A Blunt Conversation with Mr. Jones
When a personal injury case settles, I have the same conversation with our clients (I will call the client, "Mr. Jones"). I explain to Mr. Jones that it has been my experience that 98% of our clients will spend their settlement money as fast as possible and buy things that they have never needed before. The new expenses run the gamut from multiple vacation houses in Florida, $100k Mercedes Benz sports cars to month-long vacations for the family in Jamaica (these are real examples--they are not fictitious). The settlement money from their lawsuit quickly and inevitably evaporates in thin air regardless of the size of their recovery (this includes multi-million dollar recoveries).
Mr. Jones (our fictitious client) always responds to this information the same way: "That will never happen to me." Au contraire, my friend. I respond, "It is almost a sure thing this will happen to you." Now, no one likes to be told they're wrong and Mr. Jones might be a tad bit upset by my response. But you want to know something? I don't care.
What Always Happens to the Money (at least 98% of the time)
Mr. Jones will spend his money and it won't take long. At the end of the spending spree, Mr. Jones will have nothing to show for his personal injury lawsuit. This is a horrible shame. Who cares if the personal injury lawsuit benefits the lawyers (you're with me, right?) and the government gets its money back for its lien. The real purpose of litigation is to ensure that severely disabled persons have funds to pay for their income and medical needs for the rest of their life.
What can be done to Prevent the Loss of Money
The secret to keeping your injury money is known as a "preservation trust". The injury money is deposited into a trust that can only be invaded for specified reasons, such as medical emergencies, tuition for college or graduate school or the payment of premiums for private health insurance. The injury victim remains eligible for government benefits, such as Medicaid and Medicare, as long as the injury money is deposited in a supplemental needs trust.
The preservation trust ensures that the injury victim will have his/her money for the rest of their life. Now, that's a beautiful thing! Even better, the money increases in value in the trust and upon the death of the injury victim, the money can be transferred to their surviving family members, i.e., children or spouse.
What is a Successful Injury Case?
A successful outcome is not accomplished soley by recovering a large sum of money for an injury victim. That is just one part of the lawyer's job. The lawyer earns his money by setting up a preservation trust, or a supplemental needs trust, and making sure that the disabled injury victims will always have money to pay for living expenses and their medical and educational needs.
When a case is resolved, it is irresponsible for the injury victim's lawyer to simply hand Mr. Jones a check and wish him well. You know what is going to happen next--you can kiss that money goodbye! The job of the lawyer is done by ensuring that the disabled client will have the money for their lifetime.
What you can do if you have questions
If you have any questions or just want to chat, I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can send me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request a FREE copy of my book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.
The one thing that injury victims will never admit in Kingston, New York
A Blunt Conversation with Mr. Jones