

Unofrtunately, that’s not how it works — Why?

  • Most plaintiffs don’t start out pro-se (without an attorney). They may fire their attorney halfway through the process, or even later than that. What plaintiffs fail to realize is that attorney is entitled to some portion of any settlement even if the attorney doesn’t see the case through to the end.
  • Plaintiffs on their own often miss crucial deadlines, which will end their case before it ever sees a courtroom. A typical layman doesn’t know the chronology of a legal case: when a demand needs to be submitted, when the complaints needs to be drafted, how quickly to schedule and respond to interrogatories, etc. People in the industry over a decade still get tripped up.
  • Some attorneys may drop their client, who decides to pursue the case on their own. While it’s possible an attorney may drop the case for an innocent reason, more likely they dropped the client because they feel the case can’t be won. This is more obvious when more than one attorney drops a case. I’m not saying a plaintiff can’t win a case under these circumstances, but it is very difficult.

Is it Possible to Win On Your Own?

Yes, sure it’s possible. Maybe you’ve been a paralegal for years and have familiarized yourself with the legal process. Maybe you’re a quick learner. Maybe you’re just really lucky. But I think it’s very telling that most attorneys, when they get into an accident of their own, hire other attorneys to handle their cases. Could they win without the help of another attorney? Perhaps. Do they trust someone else with the time, knowledge, and experience more than they’d trust themselves? Often times, yes.

That’s why legal funding companies won’t touch a case when the plaintiff is handling the lawsuit pro-se. Not only is there the increased risk that the case won’t settle for a good amount (if it indeed settles at all), but there are then major issues with collecting the lien amount. The reason funding companies have attorneys sign contracts is that the lawyer agrees to disburse funds to the funding company with all the other liens. Plaintiffs very often don’t honor their part of the written bargain without their attorneys upholding their ethical obligations.

If you’ve been in an accident and you’re thinking of trying the case yourself, I can’t tell you no. I can point out that it’s an extremely uphill battle you’re choosing, and the odds aren’t great. I can also say to not bother applying for funding on your case, because no one will consider you.

So, What do I do?

Consult with an attorney. They incur debt learning nothing. They’re the experts. Maybe pick one with a good power tie, just in case.

What’s the Cost of Peace of Mind?

What’s the Cost of Peace of Mind?

More than 30 million people get injured every year. That’s a startling number. What’s almost equally as surprising is that these injuries result in tens of thousands of lawsuits every year. In an ideal world, everyone who files a lawsuit because they were injured would have the means to live comfortably while their lawsuit slowly plodded along. That’s not realistic.lawsuit loans can provide peace of mind

Of those tens of thousands of victims, many can’t work because of their injuries, or their livelihood is threatened in some other way. For many people, a pre-settlement loan is the only way to get relief. But have you ever heard someone say “don’t get a pre-settlement loan, those guys are loan sharks!”

Where does that opinion come from, and is it true?

In short, no. Nobody in legal financing will hire someone named Vito to come break your kneecaps if you lose your case and the funder loses its money (and if they did, you’d have a great lawsuit against them). Still, the perception that the rates charged for pre-settlement loans is high continues to exist. Why is that? Let’s look at a few reasons:

Apples to oranges comparison

Often times, critics of these financial lifelines feel the paybacks are expensive because they are comparing rates to those in completely unrelated industries. They look at a traditional bank loan, for instance, with its low monthly rate. That’s a totally unfair comparison. In a bank loan, you have to make payments every month, regardless of your current financial situation. If you lost your job, your bank loan still expects you to pay it back no matter what. That’s not true with non-recourse funding (see below). It’s like saying, “This Porsche is SO expensive! I mean, look at how much my friend paid for her Kia!” And speaking of non-recourse funding:

If you lose your case, the funder loses its money

Everyone that files a lawsuit thinks they’re going to win. Why would an attorney take the case otherwise? It’s not that simple. Sometimes cases look amazing on paper but get lost for any number of reasons. I once heard of a man who had a motor vehicle accident where he lost his eye. The police report clearly showed the driver was responsible and had plenty of insurance. The funder gave the man $50,000. In court it came out that the plaintiff had been in a bar fight the night before the auto accident and damaged his eye then. He lost the suit.

