Written by Aaron R. Winston
Last Updated: November 1, 2022 6:46am CDT
On average, it takes about two to four weeks to receive the money from your car accident settlement or trial award after going through court.
But lawsuits aren’t cheap. What are you supposed to do if you need that money sooner? You might be able to apply for a cash advance that will help hold you over until the rest of your money shows up.
We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how this type of funding works and how to get one, so let’s get started!
Is Car Accident Funding the Same as a Car Accident Loan?
No. Car accident lawsuit funding, though often incorrectly referred to as a “car accident loan,” isn’t the same thing. There are several significant differences between the two.
For example, car accident lawsuit funding has nothing to do with your credit score. The legal funding company doesn’t need to do a pull on your credit report before giving you a cash advance on your auto accident case, and receiving this money won’t negatively impact your credit score at all. It can often help you repair your credit score.
All plaintiffs can get this type of lawsuit funding regardless of their financial or legal circumstances.
You also don’t have to make monthly payments to pay back the money you took. In fact, in some cases, you might not have to pay back the money you got from the car accident funding at all (more on that later).
So, don’t make the mistake of confusing a car accident settlement advance as a loan. Doing so will only mislead you and cause you to miss out on all the benefits this funding can give you.
However, if you live in Missouri or Illinois, you can only get a car accident loan (instead of this type of funding). That means you have to get a real loan from a lawsuit loan company if you live in these states.
How Car Accident Funding Works
You can apply for a pre-settlement cash advance at any point during your car accident case, even if you haven’t filed a lawsuit yet. The lawsuit funding company will speak with your attorney, then take a look at your case and decide whether you’re a good candidate for a car accident lawsuit advance (which only takes a few minutes).
Next, your attorney will take a look at the funding agreement and give the company their approval. The company will then give you a portion of your potential future settlement or court award money (even though you haven’t been awarded that compensation yet). You can use this money to cover a variety of expenses, such as:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages (if you’re out of work due to injury)
- Cost of living expenses (especially if you are out of a job after the accident)
Once your settlement check arrives at your lawyer’s office, a part of that lump sum is paid to the funding company. It’s your car accident attorney’s role to take the owed funding out of your compensation; you don’t have to pay anything out of your pocket or worry about losing money in the long run.
It’s important to remember this money isn’t interest-free. You will have to pay back one or more additional fees along with interest, but the company will explain all this to you before you get your advance. Because of this, you won’t be caught by surprise when it comes time to pay.
Can’t You Wait to Get Your Money From the Court?
You can wait to deal with these expenses until the court awards you the full settlement, but waiting isn’t always an option for many people. The legal process can take months and, depending on your case’s severity and specifics, even years to finish.
You have bills now, so you can’t necessarily wait this long to get your money. Getting a car accident cash advance can give you a way to handle these costs right away.
How Much Money Do You Get?
After reviewing your case, the lawsuit funding company will estimate an anticipated settlement amount. They’ll then give you a certain percentage of that total amount as your cash advance. The exact amount will depend on the company you’re working with and your circumstances.
How Do You Get the Money?
Again, this depends on the company you’re working with to get your advance. You may even be able to choose from different delivery methods, so you get the one that fits the best with your needs.
Many companies provide advances in the following forms:
- Electronic transfer into your bank account
- Check (mailed overnight to your address)
You might be able to meet with a member of the funding company team at a local bank branch so you can cash your check-in person, which gives you the ability to get your funding money right away if you’re concerned about delivery.
How Long Does Accident Funding Take?
Once your funding is approved, they can typically initiate the electronic transfer in under one hour.
Or, by choosing next-day delivery for your car accident settlement advance, it can be delivered in less than 24 hours.
That said, funding companies should be fast. They understand you need money now and do everything they can to speed up the funding approval process.
Can You Get More Than One Settlement Advance on the Same Auto Accident Case?
Yes. If your case is taking a long time to settle or get through court (more than a few months), you might need help paying for additional bills or purchases. Your first advance can last you a while, but if you have a complicated case or have more personal expenses arise, you may need to take out a second or even third funding before your case has ended.
What Happens if You Don’t Win Your Case?
You don’t have to worry about this because, in most states, car accident lawsuit funding is non-recourse. Meaning if you lose your case, you don’t have to pay back the lawsuit funding company.
If you don’t receive a settlement or trial award, you most likely won’t have to pay anything back to the funding company in most states. Courts can be unpredictable, and this protects you from losing money or going into debt. However, this does mean that a funding company might not give you a settlement advance if you don’t have a decent chance of receiving a settlement or trial award for your case.
How to Get a Cash Advance on Your Car Accident Settlement
To improve your chances of getting a cash advance on your car accident settlement, you need to take a few steps. Make sure you have a skilled attorney, then follow the tips below.
1 – Licensing and Accreditation
The first thing you need to do is find a lawsuit funding company that provides advances in your state. You can find several options by making a quick Google search. Please be careful as the majority of the companies in the search results cannot be trusted. Your attorney might also be able to recommend a trustworthy and known company in your area.
After that, make sure the company has the proper up-to-date licensing and accreditation. Every company should have the necessary state licenses posted on its website (keep in mind, that not all states require licensing for this type of funding).
They should also have a contact us page that shows a list of their office locations. Plus, those office locations should be in public office buildings. You can also ensure their legitimacy by looking them up on the Better Business Bureau.
The most important thing to remember is that reputable funding companies don’t make any guarantees on their websites. They can’t give you money until they get approval from your attorney, so they shouldn’t promise you anything before this.
If they do, find a different company.
2 – Recognizing Untrustworthy Funding Companies
As you’re researching different companies, keep an eye out for any of these warning signs. A shady funding company will do the following:
- Guarantee the lowest rates in the legal funding industry
- Claim they provide lawsuits loans in all 50 states
- Use the term “loan” instead of “funding.”
- Have the words “lawsuit loan” in their company name
- Have a fake office address in a house or apartment or even a mailbox store
- They will lie to you.
Odds are, you can’t trust this type of funding company, and you will end up losing money in the long run.
3 – Do All the Necessary Prep Work
If you want to get the biggest cash advance possible, you’ll need to cooperate with your attorney. At all times. If your lawyer asks you to get a medical examination or medical treatment, show up to all of your doctor appointments on specific dates.
All this paperwork will serve as evidence for your case and support your case in or out of court. This will improve your chances of getting a favorable settlement or trial award—something that will up your chances of being approved for an advance.
4 – Be Transparent About Your Case
Never try to hide information about your case from the lawsuit funding company. You might think this will make your case look more favorable to the company, but it will likely hurt you instead.
Be honest about the details. As long as you listen to your attorney and provide all the right documentation/evidence, the company will be able to see your chance of success for themselves.
5 – Receive Your Funding
Make sure your attorney looks over the legal funding contract. In addition to you, they’ll need to sign and initial the document before you get your money.
While they might not be there with you in person during this step, you shouldn’t proceed with the funding agreement until your lawyer gives you the go-ahead to do so.
Get a Car Accident Settlement Advance Started Today
Are you stuck in the middle of a lengthy court case and looking for some extra money? A car accident settlement advance can help take away the strain on your finances.
It only takes a few minutes to get started. So, don’t wait any longer!
Call Express Legal Funding at (888) 232-9223 or apply online for legal funding today.