Symbol designLearn exactly what pre-settlement funding is all about, what are the benefits, and what is the process.

Many people may have heard the term pre-settlement funding but do not know exactly what it is.  To be very honest before I started working for a pre-settlement funding company I had no idea either.  Now having a few years under my belt I will layout out in simple terms what pre-settlement funding really is all about and why it is a beneficial service.

Pre-settlement funding is an advance of funds against the proceeds for your pending settlement. It is considered non-recourse, which means if you do not win you do not repay!  A typical advance can be up to 10% of the value of your claim. An example would be if your case is worth $50,000, you could potentially qualify for up to a $5,000 advance; and if you do not win your case you owe nothing.

There are no upfront fees or cost to you, nothing is paid out of your pocket to get the advance.  When and if your claim settles, the funding company is repaid out of your settlement proceeds.

Dollarphotoclub_48306834These cash advances can be useful to those who have been hurt in an auto accident, a slip and fall at a store and unable to go back to work due to their injuries.  Your life does not stop because you have been hurt.  The same bills still come every month and require your attention.

The process is simple.  You can call us at 866-540-2001 or fill out an application online at http://legalfundsnow.com/apply-now/.  An underwriter will contact both you and your attorney to discuss your claim. We collect a few documents which are then reviewed and approved.  From start to finish this process is fast, and can be completed in as little as 24 hours.

Pre-settlement funding is a needed service.  It may not be for everyone, but there are many who need financial assistance and can turn to us when all else fails.

From the New York Times

As thousands of women across the country are engaged in lawsuits against manufacturers of pelvic mesh implants, a Texas group is trying to get the state to also take action against companies that make the medical devices.

The Texas group, a coalition of “pelvic mesh survivors,” has asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is also the state’s Republican nominee for governor, to pursue legal action against Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest implant makers.

Read full article here

Medtronic Infuse Bone GraftMedtronic has agreed to pay $22 million to settle approximately 950 lawsuits. These lawsuits were a result of injury caused by using Medtronic’s spinal bone graft product, Infuse Bone Graft. The Infuse Bone Graft is used during lower spine repair surgery to stimulate bone growth. Medtronic promoted unapproved uses that created complications in patients.

In addition to the $22 million, Medtronic is reportedly preparing another settlement of $140 million for an even larger number of anticipated claims. Those who have suffered due to the misuse of this product are finally seeing the end of their case nearing.

To find out more about this lawsuit and its history, read our previous blog here.

IPG Causes BurnsThe Eon Mini Neurostimulation implantable pulse generator (IPG) is used to help patients suffering from chronic leg or lower back pain. In April 2008, the FDA approved the device, and it was implanted in more than 34,000 patients. St Jude Medical Inc., the manufacturer of the Eon Mini, was not required to submit clinical data. They also did not conduct clinical testing to determine how the device would operate in an environment similar to the human body. In October 2012, the FDA announced a recall of the Eon Mini Neurostimulation IPG. Hundreds of patients complained of the device overheating, causing pain instead of relief and resulting in either a device revision and/or replacement surgery.

In July 2012, St. Jude Medical admitted that the IPG’s internal battery has potential to come in contact with the internal microcontroller board. They received 300 complaints of warmth, as well as overheating causing first and second degree burns in a few patients. Additionally St. Jude identified a weld crack in the IPG’s inner battery caused by moisture. Without the proper clinical trials and testing, St Jude Medical put patients at risk and caused undo pain. To St. Jude’s credit, they did alert physicians of the issues in December 2011.

It is unnerving that the devices were implanted even with the warning signs, and the FDA did not recall it until October of 2012, after hundreds of patients suffered.

If you are currently involved in an Eon Mini Neurostimulation implantable pulse generator (IPG) lawsuit and are in need of cash to cover your living expenses and financial obligations, Legal Funds Now may be able to help! With settlement advances from Legal Funds Now, you can get the help that you need while you wait for your settlement award.

Car RecallsIt is fairly easy to run across a news item discussing auto manufacturer recall stories. Along with General Motors (GM), the most disturbing story of late, Toyota and Mazda are recalling millions of cars with defects.