Even without fraud, cases can be lost for a number of reasons: a conservative venue, a bad expert witness, or simply a jury thinking the injuries weren’t very severe. Sometimes a case will be “won” by the plaintiff, but for so little money that there is nothing left over after the attorney and hospitals are paid off. No case is a guarantee.

No matter how good the underwriting is, no funding company wins them all. Because losses are part of the industry in ways that don’t apply to other industries, funders sometimes charge a little more to offset the losses.

There are many moving parts to getting a funding done

Some clients think that one person magically takes a case from start to finish and provides money to those in need. That’s wishful thinking. Most companies have different departments that handle different aspects: people to take the application, people to obtain case documents, attorneys to review the cases, and a financial department to release funds. That doesn’t even include upper management, HR departments to monitor all of these departments, and collection attorneys who handle any legal disputes. As someone who has hired an attorney, you know just how expensive attorneys can be. All of this adds up quickly.

Investors are still a little uncertain of the industry, and they charge more

The reality is most funding companies get the money they use to operate from outside investors, and the industry as a whole is only about 20 years old. An investor looking to fund a bank, for instance, has decades if not a century of statistics and profit-to-loss records to look at. The investor can see exactly how risky (or not risky) their investment is. In legal funding, the track records of companies needing capital are much smaller, making it appear riskier for the investor. As such, they charge more to lend the money. This increase unfortunately gets transferred to the client.

Summing Up

All this being said, the hype is, as it most often is, overblown. Rates can be higher than in other industries where the funder has more guarantees of receiving full repayment. In fact, rates can vary drastically even within the industry. Some companies charge more for certain types of cases that aren’t in their ‘wheelhouse’, while another company who specializes in those case types would charge less. A little research will go a long way in picking the right company.

At the beginning I asked What is the cost of peace of mind? For some folks who can’t work after their traumatic injury, and who may have to wait years to receive a settlement, it can be invaluable.

How a Lawsuit Happens – a Chronology

How a Lawsuit Happens – a Chronology

For many clients who have personal injury lawsuits, it is the first time they’ve ever had to sue anyone. Their attorney can answer many of their questions, but often times they do this as cases go along. Because of this, clients don’t always know what to expect with their lawsuit from the start. I’m here today to try to shed a little light on the legal process.

DISCLAIMER: The following should not be construed as legal advice; it is designed to help many clients know what to expect. It is not true of every case. Some states and counties have different rules, vocabulary, and timeline.

The Timeline

THE ACCIDENT HAPPENScase-timeline

This can be anything from a motor vehicle accident to a slip and fall to a medical malpractice case to the diagnosis of a condition caused by a faulty drug.

CLIENT HIRES AN ATTORNEY

Speak to an attorney to make sure he or she has your best interest in mind. You will need to sign a retainer hiring that attorney to handle your case.

THE ATTORNEY COLLECTS DOCUMENTS ABOUT YOUR CASE

These documents can include medical reports, police or incident reports, insurance information, expert testimony, and/or additional documents.

This is probably the earliest time a funding company would consider your case. Exceptions can be made and we can consider some cases before this – call to see if yours qualifies.

THE ATTORNEY TRIES TO SETTLE THE CASE BEFORE FILING A COMPLAINT

The attorney will be in constant contact with the defendant’s attorney to try to resolve the claim without having to file suit. Some insurance companies are more open to discussing a settlement than others. If the attorney can’t settle it at this point, that does NOT mean you have a bad case. It’s common for insurance companies to want to try a case.

THE ATTORNEY SUBMITS A DEMAND

The attorney will send a formal document saying how much money they are demanding to settle the case. This is NOT necessarily how much your case is with.

If your attorney submits a demand for $1 million, it’s dangerous to expect to receive $1 million on your case. Having realistic expectations is helpful because if the insurance company does make a reasonable settlement offer that is less than the demand, it may be worth accepting. Always consult with your attorney to see if a settlement offer is reasonable. They’ve likely done this far longer than you.

