Accidents and injuries can happen without warning, which is why Ringler Associates is proud to be the largest structured settlement company in the country. We understand that navigating the settlement process can be time-consuming as well as confusing, which is why we wanted to better understand the role that educating people can have on the decision to take a lump sum versus go with a structured settlement.
In a consumer survey conducted by Esearch.com and sponsored by American General Life Structured Settlements*, more than 1,000 Americans were surveyed and the main consensus was that Americans need to be educated on structured settlements and why it’s the best course of action for a personal injury case.
In the survey, participants were given a scenario: you’re involved in a car accident and the courts determine you were not at fault and reward you $750,000. Without knowing what a structured settlement was, 65% of respondents chose to get their money all at once via a lump-sum settlement, with the majority thinking that they could handle their own financial decisions without help. Twenty percent of the participants actually had experience with a personal injury case and 86% of that group said they or their family member chose the lump sum option because they did not know what a structured settlement was (57%) and/or their attorney didn’t even tell that a structured settlement was an option (64%). Even though a majority of those surveyed who had a direct relationship with a case were very optimistic about being able to budget and handle the money from their lump-sum agreement, it was found that 57% had completely depleted their settlement, while only 12% had 75% or more of their money.
While these numbers are disheartening, the survey found that educating clients about structured settlements is key to determining whether someone completely depletes their settlement or uses it to make smart financial decisions. After going through a presentation about lump-sums versus structured settlements, the 1,000 survey participants were presented with another scenario where their spouse was killed on the job and 73% chose the structured settlement over the lump-sum. This is an 108% increase from the car accident scenario and it seems that educating clients about structured settlements and their benefits played an important role in their new decision. Participants in the survey said that the regimented stream of income for monthly expenses was most appealing, along with the guarantee of financial independence and being able to cover large bills and loans.
To conclude, clients involved in personal injury cases should be educated and informed by their attorneys or financial advisors about structured settlements. This survey has presented strong evidence that education about structured settlements leads to smart decisions for all involved. If you need help with your personal injury case or want to learn more about the benefits of a structured settlement, contact us to find a consultant in your area.
Return to Blog Page
*Source: American General Life / eSearch Survey