You’ve just been through a horrible car accident, and on top of the trauma, you now have to deal with mounting medical bills.
You can’t afford them. But at the end of the day, you can’t afford to give up on the settlement.
This is where car accident loans can help. Keep reading to find out more about how it works and how you can qualify.
What Is Pre-Settlement Funding?
Pre-settlement funding is when a plaintiff (you) receives advanced money from a court award before a final decision is reached in the case.
The idea is simple: if you’re suing in court, there’s a good chance that you need the court award money.now. The problem is that lawsuits can stretch on for months at a time and you may not be able to wait that long.
Pre-settlement funding helps tide you over until the court award is finalized and you receive a check.
How It Works?
When you get this kind of funding, it’s kind of like a loan.
A company buys a portion of your future claim award. In exchange, you get cash, which you can use to pay for things while your attorney irons out the details of your claim.
From there,it’s important to differentiate whether you get a loan or some other form of a cash advance called pre-settlement funding.
A loan requires you to pay back the money no matter what. There are other forms of lending that don’t require you to pay the money back if you lose.(Non Recourse Loans)
When your attorney settles your claim, the company who bought a portion of your future claim will receive the portion that they purchased.
The exact process varies between lenders, but most lenders have a targeted investment size and damage size in mind. Most lenders require your lawyer to take their fees on a contingency basis in order to ensure that everyone on the case is aligned toward the same goal.
Basically, your lawyer must be confident enough in the outcome of your trial to risk their fee on the final settlement payoff.
However, reputable financiers do not control the management of the case–including any discussions of a settlement. That falls to your lawyer. Your lender does not become a party to your case when they lend either. The only way this would change is if discovery found their funding to be relevant to the case.
Your lawyer also does not have any professional obligations to your lender other than informational rights specified in your financial documents such as acknowledging your cash advance.
Advantages and Disadvantages
If you’re faced with mounting bills and insufficient income to deal with them, you may be so desperate for a life jacket that you’ll jump at anything that comes your way.
But it is important to take the time to figure out whether a car accident loan is, in fact, the right solution to your problems.
With that in mind, here are a few pros and cons of these loans.
It Tides You Over
The single biggest advantage of these loans?
They tide you over.
Let’s break it down.
In a civil case, the prevailing party must provide a bill of costs, itemizing the expenses incurred in the course of the case. Common expenses include:
- Fees paid to compel witnesses to attend court proceedings
- Fees paid to expert witnesses
- Filing fees
- Document preparation fees
- Miscellaneous fees associated with bringing a case to court
Note that attorney’s fees are not the same thing as costs. You can’t use loans to pay for attorney fees–the attorney must be retained on a 100% contingency basis.
Either way, your settlement rarely covers your out-of-pocket expenditures. Add in the fact that you’re dealing with mounting medical bills and may not be working (depending on your injury) and you’ve got one hefty bill on your hands.
Chances are good that you don’t have the income to handle it.
Car accident loans help you stay the course and keep your head above water until your settlement comes through. And if you desperately need that settlement, a loan may just be your saving grace.
It Can Get Expensive
Detractors usually point to the same criticism: loans like this can get expensive.
Most states don’t regulate these types of loans, which means they can get more expensive than credit card debt. That’s because you pay back the principal amount of the loan, as well as accrued interest and a funding fee.
The problem is that personal injury cases can take months or years to settle, and even longer to go to trial. That’s plenty of time for interest to build up, especially if the interest rate increases after the first year.
It Can Give You More Time
On the flip side, car accident lawsuits are expensive in their own right.
In 2013, car accident fatalities resulted in $44 billion in medical and work loss, costs, as well as the financial and emotional burdens on the victims’ families. If an accident wasn’t fatal, you’re still facing months of medical bills and lost time at work.
So when a case finally goes to court, you may be scrambling to get the money together just to pay the cost of pursuing the case. You can’t afford the fees, but you can’t afford to lose the case either–not with a mountain of medical debt building on your back.
Car accident loans can help buy you more time–enough to help you win your case and pay off your debts.
How to Qualify
Qualifying for auto accident loans depends on your accident type and the case itself.
Each lending company has its own qualification requirements. Our requirements are as follows:
- You must have a valid case filed in court
- You must have an attorney representing your case
- The burden of liability must lie with the other party
- The defendant must have insurance
Keep in mind, however, that every case is different, and you qualify for a loan on the merits of the case. So even if you do meet all the eligibility requirements, your application will still be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The good news is that all of our loans are non-recourse. That means that you’re not personally liable for the cash we advance to you if you don’t win.
Do You Need Car Accident Loans?
If you need car accident loans, you need a life jacket. We’re here to provide you one.