THE ATTORNEY FILES A SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT

This is when the lawsuit is officially launched. Since the case could not be settled between the two parties, it is now going to go to court to determine the outcome. The complaint lists out all the claims that the plaintiff is making.

Note: there is a certain period of time in each state when a complaint has to be filed by. You can see the different Statutes of Limitations for each state HERE.

THE DEFENDANT ANSWERS THE COMPLAINT

The defendant’s attorney will need to file their own response within a certain time frame. Often this is only a matter of weeks. They will respond and acknowledge for which (of any) of the plaintiff’s claims the defendant admits fault.

THE DISCOVERY PERIOD

This is when both sides exchange information (medical information, insurance declarations, etc). This is also when either interrogatories (written question-and-answers) or depositions (statements taken in court) take place. Some states do one, other states do the other.

MEDIATION/ARBITRATION

In SOME cases, now would be the time the two sides try to come to a settlement by using an outside party like a mediator or an arbitrator. Not all cases do this, and even if it is attempted, it doesn’t always result in a settlement.

TRIAL

If the case hasn’t settled yet, and it hasn’t been dismissed (there are many reasons a case could be dismissed before this point), the attorneys will present their evidence to convince a jury to give a settlement in their client’s favor. The judge will take the jury’s decision and order a Judgment be entered in whichever party’s favor the jury decided.

APPEALS

If one side wins but the other side feels it was unjust, or too high a verdict, or that some evidence wasn’t heard, they can appeal the decision. This will send the case back into court. Sometimes the verdict is changed, sometimes it is upheld.

If you are a plaintiff and the defendant was awarded a verdict and you are appealing it, most funding companies will not consider your case until the judge rules on the appeal. You can call us to see if your case falls into that category.

AWARD

If the plaintiff wins, they will receive their judgment after some period of time. This can be a few weeks to close to a year depending on many factors.

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

– At any point during this process, a case can settle. The defendant can see that the writing is on the wall and they could make a reasonable offer that you accept.

– At any point in this process, a case can be dismissed. There are many technical reasons a case can be dismissed, from missed statutes to the defendant’s failure to respond to a complaint. Your lawyer can give you a better idea of what happened if your case is dismissed.

– While the above is a template for many cases, some don’t fit this mold at all. If your case has followed a very different path, assume that your attorney is correct. This is only a rough guide.

As you can see, a lawsuit can take a long time. Insurance companies try to stretch cases out to try to bleed the client dry so they will accept a much lower settlement. A pre-settlement loan may be the answer to level the playing field. Call us or fill out an online application to start the process today.

Uplift Legal Funding

Our company offers settled case funding, for when the judgment has been reached but there will be a period of time before you receive the money. Call us for more information.

Why Rushing Into Lawsuit Funding is a Bad Idea

Rushing Into Lawsuit Funding is a Bad IdeaNever Rush Into Lawsuit Loans

Here’s the scenario: you’ve been injured in an accident and you had to stop working because of your injury. You expected your case to be settled in six months, but it’s taken 18 months and there’s still no end in sight. You can’t afford to pay your rent much longer. What do you do?

For many, the answer is get money as quick as possible no matter what the cost. This is a dangerous way to think, even if time is running out for your bank account. Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without knowing exactly what you were getting into, looking to get financial help on your lawsuit is also something that should take your time on. Even though there is immediacy, here are a few steps you can take before signing an expensive funding contract.

Borrow money from a friend or relative

Let’s be honest: all companies go into business to make money. Some may want to help people in the process, but if business don’t ever make money, they close their doors. Your friends and relatives aren’t looking at your need for help as a way to profit. Some may lend you money “for free” (with no extra money requested when you pay them back). Others may have been burned by lending to friends before, so they may charge a very small fee on top. Borrowing in this fashion is the clear way to go if it’s available. No company will be able to match Grandma’s payback amount.

