Navigating This Guide

In this guide, we provide a wealth of information about legal funding in general, how Uplift helps plaintiffs, and specific information on several kinds of personal injury claims.

To skip to a section on an individual case type, click the quick links below:

 

Introduction

Nearly every day we hear of some disaster of extraordinary magnitude taking the lives of ordinary people going about their everyday business. Some recent examples include the Florida International University bridge collapse in Miami, killing six people, or the mother of two who lost her life when an engine exploded during a Southwest Airlines flight.

What we don’t usually hear about are the less dramatic events that can cause people to lose their lives or their livelihoods.  Debilitating car accidents, workers compensation injuries, bike accidents, and a host of other accidents that take place all the time.  What if it happens to you and you don’t have the financial resources to fall back on while you are recovering or your case is in litigation?

This is where pre settlement funding (also referred to as litigation financing or legal financing) can help put your mind at ease.  This sort of funding can help tide you over through the course of your lawsuit.

What is pre settlement funding and how can it help you?

Pre settlement funding is not a loan; it is a cash flow solution for plaintiffs who have a case and are awaiting litigation.    Meaning that an attorney has agreed to represent your case on contingency.  If you win, your lawyer receives a percent of the settlement.  Pre-settlement funding works similarly. Legal funders purchase a portion of your lawsuit and only get repaid if you win. If you lose your case, there is no repayment.  If you do not collect on your case, your funder does not receive any reimbursement.

Why is this guide essential?

This guide is essential because it provides you with a detailed explanation as to how pre-settlement funding works.  We discuss criteria, minimum and maximum advances,  and rates and fees. Most importantly the risks and benefits of pre-settlement financing.

Our goal is to assist you in making an informed financial decision.  We provide you with options to explore before seeking out pre-settlement funding.   This guide will help you make educated choices rather than the understandably emotional ones that follow an injury or loss of life.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pre- Settlement Legal Funding

How Does Legal Funding Work?

Once you apply, a case manager will contact your lawyer and work with them to review your application.

The main focus is the validity of your case based on liability.  Liability means responsibility, in other words, is this a strong case?

Next, they will consider total damages, including economic and non-economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Based on this information, the legal funding company can estimate your case value. Usually, funding companies can advance to a plaintiff around 10% of expected case value.

Because lawsuit funding is entirely non-recourse (meaning that you only pay the company back if your case is successful), rates can be very high. Uplift Legal Funding generally charges simple, non-compounding rates that can save plaintiffs thousands.

Once your case is approved, funds are generally released within 24 hours.

When your case is litigated or settled, the funding company will collect owed monies directly from your lawyer.   If you win your case but do receive not as much money as anticipated, a funding company will usually reduce their payoff.

How Much Funding Can I Get?

Legal funding companies rarely fund the entire case. However, funding can be generous.   We advise you to borrow just what you think you will need.  At the end of the guide is a budget calculator for your convenience.

What Does Legal Funding Cost?

Legal funding is an excellent fallback in the case of personal injury when you cannot work.  The cost of borrowing funds can run from 20% – 100% yearly, so it is essential to do your homework and compare rates from several companies, not just the one your lawyer suggests.

Uplift offers several resources to plaintiffs that help understand the cost of funding. This Nolo.com’s article provides a detailed breakdown of legal funding costs.

How Do I Choose The Best Pre Settlement Funding Company?

Once you have decided to apply for pre-settlement funding, the most critical decision you can make is which funding company to choose.

You can begin by asking your attorney for a recommendation for funding companies.   If your attorney cannot advise you or does not know much about the company suggested to you, you will need to do your homework.

  1. Shop around. You can borrow across state lines. Compare interest rates and terms.
  2. Determine if rates are compounded daily or monthly, this will impact the amount of money you will need to pay back once your case resolves.
  3. Make sure you clearly understand your contract and read all the fine print. If you have any questions, ask your attorney to clarify.

