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Financing a lawsuit provides monetary help when a person seeks legal remedy in a court of law, and does not have the finances to bear the expenditure. The expenses covered by lawsuit financing companies include attorney fees, medical bills, health care, rent and mortgage, food etc. Cases funded by lawsuit firms include personal injury, workers compensation, motor vehicle accidental injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability, breach of contract, fraud and others.
However, this should not be mistaken for a loan, as it is non-recourse. That is, the client does not have to repay the amount if he or she loses the lawsuit. The risk is undertaken entirely by the companies. A loan, on the other hand, usually has a definite payback schedule within a fixed period. As there is no way of determining how long a case will run, there is no rigid schedule of repayment followed by lawsuit financing companies.
These companies usually lookout for cases that have a strong chance of winning, in order to reduce the risk of losing money. They have an in-house attorney who studies cases, and decides which of those are more likely to win. Subsequently, they fix the amount that is to be provided to the client, according to his or her needs.
There are basically three types of funding:
1. Pre-settlement funding:
Companies provide funds before the verdict is announced. These are generally provided when the client, due to some injury or some other reason, cannot work and earn money to pay the fees. If however, the verdict goes against the client, the company does not retrieve the money.
2. Post-settlement funding:
Firms give money only after the lawsuit is settled. In such cases, however, they do allow partial advances.
3. Attorney Loans:
The firms directly provide the attorney a long-term credit that will take care of all the expenses incurred.
However, before accepting help from such companies, it would be wise to consider the terms of repayment, and options available. The terms include the flat fee and the recurring fee. One should make an exploratory survey of different companies, and choose the one that is the most suitable. However, the chances of getting such funding would be negligible, if a case has a higher probability of losing, because lawsuit-financing firms scrutinize each case very carefully before providing help. Generally, this kind of service is provided to only those whose attorneys are ready to bear the huge expenses, which the client cannot provide.
Some clients are often compelled to obtain lawsuit financing at a high cost. For example, they may either need to pay their medical bills, pay the rent or mortgage, or avail of health care facilities. If there is no other source of income, lawsuit loans are often the best option. It is advisable to involve your attorney in processing a lawsuit loan, since he or she may be able to find you a funding company that offers the best terms. An attorney will also be able to help you review the contract before you sign up with the lawsuit funding company.