However, for some plaintiffs this isn’t a viable option and they need to consider a legal funding company. Don’t necessary pick the first one and go with them.

Be Treated Like a Person, Not a Dollar Sign

I wish I could say otherwise, but there are some unscrupulous people in this industry. Some companies see plaintiffs as cash cows. You want a company that will return your calls, that will take the time to explain everything thoroughly to you. You want someone who will give you updates daily on the status of your application. Anything less and you are selling yourself short. Some companies can get pretty good rates for you, but that alone isn’t enough. Look for one who will treat you right and get you a good rate.

If the company you’re calling is pressuring you with obnoxious sales tactics or ignoring you, they’re probably not the right company. You want an ally to help you, not a checkered-suit-wearing car salesman.

Find Out the Rates

Like the last tip, some companies won’t be willing to disclose this up front, not even a ballpark figure. The specific rates CAN vary depending on case details, which won’t be known up front, but if the company can’t even give you a range of rates and fees, it’s probably best to move on. The best companies can you give you a quote for how much will be owed back if you pay back in a certain timeframe. Be comfortable with the rates before you sign the contract.

Actually Read the Contract

This may seem silly to put in print, but many clients are so starved for money that they’ll sign the contract no matter what. This is dangerous. You don’t have to understand every single bit of legal jargon, but you need to know the details of your funding. In several states, funding companies have reached agreements with state Attorney Generals which specifically outline what information needs to appear in a contract. This includes easy-to-understand charts with how much money will be repaid. Any contract that does not include these charts or doesn’t include the funding rate should not be signed. Any company that is not willing to go through the contract terms with you before signing is also probably not right.

Put in the Time and Consider Your Options

There are alternatives to taking the first, highest-price solution to your financial problem. Looking local (friends and family) is the best, but if you do need to go to a company for help, make sure you are picking the right one. Don’t be bullied into taking the first available rate, especially if you feel it isn’t great. What might be expensive for one company to fund (let’s say it’s a case that is not in their normal funding wheelhouse) might be much cheaper for another company to do. Finally, make sure you are kept in the loop at all times. Any company that you don’t hear from for even a couple of days isn’t worth wasting your time on.

Finding the Lowest Lawsuit Loan Rates

How to Find the Lowest Lawsuit Loan Rates

Finding the lowest lawsuit loan rates is very important to ensuring that you have money leftover at settlement.

This isn’t easy. The industry is full of people ready to take you for a ride. So here is how you make sure you protect yourself.

  • Shop around. Make a list of all the biggest and best funders in the space (look online and ask your attorney). Jot down their contact info. Call the top 3. Write down notes about rates, fees, and names. This will come in handy when you call the 4th company.
  • Bargain. Don’t be shy about telling these guys that you’ve been looking elsewhere for lawsuit funding. You are the customer, you’re the one with the personal injury, and you deserve the best. Understand that these lawsuit guys are in business because of you. This means you have the power.
  • Ask questions. Many companies are brokers. Not all brokers are bad, some can actually help you get very good rates. Asking about rates and fees (and then holding them to their word) is very important.

Above all, you want to work with an honest and transparent company that doesn’t back-pedal or go back on their word. Write down what each funder has told you, and make sure everything is as-discussed on the contract. If someone gives you a range on a rate or fee, it should be a small range. 1-3% compounded (frequently quoted) is a huge range and should be treated as suspect. Work with someone who can clearly tell you a reasonable range and stick with it.

Get Informed

Think like a lender. If you know what funders look for in a case, then you have some bargaining power. Direct lenders are looking for slam dunks. They want serious injuries, clear fault, and coverage. If your case sounds like this then you’re in the driver seat. If it doesn’t, you can still bargain – don’t settle for bad lawsuit funding terms.. As the customer, you the power to say no and go somewhere else.

Lawsuit funding isn’t cheap. Getting a reasonable rate takes no more than time and diligence.

