Tips for plaintiffs: How to reach a fair settlement

Every plaintiff goes into a lawsuit expecting a fair settlement. However, this is not an easy task, as fighting a lawsuit can be a long, complicated battle. At times, it can feel easier to settle early than to fight for longer. There are some things a plaintiff can do to help receive fair compensation:

Be organized. Going into the courtroom prepared is key to effectively fighting a case. While the plaintiff’s lawyer is mostly responsible for making sure everything is in order, it is beneficial to the case for the plaintiff to be involved. Make sure all the proper documentation surrounding the incident is in order and any other evidence involved with the case. When the plaintiff is involved and on top of their game, their credibility is is strengthened.

Stay out of the red. Many plaintiffs don’t realize just how important their financial health is to their case. Lawsuits can take a huge financial toll on plaintiffs. The incident that they are seeking damage for, such as lost wages or medical bills from a personal injury, must be financially covered by the plaintiff or their insurance until the case settles, and often insurance isn’t enough to make ends meet. The problem is, lawsuits usually take a long time, time that might be spent unemployed or injured. This often results in the case settling early due to pressing bills that the plaintiff feels can’t wait. It is also common for the defense to use this to their advantage—stalling a case in order to pressure the plaintiff into settling can be cheaper than paying the plaintiff what they deserve.

Stay focused. Just as a plaintiff wants to stay organized, it’s also important for the plaintiff to have a clear mind. If a plaintiff grows frustrated by the lawsuit’s progress, they are more likely to settle sooner rather than keep fighting. Part of staying focused involves the plaintiff’s finances as well. If they have pressing bills at home, they may feel too stressed to wait any longer.

One strategy that can help plaintiffs stay focused, organized, and financially stable is using presettlement funding. This type of funding lets the plaintiff use their settlement to help them during the lawsuit, which can actually be seen as an investment for a fair settlement in the way that it takes away the financial and stress-related pressure to settle early. Lawsuit loans are just for plaintiffs, so the process is quick and easy to avoid even more stress and hassle.

About the Author: Steven Medvin is the Executive Director of SMP Advance Funding, LLC, which provides lawsuit funding to individuals who need a lawsuit loan for pending lawsuits. For more information please visit www.smpadvance.com.

What not to expect from a lawsuit loan

The legal process can be a financially straining time for plaintiffs. When plaintiffs choose what type of funding they need, they often overlook issues that can complicate the loan process, issues that they wouldn’t find with a lawsuit loan. A few road blocks to look out for:

Credit and Employment checks. The traditional personal loan application process will likely involve a credit and employment check. This can create problems for plaintiffs, who are often out of work and pursuing a case involving personal injury, wrongful termination, or another incident that results in lost wages. Even if the plaintiff isn’t out of work, it is common for plaintiff’s credit to suffer under the financial strain involved. Credit and employment checks aren’t required for a lawsuit loan, which is approved based on the plaintiff’s case, not their financial history or current status.

Monthly payments. The legal process requires a lot from plaintiffs—court dates and preparation, meetings with their lawyer—while they maintain their life outside of the lawsuit as well. The plaintiff must keep up with monthly bills like utilities and car payments along with medical bills or other expenses related to the incident. If the plaintiff chooses a traditional loan with a monthly payment plan, these financial responsibilities can grow overwhelming. Another concern here is that the plaintiff may have to make monthly payments before the lawsuit concludes, without help from their settlement. The loan applicant should think about how many monthly payments they could make before the case settles, especially if they are unemployed. However, with a lawsuit loan, no payments are made until a settlement is reached, so plaintiffs don’t have to worry about monthly payments.

A long, complicated application process. Plaintiffs are already overwhelmed with paperwork from their legal case. They shouldn’t have to hold court to get a loan as well. If a plaintiff chooses a personal loan, they should expect to wait before receiving their funding. Banks and other personal loan lenders don’t tailor to the specific needs of plaintiffs, who often need access to the loan quickly to pay pressing expenses. The lender will take time processing the plaintiff’s personal information, credit history, and employment. If the plaintiff’s funding involves a home refinance or another mortgage related matter, then the bank may perform a home appraisal as well. But a settlement loan gives plaintiffs their funding fast, and the easy application can be filled out online.

About the Author: Steven Medvin is the Executive Director of SMP Advance Funding, LLC, which provides lawsuit funding to individuals who need a lawsuit loan for pending lawsuits. For more information please visit www.smpadvance.com.