And lastly, ensure the funding contract is transparent, including all of the following info:

  • All fees, including registration fees and review fees
  • A payoff schedule showing dollar value of your advance over the next 3 years
  • Interest rates and type (simple vs. compounded?)
  • Right to revoke the agreement within five days of signing by returning the funds

Your case may take many months, and even years to settle, peace of mind that you will be able to pay your bills is invaluable.  It is equally important to make a judicious decision as to how much you can afford to payback following your lawsuit.  Legal lenders agree, borrow what you need.

Car Accident Loans

The vast majority of car accidents are minor fender benders and quickly resolved. Occasionally even fender benders can result in injury.   Not surprisingly the majority of accidents are caused by teen drivers age 16-19 years old, many of whom are inexperienced drivers or immature drivers who lack judgment.  Check this link for additional information on teen drivers and vehicle safety. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

Even the impact of a fender bender can be devastating leaving you unable to go to work.  Legal funding gives you breathing room to meet your bills and expenses, and should you lose, unlike a bank loan you will not be required to repay your advance.  In addition to personal damage, there also may be property damage that needs to be addressed.  Legal funding can help with this as well.  You will be able to relax and recover knowing that you can meet your bills while giving your attorney the time to get the best settlement for you.

Approval criteria for car accident loans

Once you have decided to apply for pre-settlement funding, the  company you have selected will base its decision on the following along with other considerations depending on the funding firm you have decided on.

  1. You must not be at fault.
  2. You have an attorney who has accepted the case.
  3. The extent of the injuries you sustained
  4. The true  liability of the defendant
  5. The ability of the defendant to pay.

The extent of your recoverable damages

The extent of damages is critical to outcomes of your case.  Damages are not limited to physical injuries, but also extend to other areas of your life, including your mental outlook, relationships and the ability to work. These injuries must be proven to be the result of the accident itself.  The proof is provided in documentation by physicians and other professionals.

The greater the damages, the higher the value of your case.

Defendant liability

The legal funding company must ensure that the person you are suing must be the one at fault and the one who caused your injuries and damage.  Determining the at-fault person in the case of a car accident isn’t always that clear-cut.

The ability of the defendant to pay

Most legal funding companies will only consider a case for funding if there is no a risk of collection. This means that your claim must be against an insurance company, government entity or large company with substantial assets.

Common types of car accidents we fund

Even seemingly minor car accidents can result in complicated, debilitating, life-changing injuries. The reasons for crashes range from distraction, such as texting and cell phone use, to driving while intoxicated.

Some of the types of car accidents Uplift provides funding on follow:

Lawsuits and notable verdicts

Caitlyn Jenner was sued for involvement in an accident when she rear-ended a Lexus, sending the car hurling in the opposite lane. An SUV slammed into a vehicle killing a 69-year-old woman.   There were four cars involved in the accident.   Jenner’s Suburban SUV was transporting a trailer with an all-terrain vehicle.  Jenner was not driving under the influence.

Jenner settled with the family of the woman who died for $800,000.

In March of 2018, Walter Huang lost his life when his Tesla X slammed into a divider on the freeway in Mountain View California, demolishing the car.  It is not clear if the Tesla X autopilot was engaged. The family is requesting a financial settlement.

A man whose name is not disclosed was driving a vehicle when hit by an uninsured motorist and suffered injuries.  Geico was the gentleman’s insurer and like many insurance company’s Geico offers an “uninsured driver” option.  Geico disputed the man’s injuries.  A jury awarded the man $11,410 in medical costs, $28,500 against future medical expenses and $260,000 for pain and suffering.

Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Pre-settlement funding for commercial vehicle loans works on the same principle as non-commercial funding. The difference is that commercial vehicles carry more insurance

than private cars.  There are all types of commercial vehicles. Not all commercial vehicles are buses or trucks; some are small cars and even bicycles.

Uplift specializes in commercial vehicle accident loans.

Getting hit by a semi 18 wheeler can be even more devastating than being hit by a small SUV.  As with personal cars, there are many reasons for commercial and trucking accidents.  They can be due to the weight of the truck and the time it takes for the truck to come to a stop.  According to the United States Department of Labor there are 450,000 trucking accidents per year with 5,000 fatalities and 140,000 injuries.

