If you’re injured by someone else’s careless negligence in the state of New York – by a distracted driver, a negligent healthcare provider, or even by a defective consumer product – you are entitled by law to full compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. You need the help of a Rochester personal injury attorney at once.

However, it may take a considerable amount of time for an injured victim of negligence to receive that full compensation. If an injury claim cannot be settled out of court, a personal injury trial is necessary and the case then may not be resolved for a least a year – and even longer when a case is complicated.

And while a personal injury claim is pending, the bills are piling up. If you are recovering from injuries and you’re unable to work, you could very quickly find yourself facing temporary – but nevertheless quite serious – financial hardship.

Let’s be frank. If you’re filing a personal injury claim that could take months to resolve, and if you’re injured and away from work, unless your savings are considerable, you are very quickly going to need some cash until you can return to work or until your claim is resolved.

WHAT ARE LAWSUIT LOANS?

One option to consider – but consider it very carefully – is what’s called a lawsuit loan. A lawsuit loan is a cash loan against a future out-of-court settlement or jury verdict. Lawsuit loans are also called “litigation financing,” lawsuit funding, and “lawsuit advances.”

However, and as you might imagine, you have to be quite careful about applying for and accepting a lawsuit loan. Borrowing against your personal injury award is a way to deal with short-term financial obligations, but the long-term cost may be too much to bear.

If you apply for a lawsuit loan, it’s imperative to do your research and understand the real cost.

Lenders who offer lawsuit loans sell the product primarily to injured victims of negligence in personal injury cases – cases arising from traffic accidents, slip-and-fall injuries, defective consumer products, and incidents of medical malpractice.

Here in New York, if you sustain a personal injury or injuries in a traffic collision or any other accident caused by someone else’s negligence, after you have been treated by a healthcare professional, discuss your case at once with an experienced Rochester personal injury attorney.

WHAT WILL A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM DO?

If you’ve been injured by another person’s negligence, and if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim, your personal injury lawyer will:

1. investigate the accident and your injury
2. examine the applicable insurance policies
3. review the evidence and question the pertinent witnesses
4. determine precisely who has legal liability
5. hold the liable party or parties accountable
6. negotiate aggressively for the compensation you need and deserve

Most personal injury claims – about ninety percent – are settled privately when attorneys for both sides meet and negotiate away from the courtroom. However, if your case cannot be settled out of court, you may have to go to trial to obtain the compensation that is rightfully yours.

And that can take months. A complicated, disputed case can sometimes stretch out for more than a year. With your medical bills mounting and no income from your job, a lawsuit loan might look quite tempting. But is a lawsuit loan really a wise option?

HOW DO LAWSUIT LOANS WORK?

After you’ve filed a personal injury claim, you apply for the loan from a lawsuit loan lender. The lender evaluates your claim to determine how much you should receive if you negotiate a settlement or prevail in a personal injury trial.

If your loan is approved, you’ll receive it right away. You agree to repay the loan (the principal) along with a “funding fee” or interest on the loan from your compensation when you receive it.

WHAT’S THE CATCH?

You’ll usually be told that the interest or “funding fee” is from two percent to four percent per month. Sounds reasonable, right? But do the math.

The actual annual interest on a lawsuit loan can run as high as sixty percent. If a complicated personal injury lawsuit and trial takes place over two years, you could be obligated to pay back twice what you borrowed – or more.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?

When you and your attorney reach a personal injury settlement or prevail at trial, some of your costs must be paid at that time. These costs can include:

1. The attorney’s fee: For most personal injury cases, the attorney’s fee is usually from thirty-three to forty percent of the full, final compensation amount.

2. Routine lawsuit expenses: Expenses can include expenditures ranging from copy machine costs to paying for an expert witness and his or her time and expenses.

3. Medical liens: If you obtain medical services from hospitals, doctors, or other healthcare providers on the basis of a medical lien, that lien must be paid from the compensation amount – before you personally receive any compensation.

When these costs are paid, if you took out a lawsuit loan, the lender is paid from what remains.

WHAT ARE YOUR ALTERNATIVES?

If you need cash while your personal injury case is pending, consider all of your alternatives and discuss the matter with your personal injury lawyer. You may have other options:

1. Is there any insurance coverage that might provide quick cash?
2. Do you qualify for any state or federal disability benefits?
3. Could a loan from your bank or credit union provide better terms than a lawsuit loan?
4. What about a personal loan from a friend or a family member?

Yes, a lawsuit loan can cover immediate financial obligations, and if for any reason a jury decides against you in a personal injury trial, you do not have to repay the lender. It’s the risk the lender takes, and it’s the main reason that interest rates on lawsuit loans are so outrageously high.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO BEGIN PURSUING JUSTICE?

You, however, don’t have to take any risks in order to pursue the justice you deserve. A Rochester personal injury lawyer will provide a free first legal consultation to an injured victim of negligence.

You’ll learn how the law applies to your own case and whether you should take legal action. If you and your attorney agree to pursue compensation, you’ll pay no attorney’s fee until and unless compensation is recovered on your behalf.

If you are injured by another person’s negligence, you have two immediate priorities. Get medical attention at once – that’s first. Then get the legal advice and representation you need from an experienced Rochester personal injury attorney. That is your right.