Question about my sons structured settlement

My son has won a medical malpractice suit. He is a minor. It was a structured settlement, and some upfront cash that was paid into court. My husband has been laid off work for months, i have yet to find a job myself. We desperately need financial help right now. Is there any way that any of this money can be used now?

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Malpractice Law, Tennessee


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of Tennessee, the general rule is that it is possible for your son to obtain up-front cash, in some circumstances, in return for the assignment of his interest in the annuity that is funding the structured settlement.  There are several companies (such as JG Wentworth, and Peachtree) that advertise this type of transaction on television.  However, you should be advised that assigning the rights to the annuity contract in return for a lump sum payment often results in receiving MUCH LESS total money than you would have had your son collected all of the sums pursuant to a structured settlement.  As a result of this financial disadvantage, each state has enacted structured settlement protection acts, and those statutes must be complied with in order to authorize the transaction.  Moreover, the annuity companies usually have compliance departments that monitor these transactions in order to ensure both compliance with the statute as well as to prevent to intended beneficiary from being taken advantage of.  I suggest that you consult with the attorney who obtained the settlement for your son to determine whether this is a viable, and wise, course of action for you to attempt to take at this point in time.

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