Not only flatbeds, rigs and semis that are to blame. Garbage trucks are responsible for accidents as well.

Accidents can be caused by drivers not paying attention or being exhausted. On many occasions, it is the driver of a car who is tired.  In 70% of all trucking accidents, car drivers were to blame.

Accidents involving large trucks are much more complicated to settle than typical roadside vehicle collisions. There are more parties involved and also more governmental regulation.  There is generally a great deal more damage.   Commercial vehicle accidents can take a few months to a few years to settle until the at-fault party is determined.

There are many additional reasons for delays.

The plaintiff may blame the truck driver, but the truck driver will pass the blame on to his company saying they had him driving too many hours.  Or a trucking company will claim that there was a mechanical fault in the truck that prevented it from stopping quickly.

In the case of a trucking accident, the plaintiff only needs to prove negligence, however as previously discussed can be difficult.

Some types of commercial auto accidents we fund are:

Approval Criteria for Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Your legal funding company underwriter will carefully consider the facts of your accident before funding your case.

  1. The underwriter will want to establish fault.  There may be several people at fault or just one person at fault.  If the driver was an employee of a company, the company that employed the driver will be named in the lawsuit. If the driver was a contract employee, it might be more challenging to connect the employer to the driver.
  2. You will need to prove the defendant did not exercise reasonable care.
  3. If you can show the lack of reasonable care caused the accident, you must then prove it led to your injuries

A truck driver who has had an accident in a truck may also be qualified to for legal funding while their case is pending.

How Much Funding Can I Get?

Understand your repayment terms and the interest imposed on your financing.  The amount of funding you receive is based on the

  1. Merits of your lawsuit and are listed below:
  2. What were the circumstances involved in the accident?
  3. Your injuries.  How badly hurt were you?
  4. The defendant’s assignment of fault.

You may receive pre-settlement funding up to $350,000, depending on your case value.

Lawsuits and notable verdicts

Uber driverless car

Sometimes a settlement is important just because the dollar amount is not revealed.  In March 2018, an Uber driverless SUV test resulted in an accident killing a 49-year-old woman, Elaine Herzberg, in Tempe, Arizona. She was walking her bike across a road at 10 pm. The autonomous car did have a human in the driver seat, but the car did not swerve or veer to avoid hitting the woman.

Investigators determined that a software malfunction caused the accident.

Big Rig Accident

A truck slammed into a line of cars which was stalled due to a previous accident. The driver denied being asleep or distracted.  The truck driver did not slam on his breaks.  Five nursing students were killed, and two were seriously injured. The families were awarded $80 million.

Detached drive shaft accident

In 2013 a shaft detached from a truck and crashed into the windshield of a car killing its driver.  A jury awarded 281 million in damages which was later reduced to 105 million and then settled for an undisclosed amount.

Motorcycle Accidents

Common Types of Accidents

There are five scenarios involving motorcycle accidents. The first is you are a driver who has been hit. The second is you are a drive and have hit someone. The third scenario is your passenger is hurt while you are operating your motorcycle and you are not at fault. The fourth situation is you are driving a motorcycle, and your passenger is injured, and you are at fault. Finally, you are the victim of a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle accidents frequently result in serious injury.\ According to the  U.S. Department of Transportation, motorcycle accidents are 27 more times likely to result in fatal injuries than other forms of transportation.  It is one of the leading causes of death among healthy individuals in the United States.

In addition to driver liability, there are other contributing factors which include road defects; the other driver is negligent including failing to see your lights on the road. Your accident can also be due to a parts malfunction.  A significant motorcycle accident can keep you out of work for a long time or possibly forever.

Insurance companies try to slow down litigation and tend to minimize injuries. Be aware of who your attorney may be able to sue and what you can sue for.

We recommend confirming complete coverage for your motorcycle (and car).  Your policy should include coverage for bodily and property injury, underinsured motorist bodily and property injury, personal injury, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

You may also be a pedestrian or bystander victim of a motorcycle accident. Your attorney will determine if the driver of the motorcycle is at fault or if the crash is due to a road condition or parts failure that caused the bike to hit you.

