A structured settlement is a type of settlement that allows for periodic payments instead of one lump-sum payment. Ohio allows structured settlements to pay off damages owed from a personal injury case in some situations.
While almost any tort action could result in a structured settlement, there are additional caveats the parties must meet because the state has strict laws in place to protect the victims of these accidents.
The Purpose of the Ohio State Structured Settlement Protection Act
In 2017, Ohio passed the Ohio State Structured Settlement Protection Act. It establishes the rules and procedures for structured settlements in Ohio. This type of settlement agreement requires the court’s permission and approval. Any time the accident victim and liable party or their representatives negotiate a structured settlement outside the courtroom, it will require the judge’s approval.
The judge will only grant approval if the settlement agreement is fair and compensates the victim with enough money overall and enough in each payment. There are also additional rules to protect the victim: they must have legal representation, and there is a ten-day waiting period before the agreement is finalized.
The Victim Must Have “Independent Professional Advice”
The Ohio State Structured Settlement Protection Act requires all parties to receive “independent professional advice” related to a structured settlement. While this often means a personal injury attorney, it could also be:
- A certified public accountant (CPA)
- An actuary
- Another licensed professional adviser who can explain the legal and financial implications of a structured settlement
There are also other stipulations about who can serve as an adviser. For example, they must not monetarily benefit from your decision to accept a structured settlement.
The Law Requires a Very Specific Disclosure Statement and Waiting Period
In the Ohio State Structured Settlement Protection Act, lawmakers outline a disclosure statement that must be sent to the victim at least ten days before the structured settlement goes into place. This disclosure statement includes a lot of important information, such as:
- The payment amounts and due dates
- The gross and net amount payable
- A listing of any fees and payments
- The penalty if the paying party misses a payment
Once this information is available, there must be at least ten days before the structured settlement agreement goes into effect.
An Attorney From Bressman Law Can Help You Understand Your Options for Recovering Compensation
Ohio personal injury attorney David Bressman and the team from Bressman Law can help you understand if a structured settlement might be a good idea based on your unique needs and the facts of your case.
Call (614) 538-1116 today for a free review of your case by a member of our team.