When a larger case is settled and there is a significant amount of money involved, typically rather than the person who is receiving the money getting one lump sum, they may make a decision to invest that money with an insurance company that will pay them benefits over some period of time in their life. This is called a structured settlement.
A structured settlement is when you take some of the money, it doesn't necessarily mean all of the money, and they go to a life insurance company that's typically one of these companies that's been around for more than a hundred years. They've weathered all of the ups and downs of the economic cycle, including the great depression. They're virtually as strong as the government itself. And, you purchase a contract with one of these companies. These contracts have guarantees to make sure the money is safe and then you work out some type of a payment plan as to how that money is going to be returned to you. Could be monthly benefits for life. It could be put off for five, ten or fifteen years. It could be periodic lump sum payments made. You could have money sit in there to pay medical expenses in the future or perhaps fund retirement for someone, five, ten or fifty years from now.
These are very well recognized and they are very important in settling larger cases to make sure that the money is being preserved and it actually enhances the ability to make that money do the most for the person who's receiving it.