Structured settlement brokers or annuity broker is a person who is trained specifically to negotiate and assist in a schedule of monetary funds. This is usual awarded to an individual/family from a lawsuit that curtails from a personal injury. The settlement or compensation is given to the defendant and is agreed by both parties so that the lawsuit does not go to a jury trial. The broker will then take steps to assure that they can make a settlement analysis and negotiate throughout the process.
It is advised to work with structured settlement brokers who are registered through the Justice Department. The reason for this is to provide claimants against errors and possible omissions that may occur during the settlement. All information between the settlement brokers and their clients are confidential because of the privilege law.
- The first step for an injured person/individual is to make sure that the relevant information has been given to them. The information should include the date of the injury whether it was a car accident, wrongful death or work related accident; the person’s or individual’s date of birth, annually income, past credit history, the permanent and stationary date (if applicable) along with non-Medicare, Medicare Part A, B and D deductable, and other copayments will need to be figured into the overall settlement.
- The second step is probably the most important job of any professional structured settlement brokers are based on the calculated cost of medical expenses along with the regular cost of the injured person and their family. The money may also help in paying any legal fees that might occur to the family or person during this time. The cost may include the following:
- Physical therapy
- Home nurse
- Medical equipment –wheel chairs, walkers, etc.
- Assisted living constructions or home modification needs; may include special ramps for entry ways, hand railings and bath tubs.
- The third step for structured settlement brokers is to determine if the annuities from the injured person qualifies for a substandard age rating. The assessing of life expectancy may include several factors of the person’s health they are the following:
- Alcohol consumption
- Muscle disorders
- Heart diseases
- Lung disease
- Major chronic health problems or diseases that currently cannot be cured
Structured settlement brokers can arrange increases or advancements against the settlement for unexpected medical expenses incurs for the injured party. The annuity or settlement payments must be done in an established fashion so that it can incorporate a change in living cost which may occur during the recipient’s lifetime. Is done by communicating as well as e-mails between claim adjusters, defense attorneys, applicant attorneys and structured settlement brokers will offer and counter offer until both parties have reached a reasonable settlement.
- The structured settlement brokers will continually review and create the necessary documents making sure that there are no errors that the language of the document is clear to understand, and correct any mistakes if necessary.
The new act passed by Congress in 1982 no longer allowed large lump sums to be given to any party as a settlement payment. Payments are exempt or completely tax free at the federal, state and local income tax level.
- Payments can be made by dividing the amount into monthly and annually. However, the plaintiff is the one that decides on the amount. Structured settlement brokers network with life insurance companies to find the best one to provide the recipient the highest annuity or settlement payout.
However, depending in what state the claimant or person is resident of at the time, they may also is able to sell their settlement or annuities to receive a lump sum of money to cover certain circumstances. Although in many cases since the structured settlements are usual from an injury compensations there are many states that prohibit these types of annuity sells.
- Unfortunate cases dealing with wrongful deaths are also done by structured settlement brokers. In these types of cases the broker can help the awarded beneficiary to receive the settlement to cover the excessive cost for burial. They can also make sure that the settlement can be easier attainable so that if the beneficiary needs the money for tuition of a college or university for the children that were left behind of the deceased.
People who want information pertaining to structured settlement brokers and annuities will need to take the necessary time to research thoroughly by asking family, friends and online at a variety of web sites. The settlement or annuity broker is there for you as well as part of their job is to make sure that you and your family our taken care of during the difficult times. The important thing to remember is that you need to trust this person with personal and sensitive information to take care of the legal aspects along with being your advocate.