May 28, 2020

Buffett’s Support of Structured Settlements Signals Changes in Legal Landscape


Changes Signaled by a Business Leader.

The famed investor Warren Buffett threw his lot in on settlement reform recently. The Wizard of Walnut Street opined recently that a lump sum payment is not always the best way forward for personal injury lawyers. Considering his expertise in the field of international and personal finance, it is advice litigants-- and their attorneys should heed.

Our Take on Buffet's Signaling.

Reading Buffett's statements reaffirms my long-held beliefs. In my decades of experience, I've seen some clients who would be better off with lump sums. However, many won't consider a long term structured settlement. For families struggling with the lengthy effects of a severe injury, having the means to pay the bills is key. Furthermore, being able to pay for rehab and other medical bills is paramount. Heck, that is often the largest determinant in how we develop settlement estimates.

Buffett's Statement.

The recent press covered Buffett's statement. In this, the famed investor talked about the long term implication of settling a major lawsuit. He also threw in his own company's experience with the topic.

“Anyone settling a personal injury claim should seriously consider a structured settlement as part of their plan for financial recovery. Structured settlements can stretch settlement funds by providing tax-free payments for lost income, medical bills or other future needs, which delivers tremendous long-term security for injured people and their families. Berkshire Hathaway is proud to be a leading provider of structured settlement annuities.”

Understanding the Advantages of a Structured Settlement.

Every lawsuit is different. In addition, there is no substitute for the advice of your own lawyer. The advice below is based on over 20 years of experience, but your individual case may have variable circumstances. Do not take the below as firm legal advice.

  • Long term planning. Often, clients do not factor in the long term costs associated with a terrible injury. This not only factors in the loss of income but also the rate of inflation and housing costs.
  • Rehab and medical bills. This often includes long term revolving costs that simply don't go away. Having money coming in each week, month or year can alleviate the financial pressure.
  • Wills. Structured settlements are often easier to handle in estate planning.

For more info on the topic, please reach out to me at michael@ehlinelaw.com. I want to give you the best possible advice, as well as the ability to see it from the perspective of someone with experience. Contact me anytime.