A case is settled when the defendant or the insurance company decides to pay money in exchange for a signed release. The signed release is the plaintiff agreeing to accept the money they are being offered and understanding that they can no longer pursue the defendant for this legal matter even if their injuries get worse. The release also requires the plaintiff to pay any medical bills or outstanding debt from their injuries with their settlement money. 

One way a personal injury settlement is disbursed is through a structured settlement. A structured settlement is when a plaintiff takes part of the settlement now and receives the rest of the settlement at a later time. This typically only occurs when the settlement is for a large sum of money and the plaintiff wants to invest some of their settlement money to receive at a later date. 

Settlements can also be put into a special needs trust. A special needs trust is essential when the plaintiff receives government assistance and doesn’t want the amount of assistance they receive to be reduced because they received a settlement in a lawsuit. The laws allow people on government assistance to receive some settlement money, but the money must be put into a trust and only used for certain types of expenses for the benefit of the injured person. 

We have also ran into situations where we have gotten settlements for minor children and those settlements are put into a trust where the money can only be withdrawn for the purpose of the minor plaintiff. For example if the plaintiff needs braces or tutoring, the parent or caregiver and request the court release a certain amount of money for those expenses. Once the minor child turns 18 and money left in the trust is relinquished to them. These types of trusts prevent parents and caregivers from spending the minor child’s settlement money on things other than the child’s care and needs. 

If you have questions about a personal injury settlement or your personal injury claim, please call us at 407-254-4901 or text us at 407-644-4444. You can even email us at [email protected]. We are always happy to offer a no obligation, free consultation to discuss your case with you. 

If you have other questions, you can visit our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz5kDuiaR6fOfBBkdXH1STQ, where we have hundreds of videos that answer questions similar to this one. Our website, https://www.cullen-hemphill.com/, also has blog posts and legal articles on a variety of personal injury issues.

Kim Cullen
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Central Florida Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney
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