General Motors recalls have had the biggest impact in the news. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently accused GM of having “critical information that would have helped identify this defect”. The defect on the Chevy Cobalt was a failed ignition switch which caused the cars to stop while in motion and the airbags not to deploy. In 2005, many who had dealt with the ignition issue, complained to dealers and directly to GM with little recourse. A family filed suit when their daughter was killed in a Cobalt accident in 2010 due to the faulty ignition. In 2013, GM went after this family for legal fees. Currently, over one million Cobalts with this life threatening malfunction have been recalled. Another million of other GM models are also recalled. Due to the tragedy of not recognizing or ignoring the problem(s), 26 people have died. Those who knew of the issues did not want to take the costly responsibility to fix it. Currently, there is a brain injury lawsuit filed against GM for one of the severely injured survivors in the Fourth Judicial District Court in the State of Minnesota.

On the heels of GM recalls, Mazda and Toyota have joined in recalling vehicles in mass proportions. Mazda and Toyota have seen malfunctions related to fuel tank and airbags. No injuries have been reported from the Toyota or Mazda malfunctions but this could be the genesis for upcoming recall class action lawsuits. Though you would hope your car manufacturer and the NHTSA would look out for your best interests and safety, it is important to be aware of all car recall notices.

For-profit collegesWe want to think that all colleges and universities have their students’ best interests in mind and use them as guiding principles. In recent years, it has become blatantly obvious that there are for-profit colleges and universities who are more concerned with increasing profits and shareholder value and willing to sacrifice their students to that end. In the past, oversight by the US Department of Education has been hindered by for-profit colleges’ lobbying arm, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. Recently, attorney generals from across the country have placed for-profit schools under scrutiny, and lawsuits are underway.

These unethical for-profit colleges and universities are accused of burdening students with heavy loan debt, high prices and knowingly admitting students incapable of succeeding in the programs. The program quality and reputations are weak, inadequately preparing students for the workforce. Employees of one for-profit school allege that their employer told them to take actions that were deceiving to students and potential employers. Records were falsified to enroll students and keep them enrolled… keeping government grant and loan dollars rolling in.

If a student does make it to graduation, the colleges’ placement efforts are almost nonexistent and graduates’ expectations of better jobs and salaries burst. The commercials we all see on TV promising the career you’ve always dreamed of, more money and stability are a far cry from reality. Approximately 13 percent of students attend for-profit schools, and these same schools are responsible for nearly half of ALL student loan defaults. (HuffingtonPost.com)

A Senate investigation found in 2009, CEOs of publicly traded for-profit college earned $7 million on average. That’s more than double than the $3 million paid on average to the highest earners at non-profit universities and colleges during the same time period. Additionally as we’ve discussed, for-profit schools are known for their commercials. They spent $4.2 billion on marketing and recruiting compared to just $3.2 billion on instruction. (NewRepublic.com)

For-profit colleges under scrutiny include:

  • Harris and parent company, Premier Education Group (owner of more than two dozen trade schools and community colleges)
  • ITT Education Services (ITT Technical Institute and Daniel Webster College)
  • Career Education Corp
  • Corinthian Colleges
  • Education Management Corp

In addition to the investigations under way and lawsuits taking place, new regulation has been introduced. The final draft of the Gainful Employment Rule was released on Friday, March 14, 2014. This is the second time this rule has been introduced. When initially introduced in 2011, it did not pass a court challenge. It has since been revised and is believed to be strong enough to withstand opposition.

There are two aspects to the new Gainful Employment Rule. First is a debt-to-earnings ratio test which requires that the estimated loan payment must be less than 12 percent of a student’s total income and 30 percent of discretionary income. Second and new to the rule, is a loan default rate. Less than 30 percent of a program’s graduates can be in default. Schools which fail the debt-to-earnings test in any two out of three consecutive years or fail the loan default rate test for any three consecutive years become ineligible to receive federal grants and scholarships. This is a harsh sentence as schools rely upon these federal dollars, but is it worse to leave students prey to sub par and deceptive programs, as well as waste already limited tax dollars and funds? Many hope for-profit schools will take this as an opportunity to improve.