Approval criteria for motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle accidents generally take a great deal of time to resolve, and insurance companies will try to settle the case for less than it is worth.  There are three types of damages you can sue for:

  • Compensatory. Repayment of costs associated with your injury which includes medical expenses.
  • General damages. Payment for pain and suffering
  • Punitive:  If the accident was intentional or egregiously cruel

As with all accidents you must have hired an attorney and the following must apply:

  • You must not be at fault
  • There must be merit to the case
  • The injuries must have resulted from the accident
  • The ability of the defendant to pay

There is no credit or employment check.  Should you when your case, the funder collects the return on your advance directly from your attorney.

How much funding can I get?

The amount of money that you will be advanced will depend on insurance caps.  Lending can go as high as $300,000.

Our underwriters will evaluate your case, once you are approved Uplift  inform immediately.

Lawsuits and notable verdicts

Kawasaki Ninja collision

In August 2012 a motorcyclist was riding his Kawasaki Ninja at 45 miles per hour in Bishop California.  A Dodge 3500 truck collided with the motorbike after failing to stop at a stop sign. The Dodge was faulted in the accident. The motorcycle driver sustained injuries that required surgery; he was awarded $250,000

Motorcycle garbage truck, fatal accident

In April 2018 a Connecticut woman who was a passenger in a motorcycle accident was awarded

a $13.6 million settlement.   Her fiancé who was driving the motorcycle was killed instantly when a new garbage truck route driver checked his GPS.  The woman suffered traumatic brain damage and underwent 22 surgeries on her left leg.  She is limited to a wheelchair and can walk only with a walker or with the assistance of her 17-year-old daughter.  She was awarded $12.1 million and her daughter was awarded $1.5 for a suit for parent consortium.

Bike Accidents

Biking accidents are on the rise.  Increasingly adults are turning to cycling as an enjoyable way to exercise The Governors Highway Safety Association says that bicycle accidents account for 2% of motor vehicle accidents. Cyclists are very vulnerable to accidents and can be helpless when they occur. Only 21 states have helmet laws, but some municipalities have their own rules.

The average age of the cyclist killed in a car accident is 44.  Eighty-three percent of those killed are male, and 22% of crashes occur during 6-9 pm.  City streets are risky places to ride, as even though cyclists have the same rights as drivers, drivers are unaware of them, or they don’t respect those rights.

As the popularity of biking grows, bikers can take steps to protect themselves as much as possible by wearing helmets, knee and elbow pads. They should not bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they must make right decisions as far as using hand signals and cycling carefully in traffic.  Bikers should also avoid potholes, and if at all possible know the conditions of the streets they are biking on.

If you are involved in a bicycle accident, treat it like a car accident.  Get the driver’s insurance information along with their license and license plate information.  If an uninsured motorist hits you, your injuries will most likely be covered by your own insurance company.  The injuries that are caused by a biking collision are more costly than your insurance company will pay for, and this is where your attorney

and legal funding enter the picture.  Your attorney will advocate to get you fair reimbursement, and the legal funding company can assist you with your expenses until your case is resolved.

Approval Criteria

What threshold does an accident victim need to meet to receive funding?

  • You must have hired an attorney who is willing to take the case.
  • Negligence needs to have been established.
  • Our underwriters review each case and determines if they will qualify for funding.

How much funding can I get?

Funding depends on the ultimate potential value of your case and if you are suing one or more individuals or entities.  The more individuals that are involved in your case, the higher the settlement you may be able to receive.

Depending on the severity of the bicycle accident you may be entitled to claim for the following depending on the severity of your injuries.

Past and future health care related to the injury

  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Nursing home expenses
  • Home healthcare expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses

Cyclist compensation varies by state.  In California, a cyclist is entitled to compensation even if they were more at fault than the driver. This entitlement is referred to as comparative negligence.  If it is determined that the cyclist was 90% at fault for $100,000 in damages and injuries, the cyclist would be able to collect $10,000 in damages.