Below are some basic questions you should ask every company:

  • Ask if it is compounded or simple interest
    • This is important. Why? Because 2% compounded can end up being more expensive that 3% simple interest. Albert Einstein famously said “the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.” We’ve heard that he was a pretty bright guy.
  • Ask if there are up-front fees
    • While this how most of these guys make money, if you ask them to remove them, they will. If they don’t, find someone that will. It’s your money and you deserve all of it.
  • Make sure there is a payoff table on the front page of your contract
    • This kind of transparency is a must. Don’t sign anything that you don’t understand. Rates should be quoted in dollar terms based on settlement dates. All major terms should be shown on the front page of the contract. If you’re not sure, talk to your attorney.

Uplift Legal Funding

Getting a lawsuit loan with Uplift is a breeze. We pride ourselves on working closely with plaintiffs, and we stand out because no one does it like us. Our case managers will keep you informed, and up-to-date while we quickly process your request for funding.

We have representatives standing by to answer any question you might have. Give us a call today at (800) 385-3660 or apply online to learn more about how we can help you.

 

 

How do I Choose a Lawsuit Funding Company

How to Choose a Lawsuit Funding Company

Choosing the right lawsuit funding company is hard. This guide should help you get started.

This guide will cover how to choose a lawsuit funding company that is right for you. The lawsuit loan industry is still mostly pre-regulation, meaning there are not  a lot of rules that lawsuit loan companies must follow. This means that they can charge very high rates and get away with it. Knowing how to choose the right lawsuit loan company can make all the difference.

How to Start the Lawsuit Cash Advance Process

Get Information

By reading this article, you’re on the right track! Go online and read what you can about the process, things to look out for, pros and cons of lawsuit loans. Read articles written by non-lawsuit funding companies.

Ask your paralegal or attorney about other options. If there are no other options, ask them about responsible, reasonable lawsuit funding companies. Apply to the ones they recommend, but apply online to others as well.

Apply to for Several Lawsuit Loans and Ask Questions

Once you’ve finished reading this article, go online and apply for several lawsuit loan companies. Ask them questions about interest rate (simple or compounded interest) and fees. Don’t settle for a range, get an actual number and then write it down Ask them if they are a broker or funder.

If the employees are rude, hang up! Don’t ever let anyone pressure you. Rude employees just means that the company doesn’t care about you.

I’ve Applied to at Least 3 Lawsuit Loan Companies, What’s Next?

Now that are only left with a few companies based on rates and culture, urge your attorney to get each one the information they need. Tell your attorney that you are shopping around a little, and ask if they have any additional recommendations.

Wait for each company to get back to you with approval and a contract. If you get approval for all three, decide which you like best and then have your lawyer review and explain which he or she likes best.

This is one of the only contracts you sign where an attorney reviews it for you for free! Take advantage of this!

Choosing the Right Case Cash Advance Contract

You should look to make sure that the contract rate is the same they told you at the outset. Immediately alert the funding company if it is different, and don’t settle for no.

Make sure the contract is clear. If you don’t immediately understand what you will have to pay back when your case settles a year down the road, that’s a bad sign!

Choose contracts that are clear. If something is unclear ask your lawyer to explain it to you. Don’t sign anything until you know exactly what you will be paying back based on when your case settles.

Look for hidden fees. Fees can quickly increase the amount you will have to pay back. Make sure any added fees are clear, and make sure they are all on the first page by looking through the entire contract.

Start Early and Don’t Settle for a Loan Shark Lawsuit Loan Contract

Make sure you start early. Don’t wait until rent or mortgage is overdue. Give yourself time to have choices.

The last thing you want is pressure to sign a contract that will leave you with basically nothing after your case settles. It happens daily. Make your own choice with the help of your lawyer.

If you get a contract, and its pretty close to what you  want then bargain! Often, this is not a final contract. You can ask for a lower rate or lower fees. You have the power.

If you only get predatory lawsuit loan contracts, apply elsewhere!

 

Uplift Legal Funding

Uplift Legal Funding’s case managers are happy to answer any questions you have about lawsuit funding or finding the right company. We like helping clients find a good lawsuit funding match. Give us a call today at (800) 385-3660.