Improvements and fixes will not be immediate. Students and the government have been struggling with for-profit colleges and universities taking advantage of them for years. Involvement by the states and the new Gainful Employment Rule is just the beginning, as more lawsuits are expected to emerge. Follow the Legal Funds Now blog for the latest news on this topic.

 

NFL Concussion SettlementIn August 2013, a $765 million settlement was offered to former NFL players who suffered from severe injuries as a result of concussions while playing. Many player’s initial reaction was that the league was getting a great deal and that the money would not be enough to cover all injured players. In January 2014, a federal judge rejected the NFL’s $765 million settlement, fearing that all retired players covered in the lawsuit wouldn’t be.

Players like, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints think that the $765 million settlement amount is not enough. “There’s so many guys out there that need to qualify for disability and certainly need a lot more.” Brees added, “The amount of money that they’re talking about … sounds like a lot, but really it’s just a drop in the bucket for the amount of help that these guys need.”

Some players have opted to seek reimbursement separately. Former Detroit Lions Running Back Jahvid Best has filed suit against the NFL claiming that the league knew about the risks of head injuries and didn’t do enough to protect the players. Best suffered multiple concussions with the Lions before being released in July of 2013. He also filed suit against the NFL’s helmet maker, Riddell and Easton-Bell Sports as well as filing workers compensation claim against the Detroit Lions.

Another lawsuit by Junior Seau’s family stands out, as Seau’s case involves the death of a player. They are also potential class action members. In 2012, Seau committed suicide at the age of 43. In the lawsuit, his children claim that his death is the product of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease, which they say occurred because of “innumerable” blows to the head that caused Seau’s actions.

Though it is likely that the NFL and the player’s attorneys will meet at a fair settlement, no one can guess exactly how long these negotiations will take. To add to the time it takes for players to receive their cash, once a settlement is reached, it still could be months or even years before qualifying for disbursement. Even for players opting to file a separate lawsuit, a settlement date could still be months or even years away. When former NFL players need their settlement money now and not later to deal with medical bills and other expenses, pre settlement funding can help.

 

(Sources: SB NationESPNBlack and Gold BlogWall Street Journal)

Spine InjuryWhen Medtronic marketed their bone graft product for unapproved uses, they neglected to tell doctors about the potential complications. As a result, Medtronic faces devastating lawsuits. Doctors may use medical devices as they see fit, but the manufacturers may not promote or market their products for unapproved uses as Medtronic did. These “off-label” uses produced approximately 90 percent of the $800 million in revenue from the Infuse Bone Graft in 2011.

Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft was FDA approved in 2002 for use during lower spine repair surgery to stimulate bone growth. A genetically altered protein, Infuse Bone Graft helps to build bone tissue and is used to fuse vertebrae in the lower spine. Medtronic promoted the unapproved use of Infuse Bone Graft for surgery to the upper spine or neck. Complications included: excessive bone growth; difficulty swallowing, breathing and speaking; swelling of the neck and throat tissue; cancer; sterility in males; infection; cyst formation and death. Medtronic is also accused of helping author studies of their device, which downplayed the risks and side effects according to a U.S. Senate investigation published in October 2012. Additionally, it is claimed that medical literature regarding safety was ghostwritten by doctors who Medtronic paid large sums of compensation.

More than 100 patients have filed lawsuits claiming serious injury from use of the Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft. They allege that Medtronic misrepresented the product and failed to warn about the dangers and complications of the product. The spinal complication rate from use of the Infuse Bone Graft device reached 59% according to research (MedtronicBoneGraftLawyers.com). Medtronic has been able to avoid some trials using the argument that Supreme Court rulings almost always prohibit patients from suing in state courts for malfunctions of FDA-approved devices. Several judges in state and federal courts have recently let cases move forward. This sets the stage for appeals that could end in another Supreme Court case (StarTribune.com).