There can be many contributing factors to the injuries sustained during a bicycle accident.  If there is a head injury, the motorist may not be the only one at fault.  Your attorney may determine that the helmet did not provide adequate protection.

Uplift generally funds up to 10 percent of the value of the case.  Biking accidents may take several years to settle or reach a jury.  We suggest you review your expenses carefully and request only the amount of funding you require until your case is resolved.  Since your legal funding provider is only reimbursed if there is a financial settlement, legal funders charge higher interest rates than you may find at a bank.  We collect our advance only if you win.

The process is simple; once you contact our offices, our underwriters will review the facts of your case and determine as to how much to advance you.  You will receive funding within 24 – 48 hours.  If you win your case, we will collect our advance plus interest from your attorney.

Common types of bicycle accidents

A bicycle accident can be devastating even if the cyclist survives.   Catastrophic injuries include paralysis, head injuries, concussions, broken bones, and dismemberment.   Biking accidents may be caused for many reasons.  The cyclist may be at fault if they are not wearing a helmet and topple during a ride, or fail to obey traffic rules. The cyclist may also be biking while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.  However, if the cyclist is not at fault, common causes of bicycle accidents are the motorist is driving under the influence, they are eating or drinking or texting and are distracted. Or driver did obey traffic laws but the bike or helmet may have malfunctioned, the roads may not have been maintained and cause accidents.

Lawsuits and notable verdicts

Injury of an elite biker

Even elite bikers are vulnerable when it comes to biking accidents.  Dale Stetina suffered a severe bike accident in 2013 in Boulder, Colorado when he swerved to avoid a jeep driven by Ryan Dowd. Dowd had crossed the centerline, pulled into the shoulder of the road and backed up. Stetina suffered traumatic brainstem injury and partial vision loss.  Stetina spent six months recovering in a rehabilitation facility.  Dowd pleaded guilty and received 60 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution.

Substandard bike lane accident

In 2014, William Yao, was riding on a Los Angeles street when he hit a road bump and was thrown from his bike.  Yao broke his neck and became a quadriplegic.  The city bike lane was substandard and even though the area was being worked on nearby no one reported the damage in the road.  Yao’s settlement was seven million dollars from the city of Los Angeles.

Struck by a steel beam

An Alton, Illinois teenager was struck in the face by steel beams as he biked to school in 2014.  He suffered severe facial damage, the loss of teeth and pain.  A worker had left a backhoe loaded with steel beams unattended with no warning signage. The teen crashed into the beams.  He receive $725,000 and his parents received $185,000.  His medical bills totaled $103,000.

 

Pedestrian Accidents

Approval Criteria

There has been a sharp increase in pedestrian fatalities over the past few years according to Centers for Disease Control.  Experts are blaming distracted pedestrians and drivers for this uptick.  Pedestrians who are using electronic devices tend to look down and not straight ahead. There are also distracted drivers as well.   The death toll of pedestrians rose to 6,000 a year, and emergency rooms treated 129,000 pedestrians for non-fatal car accidents.

Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a car crash, than a motorist.  Thirty-four percent of people hit by a car is under the influence of alcohol while 15% of drivers are legally drunk. Speed is also a  factor in fatal accidents. If a motorist hits a pedestrian at 20 miles per hour, they have a 10% chance of dying.  If the pedestrian is hit at 40 miles an hour, they have an 80% chance of dying.

A pedestrian is defined as someone who is on foot or in a wheelchair.  Insurance companies may balk at paying enough to cover your total expenses, loss of wages. Here is where legal advance works to your advantage.  You do not have to settle for less.  With a legal advance payment, you will have assistance in paying your bills.  Approval is based on the following:

  • You have legal representation
  • The defendant is liable
  • You must have sustained injuries as a result of the accidents.

Types of injuries include head trauma, broken bones, paralysis, disfigurement,  loss of limb, loss of life.  Unfortunately, much damage can occur to a pedestrian hit by a truck. Deep cuts and lacerations, organ damage, bone fractures and crush injuries, as well as death.

