Financial Planning Options For Your Personal Injury Settlement

Before agreeing to a settlement of your lawsuit, it is important to consider the options available in order to protect your funds and provide for your future financial well being. While cash is always an option, it may not be in your best interest to accept all of your settlement in this manner.

Structured Personal Injury Settlements:


A structured settlement is a stream of future payments taken as an alternative to a single cash payment at the time of settlement. Funds to provide these future payments are paid to a life insurance annuity company which then issues an insurance policy for these payments. Because the management of money is no easy matter and recent studies have shown that many persons who receive large sums of money in settlement of a law suit have nothing left after several years, structured settlements have become very popular.


A tax-free income stream that can be guaranteed for the claimant’s life or the life of his spouse thus avoiding the risk that you will run out of income.
Guaranteed future income which is not subject to market fluctuations.
Protection from friends and relatives.
Payment streams that can be individualized to meet the unique circumstances of each claimant.


Loss of control over principal.
The plan you chose cannot be changed later in life if your situation changes.
Risk of insurance company insolvency.
Rate of return is locked in at the inception of the settlement.
At DE CARO & KAPLEN, LLP, we recognize that the way funds are administered is as important as the settlement itself. Therefore we do not rely upon the defense insurance company or their lawyers to design a plan for our clients. We retain and work directly with our own structured settlement specialists to design a plan that will fit the future needs of our clients.

Special Needs Trust for a Traumatic Brain Injury Case

Planning for receipt of large sums of money also raises serious questions concerning eligibility for government benefits which are dependent upon financial circumstances. Programs such as Medicaid have income restrictions placed upon individuals. If funds are received without considering Medicaid implications, a claimant runs the risk of become disqualified from Medicaid and thus losing these important and valuable benefits.


A Supplemental Needs Trust (SNT) sometimes known as a Special Needs Trust is a trust that is designed to supplement Medicaid benefits instead of eliminating or replacing these benefits. The trust is set up to provide for a claimant’s needs that are not provided for by Medicaid and to supplement those needs that Medicaid does provide for.


At the time that the trust is set up, if Medicaid has spent any money for the benefit of the claimant, they first must be reimbursed before the money can go into the trust.
At the time that the claimant dies, before any money that remains in the trust can be distributed to beneficiaries, Medicaid must be paid back for the amounts they spent during the lifetime of the trust.
A trust can only be created for a disabled person under the age of 65.


Medical costs of needs not covered by Medicaid
Expenses for home care attendants not covered by Medicaid
Rehabilitation expenses not covered by Medicaid
Special living facilities not covered by Medicaid
Transportation expenses such as cars and special vans
Educational equipment such as computers and other learning devices
Recreational expenses such as vacations or other travel expenses that will enhance the quality of life for claimants.
The additional costs of private accommodations in shared housing units.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

Our Firm is a leading  personal injury law firm which concentrates its practice on representing persons who have sustained brain injury, head injury or coma. Our legal team understands the unique issues and problems which are faced by victims and their families including the legal battles that must be fought to obtain adequate compensation, the health care decisions that must be faced and important insurance issues.

One of our Lawyers is a noted legal authority in the area of traumatic brain injury. He is a Professorial Lecturer at Law teaching the only course in the nation on the legal aspects of traumatic brain injury at the George Washington University Law School. He served as the Chairperson of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council for seven years and for nine years as the president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. He is past Chairperson of the American Association for Justice Motor Vehicle, Highway Liability and Premise Liability Section. He is Past Chair of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group. He served as the Co-Chair of the Tort Section of the New York County Lawyer’s Association. He serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Academy and the Melvin Belli Society. He is board certified as a civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and is board certified in medical malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys where he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. He is a former director of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. He has been an adjunct professor of law teaching courses in trial practice and medical malpractice at St. John’s University School of Law.

Our legal practice focuses primarily on representing persons with a brain injury caused by automobile accident, medical malpractice and other forms of negligence. His summations on traumatic brain injury have been published in the Matthew Bender, Art of Advocacy Series. He is a noted national author and lecturer on Legal Issues and Advocacy in the field of Traumatic Brain Injury. He has lectured throughout the country to trial lawyer groups on effective advocacy in representing persons with a brain injury. He has also lectured throughout the country to brain injury associations and national medical groups on traumatic brain injury. Because of his knowledge and experience, he has been interviewed by CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, N.Y. Times, N.Y. Daily News, N.Y. Post, Newsday, Gannett Papers, and other televisions stations, newspapers and leading periodicals throughout the nation.