There are around 340 million occupational accidents every year in the US. This doesn’t take into account work-related illnesses, which account for another 160 million victims each year. If nothing else, these numbers should make it startlingly clear just how common workplace accidents actually are.
That’s why it’s important to understand what options are available to you should you get injured at your workplace in Pennsylvania. Getting injured can take you out of work and workers’ comp can help you replace that lost income, but what happens while you’re waiting for the compensation to come through?
To answer that question, we’re going to take a look at workers’ comp settlement loans. What are they? Why would you need one? And what steps are there to getting a settlement loan? We’ll look at each of these in turn so you can determine whether you’re eligible for a workers comp settlement loan here in Pennsylvania.
What Is a Workers’ Comp Settlement Loan?
When we’re injured at the workplace, we start to lose money right away. There are the immediate medical costs for treatment, and these can go on to be recurring costs depending on the type of injury suffered, as well as the loss of income that naturally arises from our inability to work because of said injury.
So we need money immediately upon being injured, but workers’ comp cases take time to settle. They have to look into the circumstances of the incident, meet with your employer, and all sorts of bureaucratic hoops to jump through. These are important to prevent the system from being exploited but they negatively impact the injured by slowing down how soon they can get workers’ comp.
A workers’ comp settlement loan is a type of loan provided by a legal funding institution with the express purpose of alleviating your financial strain while waiting for the workers’ comp case to be decided. Unlike a typical loan, a settlement loan acts more like an advance against your case. What this means is that they are offered at low interest rates, and reduced or eliminated upfront costs.
As a bonus, the non-recourse nature of these loans mean that usually you will not be asked to pay them back should the workers’ comp case fail. This makes them a fairly risk-free way for workers’ to pay for their basic needs, like utility or medical bills, without worrying about getting too far into debt.
Why Would I Need a Settlement Loan?
If you’ve never been injured on the job before then you probably don’t know how long it can take to actually get your workers’ compensation approved. You might assume a couple of weeks, maybe a month. In some rare cases, you’ll be lucky and proven right.
But workers’ compensation claims can take an incredibly long time to be approved. Rough 9 out of 10 workers’ compensation claims require extensive litigation, even when all the evidence necessary to prove your case is present.
In some cases, it could take as much as three years in order to get approved for your workers’ compensation. Imagine not being able to work for three years because of an injury, and having nothing to replace that income. If you think life is hard now, it doesn’t even compare to being caught in that situation.
The problem is that the companies which provide workers’ compensation benefits lose money whenever they have to pay out. So it is in their best interest to do everything they can to fight against and lower how much money they are giving you. But this does nothing but hurt you, and you’ve just recently suffered an injury. You don’t need that extra struggle.
A settlement loan allows you to get the money you need to maintain your living situation, without having to wait excessively long for a judgment to be passed. For many people, a settlement loan is how they afford to wait for their workers’ compensation to be approved. Without the settlement loan, they could be forced back to work before they have recovered or even find themselves homeless because they can’t afford to pay for housing or bills anymore.
What Steps Are There to Getting a Settlement Loan?
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation claimants are eligible to apply for a settlement loan so long as they are represented by a workers’ compensation attorney. So this means that the first step towards getting a settlement loan is retaining the services of a workers’ compensation attorney.
Once you have an attorney you can work with them to apply for a settlement loan with a reputable lender. If you don’t know which lenders are reputable, don’t worry. Your attorney will be well-versed in this particular topic and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Typically, the process of getting a settlement loan from a reputable lender is fairly quick. A quick consultation will lead to a proposed funding agreement which you and your attorney should go over in detail. When you are satisfied, simply sign the proposed funding agreement and return it to the funding institution.
Congratulations, now all you need to do is wait until you can collect your advance. Whereas workers’ compensation cases can take up to three years, most lenders will have an advance on your settlement loan ready within 24 to 48 hours (not counting weekends or holidays).
Do I Really Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Yes, you do. You are not going to be able to get a workers’ comp settlement loan without the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney. However, this isn’t a bad thing. A workers’ compensation attorney, such as those you’ll find at Universal Funds, wants nothing more than to help you get what you deserve so that you don’t suffer any more than you already have.
This means that a workers’ compensation attorney will help you through every step of the process, answer any questions you may have, and do everything in their power to help get you back on your financial feet as quickly as possible. If you’ve recently suffered from a workplace injury, reach out to Universal Funds to see how they can help today.