How a plaintiff’s finances could make or break their case

Legal strategy is complicated, but something that can be known for sure is that it is important for plaintiffs to remain financially stable during their court case. A few ways that financial struggle can affect plaintiffs:

While the lawsuit is in progress, the plaintiff’s financial responsibilities don’t pause and wait for a time that’s financially convenient. The plaintiff must still maintain a standard of living by paying their mortgage, car payments, and other necessities of life along with any medical or repair bills resulting from the incident. If the plaintiff can’t make these payments and suffers from repossession, eviction, or another debt recollection method, then fighting a lawsuit becomes difficult. The struggle of personal responsibilities can take focus away from the plaintiff’s case—they must still make court dates and time for court preparation, make meetings with their lawyer, and other legal responsibilities.

The plaintiff could feel pressured to settle. If the plaintiff is struggling to pay these bills, then they may feel pressure to settle sooner than they would have liked. With debt collectors on their back and bills stacking up, accepting a low settlement just to be able to make payments right away becomes tempting. This is a common situation, since it is actually a defense strategy to stall a lawsuit in order to run the plaintiff dry, especially if the defendant is a group, like a company or organization, with a bigger legal budget than the individual plaintiff—it is often cheaper to stall a lawsuit than to pay a fair settlement. Financial stability is not only essential to the plaintiff’s ability to fight a lawsuit, but it could also be seen as a smart legal strategy.

The reason why so many plaintiffs struggle with finances during a lawsuit is that many are out of work due to an injury or another workplace related incident and suffer from lost wages. Or, even if they are working, they may be struggling with both their personal and legal responsibilities. An option available, one designed specifically for plaintiffs, is the lawsuit loan. A lawsuit loan is an advance on a plaintiff’s settlement that allows a plaintiff to use their settlement during the lawsuit. And, as previously stated, it could actually help the plaintiff win a fair settlement, since it takes the pressure off of settling early. There is a simple, fast application, so plaintiffs can get the money they need quickly and focus on their lawsuit instead of their finances.

About the Author: Steven Medvin is the Executive Director of SMP Advance Funding, LLC, which provides lawsuit funding to individuals who need a lawsuit loan for pending lawsuits. For more information please visit www.smpadvance.com.

How credit card use can hurt plaintiffs financially

When plaintiffs need funding during their lawsuit to help pay for medical bills, home and car payments, and other necessities, many look to credit cards as a fast financial fix while they wait for the case to reach a settlement. But this can only make financial matters worse—behind mortgage and student loans, credit cards are the third leading cause of household debt. Credit cards are tempting because most plaintiffs just have to reach right into their wallet rather than filling out an application, but this comes at a cost.

The interest rates that come with credit cards can be a huge financial blow to plaintiffs. The problem with plaintiffs using a “fast” fix like credit cards is that lawsuit funding is not a short term situation—most lawsuits will last longer than a year, and so relying on credit cards for this length of time leads to massive debt and interest accumulation. When the impact that credit card debt has on borrowers long term—credit debt’s effect on credit can follow an individual for decades—is considered, then credit cards aren’t really a fast funding option at all. And if a lawsuit lasts long enough, the plaintiff may find their whole settlement going to paying off their debt.

Another problem is that credit cards tend to come with a lot of fine print, making this type of funding especially unreliable for the needs of a plaintiff. For example: a borrower may obtain a credit card with a promotional rate, only to find that the lender can change the interest rate after a single late payment. Another option open to plaintiffs is a traditional loan, but that comes with a longer application process, and many plaintiffs can’t wait that long to start making payments—what often leads to credit card use.

So, plaintiffs need the reliability of a traditional loan with the speediness of credit cards. Another option is the lawsuit loan—a settlement cash advance. This type of lawsuit funding allows plaintiffs to use their settlement to help pay life’s necessities until their case concludes. This is not only a funding option designed specifically for the needs of a plaintiff, but also a smart legal strategy: a financially stable plaintiff can focus on their case instead of worrying about their financial situation, and they will feel less pressure to settle sooner than they think is fair. The right lawsuit loan company will have a fast, online application and the plaintiff should be presented with all the right information before anything is signed, meaning no tricky fine print.

About the Author: Steven Medvin is the Executive Director of SMP Advance Funding, LLC, which provides lawsuit funding to individuals who need a lawsuit loan for pending lawsuits. For more information please visit www.smpadvance.com.