How Much Funding Can I Get?

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can be devastating resulting in loss of life, limb, permanent brain damage.  Sometimes, accidents occur in injuries that can take a very long time to heal, resulting in loss of income and even your job. Legal funding advances money based on the value of your claim.

Typically, Uplift can fund up to 10% of the expected value of your claim. That means if you have a $1 million dollar lawsuit, we can advance up to $100 thousand.

Common types of accidents

There are numerous types of pedestrian accidents.  One area of concern is distracted driving. The End Distracted Driving Organization reports that 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injuries in 2015 were due to distracted driving.     Drivers who are operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol are responsible for 29 deaths a day.

Other types of accidents involve road cars striking objects or potholes in the road.  An accident can occur due to parts malfunction.

Lawsuits and Notable Verdicts

Death of two children

In March of 2018 Tony Award-winning actress, Ruthie Ann Miles, her four year old daughter, a friend and her one year son were crossing a street in Park Slope, Brooklyn  A 2016 Volvo lost control and slammed into the women injuring them and killing their children. The 44-year-old woman driving the car lost control of her vehicle. A total of 6 people were killed or injured.  The driver was indicted. The case still not resolved.

Head trauma pedestrian accident

A 24-year-old female pedestrian in Suffolk County, New York, suffered serious head trauma when she was hit by a driving who was operating a company car for Eli Lilly. The woman sustained traumatic injuries.  The case settled for $13,500,000.

Injured by a bus

In 2008 Gloria Aguilar was run over by a bus. She lost her left leg as a result of the accident.  In 2012 a jury awarded her 27.5 million dollars.

Premises Liability Lawsuits

Premises liability is another term for a personal injury that occurs on a private, commercial or enterprise property.  The determining factor for a premises liability case is negligence.  If there is a slip and fall accident, the owner of the premises may not always be responsible.  The negligence of the owner must be proven.  In a lawsuit, it must be established that the owner should have known about a danger on their property. When it comes to negligence the tricky words are “should have known.”  What constitutes should have known?  “Should have known” is key to proving negligence in a lawsuit.

How Much Funding Can I Get?

All premises liability lawsuit funding is dependent on the facts of the case.  We quickly evaluate your claim based on the following:

  •  Defendant Liability
  •  Damages
  •  Defendant ability to pay (or insurance coverage)

To receive funding you must have engaged an attorney.  Your application will be reviewed and approved depending on the case you present.  There must be a definite liability on the part of the property owner.   If several parties are involved in your accident, and they have insurance your settlement will most likely be more significant.  The amount of money you receive will also be contingent on the amount of medical expense you incur, loss of income, job and pain, and suffering.

Property owners are not usually responsible for damages you might sustain if you are trespassing.

Insurance companies are never eager to settle cases and lawsuits can drag on.  If you have been seriously injured and cannot work, your options can be limited. Pre-settlement funding offers you the peace of mind of being able to pay your bills while you are waiting for a settlement.

Common Types of Premises Liability Accidents.

There can be many types of premises accidents from security breaches to broken elevators.  The list below provides insight but is not entirely comprehensive.

More on dog bites

Some states have “strict liability dog bite laws,”  which means the owner is always responsible should their dog bites and injures someone. Learn more about dog bite laws by state at NOLO.

Dog bites can be severe and cause trauma and critical injuries.   The typical settlement for a dog bite is $37,000.  With that said, certain breeds are may be blacklisted by insurance companies.

Notable verdicts

Exotic pet attacks and disfigures

In 2009 Charla Nash assisted her friend and employer, Sandra Herold in caring for Herold a 200-pound chimpanzee Travis.   Travis suddenly turned on Charla, ripping off her hands, blinding her and disfiguring her face so severely she needed to undergo a complete face transplant.

Nash’s brother sued Sandra Herold for $50 million, but the defense for Herald maintained that this was a worker’s compensation case as Nash worked for Herold.  Herold died in 2010.  Nash was awarded $4.3 million in real estate, machinery, cash, and vehicles.  The family is seeking to sue the State of Connecticut for $150 million for failing to remove Travis after a biologist found him dangerous.  Travis had previously attacked other people.

