The road to receiving the damages owed to you after you have suffered a personal injury can, unfortunately, be long and difficult. Unless your case is absolutely clean cut, courts in Ontario are going to request a long list of evidence – police reports, medical opinions and even forensic corroborations – and that can result in plaintiffs needing to access the money before they receive settlements.
This is where a settlement loan comes in. As we’ve previously touched upon, there are many names for the personal injury loan. These include a settlement loan, a lawsuit settlement loan, and a personal injury lawsuit loan ; they are each different names for exactly the same financial service.
And just as the lawsuit settlement loan has different names, so too does the lawsuit lender. A lawsuit lender may be called a personal injury funding firm, a personal injury financial services company and even a personal injury financing solutions provider.
But much like the names for these service providers vary, so do the quality, trustworthiness and transparency of their services.
This blog will give you the run-down on how to choose the best provider of lawsuit settlement loans, the questions to ask and the points to look out for before applying for personal injury funding. Considering the risk and reward for your financial wellbeing, it is vital that you know how to identify the good settlement loan companies> from the bad in Ontario.
But let’s first have a quick recap on the purpose a personal injury loan serves and why you might look for loans on personal injury cases.
To understand why a person would seek out personal injury lawsuit financing, we must first understand what a personal injury is. In Ontario, and across Canada, to begin legal proceedings for personal injury compensation, the victim must have been involved in an accident that was not their fault. To qualify for damages, that accident must involve an injury.
The claimant (or plaintiff) is the person who has been a victim of an accident not of their own making, and the defendant is the person that is being claimed against.
The claimant may have many reasons to begin a lawsuit. These include, but are not limited to:
Depending on the severity of the injury incurred, the claimant may choose one of two ways to pursue recourse. When injuries are not so severe, for example, whiplash or a broken nose, a personal injury claim is often the preferred solution. This is a negotiation between the claimant and the insurer of the person responsible for the injury.
However, when injuries are more severe, or life-changing injuries have been sustained, a personal injury lawsuit can be a better option. Though this requires more time and courtroom debate, the lawsuit is the more practical legal tool for severe injuries and blame. This is particularly true of workplace injuries.
Personal injury funding is important for those claimants who are waiting to receive damages. If, for example, you have not been able to work post-injury, then a loan may be sought.
But remember, personal injury loans should only be considered when you are certain of receiving compensation. If you take a personal injury lawsuit loan, it will need to be paid back regardless of whether you win compensation or not. There are potential pitfalls when deciding to acquire loans on personal injury cases, and these will depend on the settlement loans Ontario companies you choose.
Here, we will offer a selection of questions that will guide you on whether or not the personal injury financing solutions company you are dealing with can be trusted or not.
The process of choosing the best lawsuit lender to tide you over while you are waiting for personal injury settlements to arrive is not a simple matter. There is no one size fits all approach and you, the plaintiff, must decide which company offers the settlement loan options you need. But, there are several questions that must be considered when choosing. This blog is not an exhaustive list but will cover some of the key points that you think about before signing any personal injury financing contract.
1. The Non-Recourse Funding Question
This is the first issue you should raise with a lawsuit settlement loans company. The non-recourse loan is a type of loan financing that means the lawsuit settlement loan lending company can only demand repayment if the claimant – that’s you – wins the lawsuit.
Investopedia, a leading financial education website defines the non-recourse loan as: “a type of commercial lending that entitles the lender to repayment only from the profits of the project the loan is funding and not from any other assets of the borrower.” In this case, the “profit”, would be considered as the money won from the lawsuit.
Why is this important? Non-recourse funding should be thought of as a fundamental requirement for any personal injury lawsuit funding companies you are considering. If you choose a loan from a company that is not non-recourse, then you have must repay your loan even if you do not win. This can mean your home or possessions – your assets – can be considered as collateral.
Because lenders are staffed by teams of underwriters and legal specialists who review cases the likelihood of a positive outcome for the plaintiff, reputable lenders that offer non-recourse personal injury settlement loans will carry out their due diligence and only then decide about whether to offer the cash. With non-recourse loans, firms in Ontario take the risk associated with you winning your case.
We suggest that if any company that does not offer non-recourse lawsuit settlement loans, you should immediately disregard it as a viable option.
CaseMark Financial only offer non-recourse loans so that you can be confident of your personal financial security. If you do not win, you do not pay us back. It is as simple as that.