In 2008 the FDA warned doctors of the potential dangers of the Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft. Doctors and patients are now seeking alternatives due to the severe side effects of the Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft. Unfortunately, knowledge of complications comes after many have already been affected by complications and lost their trust in the medical system. Some of those affected cannot return to work or complete their normal daily tasks. They are not only faced with an altered future, but also must endure the financial burden associated with lost wages and increased medical bills.

Is Pre Settlement Funding a Lawsuit Loan?

Some pre settlement funding companies advertise that they provide “lawsuit loans”. This is misleading as they are not telling you the complete truth. No company is legally able to provide a lawsuit loan. The correct term instead of a lawsuit loan is non-recourse financing.

It is easy to confuse legal funding with lawsuit loans, as they appear to have similar characteristics as unsecured loans. With a loan, you are required to pay back the funding even if you lose your case. This is much like a mortgage, credit card or car loan. However, with Legal Funds Now’s pre settlement financing, we provide a no-risk funding solution to you.

What is Pre Settlement Lawsuit Funding?

Pre settlement lawsuit funding is a non-recourse cash advance provided to a plaintiff in a pending a lawsuit or insurance claim. Non-recourse means that if you don’t win your lawsuit or receive a settlement, you do not repay the advanced funds. A lawsuit funding cash advance is only repaid at the time you win or settle your case.

When do you need Lawsuit Funding?

Funding is provided to help plaintiffs with their immediate financial needs for living expenses and other financial obligations, such as medical care, while pursuing their claim.

Even though some lawyers (such as injury attorneys) offer their services on a contingency basis, some plaintiffs are not able to cover day to day expenses or medical bills, before their claim is settled. When plaintiffs are struggling financially, insurance companies may offer a settlement amount that is lower than what is rightfully due by law. It is their hope that since the plaintiff needs money to get back on their feet, they will settle for a smaller amount than the fair or just value. Don’t settle for less than the fair value of your case because of financial pressures. Legal Funds Now can help!

thumbnail 2Johnson & Johnson has announced that they will pay nearly $2.5 billion in compensation to settle thousands of lawsuits from individuals allegedly injured by the company’s artificial hip implants. More than 8,000 patients who received the implant had the metal artificial hip removed and replaced with another device (New York Times). The agreement for this settlement, which was approved by a federal court in Toledo, Ohio, is that $250,000 will be provided to patients who had their implants removed or replaced due to complications before August 31st of 2013. Johnson & Johnson will pay all medical costs that are related to these procedures, making the $2.5 billion closer to $3 billion.

The artificial hip known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR, was implanted in 35,000 people in the US and more than 90,000 people worldwide within the eight years it was being produced (USA TODAY). Depuy recalled the ASR hip system in 2010, after data showed that it failed at a higher than expected rate. The ASR has proven to be one of the most flawed medical implants sold in recent decades. While patients complained time and time again of discomfort and injury after the implantation, Johnson & Johnson denied that there were any issues.

In most cases, artificial hips made from metal and plastic will last for 15 years before needing to be replaced. The ASR, which was made of a metal ball and cup, broke down and shed debris causing damaged tissue and crippling injuries. According to the DePuy Orthopedics division of Johnson & Johnson, a 2011 company review of a patient registry concluded that more than one-third of the implants were expected to fail within five years in 40% of their patients who received the implantation (New York Times).

The company’s lawyers have denied that Johnson & Johnson did anything wrong, although documents during this case have shown that the company was well aware of the issues with this device for many years. “It isn’t completely over, but this is a step in the right direction,” said Peter Flowers, a lead counsel for the hip patients (The Wall Street Journal).

There are times that we need to go to the doctor to get help with our health and put our trust in a medical professional’s hands. We can never be completely sure that their suggestions for treatment such as medication and surgeries are 100% safe. When we find out they are not, it can result in confusion, pain and suffering. Often, these issues can cost money and possibly lead to a lawsuit. When faced with a medical lawsuit, it can take years before the case settles. During this time, if you and your loved ones need money for medical or everyday living expenses, presettlement funding might be right for you.