Slip and fall at Target

In 2017 a Pennsylvania jury awarded Melissa Horton $2.4 in damages for slipping on a wet floor in a Target store.  Employees had mopped an aisle but did not place any signage.  Horton slipped and disrupted her hamstring requiring major reattachment surgeries, a body brace, six weeks in a nursing home, physical therapy and chronic sciatic pain.

Picnic bench collapses

In 2013 Richard and Elizabeth Brown were seated on a picnic bench with a few other people. When others got up to leave the bench, it collapsed.  Richard Brown suffered a compression fracture and spinal pain.  The couple sued the Spring Creek Association and Elko County School District in Utah.

The Browns complained that the School District and Association were negligent in that they knew the picnic benches were defective.  Mr. Brown had suffered previous back injuries.  A jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense.

FELA Lawsuits

What is FELA?  FELA is an acronym for Federal Employers Liability Act. It is similar to workers compensation in that it was designated for employees, but FELA plaintiffs must prove employer negligence.

There is 200,000 miles of railroad track and 600 railroads in the US according to Federal Railroad Administration.  181,000 employees are working for freight railroads.  FELA also binds passenger train employees.

In 2016 there were 11,000 railroad-related accidents the majority of them related to train crashes. Twenty percent of the crashes resulted in an award of $100,000.

Approval for funding is contingent upon engaging an attorney and the ability to prove negligence. Even if you are partially at fault a jury will decide what percent of the accident is related to your behavior and that percentage will be deducted from your award.  There must be compelling evidence that the railroad is at fault. Fault is defined as:

  1. Failure to create a secure environment
  2. Failure to safely train employees

Important to note FELA does not only apply to employees working on the trains and tracks it pertains to office staff as well as long as injuries occur while working for the railroad.

How Much Funding Can I Get?

The following determines the amount of funding you can receive

1.Past and future medical expenses

  1. Past and future lost wages
  2. Physical pain and suffering
  3. Loss of earning capability

FELA lawsuit awards have ranged up to the millions.  You may receive funding for at least 10% of the value of the case.  If you win your case, your attorney pays us directly.  If you lose, there is 0 obligation to repay.

Common Types of FELA Accidents

Railroad jobs can be dangerous. Many types of accidents can occur.  Here is a list of situations that have occurred:

Notable verdicts

Death of a Metro North Flagman

In July of 1997, a Connecticut jury awarded $11 million to the daughter of a Metro North flagman who was run down on a train track. Metro North claimed that Herbert Renert was daydreaming when he was struck and lost his life.

Former conductor loses a leg

George Dunlap, a former conductor with the Wisconsin Central Railroad, was awarded $4.8 million by a Detroit Michigan jury.  Dunlap lost his leg at a motor vehicle/train crossing.  His attorney proved that Dunlap did not have the training or experience to be a conductor.

Boarding accident

James J. Neimann, a former railroad conductor, won $1.8 million in a Cooke’s County jury trial.  Neimann, a retired railroad conductor for the Illinois Central Railroad, required two complete hip replacements sustained from boarding a vehicle moving at 6 miles per hour.

Uplift Legal Funding

At Uplift Funding, we go above and beyond to assist you during a time that is stressful and confusing.  We fund many types of cases including medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and abuse, asbestos, assault, and battery.  Click here for a comprehensive list of the kinds of pre settlement funding we offer.

When it comes to lawsuit funding Uplift is different

We care about our clients and want to educate them as to how the funding process works.  We are completely transparent and there absolutely no hidden fees or claims.  Talk to us, and you’ll feel the weight lifted from your shoulders. Here is what we offer:

  • Lowest interest rates guaranteed
  • Simple interest only (compare to compounded!)
  • No upfront fees
  • No call centers
  • Personalized experience
  • One-to-one relationship with a case manager that can make a quick determination for approval

We give back!  The families we work with are very important to us.  Have a child going to college? Learn about the college scholarship opportunity we offer.