2. The Broker or Pre-Settlement Company Question
Another important question to ask when you are looking for personal injury loans is in regards to the type of operation that those settlement loan companies you are considering are. Personal injury loans come from two types of entities: a personal injury lawsuit loan lending company, like CaseMark Financial, or a broker.
The settlement loan company works directly with a plaintiff, offering a loan dependent on their requirements and the likelihood of winning. Clear interest rates are communicated, contracts are signed, and help is provided directly to the individual.
On the other hand, a broker acts as a middleman between a loan lender and the plaintiff. The benefit of a broker is that they will fill out applications, dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. Your time and effort is probably saved and you may receive your loan more quickly than applying yourself. Additionally, if your credit history is poor, the broker may also be able to find a suitable personal injury loan.
While a broker is not necessarily a problem or something to be avoided, there are some points that should be remembered. One is the price; the broker may charge up to a fifth of your compensation. Another is that they may charge interest for the period that they do not receive the money, greatly increasing the amount you end up paying back. And the last consideration is with contracts; unless you are able to read and fully understand the financial contract that makes you directly responsible for paying a personal injury loan back, then a broker may be giving you a contract that is not in your best interests.
CaseMark Financial does not work as a broker but delivers help directly to those plaintiffs who need financial assistance. This is one more reason that we offer the best settlement loans in Ontario.
3. The Why Are They Pressuring Me Question
As with all businesses, not all companies that offer personal injury settlement loans are legitimate. In fact, they may not be registered companies at all. Unfortunately, there are some disreputable groups out there whose practices may define them as loan sharks rather than personal injury loan lenders. This is the case for Ontario and the rest of Canada.
There are a few clues to look out for if you think you may be dealing with a loan shark.
High-pressure Tactics – If you feel you are being pressured into signing a contract without really understanding it, then ask yourself why. A company has a responsibility to ensure that individuals signing a contract with them fully understand the undertaking. If you are being pushed and pushed to sign, break off contact.
A Contract that Lacks Clarity – One would think that the contracts for personal injury settlement loans would be legally sound, with clear terms and conditions. At least, that’s how they should be. Contracts that are confusing should cause you to raise an eyebrow. Why is a legal document, drafted by trained lawyers, so difficult to follow? Why are interest rates and repayment schedules muddled or hidden? Never sign a contract you do not understand.
Lack of Response – If the company you are dealing with refuses to answer your concerns, becomes angered by your queries or shrugs off your doubts, then this is a sure sign they are not to be trusted. Personal injury financial service providers of any repute should be eager to answer the questions you have, making all obligations – both yours and theirs - crystal clear. Companies that do not should be discounted.
If you are beginning to question the veracity of the company you are talking with, then check the Canada Business Registries. This will tell you if a business is registered with the government. If it is not, then get out of there.
CaseMark Financial is fully registered with the CBR. We never pressure you into taking a personal loan and we never ignore your concerns. As always, CaseMark Financial is a trustworthy lender.
4. The Have I Done My Research Question
With the plethora of information now available to us on the internet, there are many ways to find out about a company. Researching the competitors of a financial services company is one way to get a better handle on the quality of the package the company offers. Reading Google Reviews, Facebook opinions and generally seeking out other customers’ experiences should give you enough information to know which to go with. If information is hard to come by or seems doubtful, avoiding the firm is your best option. Always follow your gut.
CaseMark Financial is confident of the services offerings and loan packages we deliver. We present all the information about our company as best we can, hiding nothing from our clients.
5. The Can I Speak to My Lawyer Question
The lawyer that is heading your personal injury case if often your best point of contact for information regarding financing. Your lawyer, or their firm, should be able to point you in the direction of a reputable lawsuit settlement loans company in Ontario.
When a client comes to CaseMark Financial, part of our process is contacting your lawyer to gain insight into the lawsuit you are involved in. We will foster a strong relationship to ensure you’re your requirements are bet at both financial and legal ends.
There we have it. We hope that this blog has given you an insight into some of the ways you can question the repute of a lawsuit lending service and find the right company for you. Though the concerns raised in this blog should not be taken as an exhaustive list of questions to consider, we hope that it acts as a basic outline to help you find a provider you can trust.
Contact CaseMark Financial today to learn more about personal injury lawsuit funding and lawsuit settlement loans, apply online, or give us a call at 416-477-3346. Our clients are always our Number One priority.