Interviewer: If you’re in an accident and you really can’t work and make money, what do you do while your case is ongoing? How do you live?
Does Your Employer Provide Disability Insurance?
Harry Williams: That’s a complicated issue. If you’ve been injured in an accident and you’re off work, if you’re not working for a company that provides some type of disability coverage for whatever reason you’re disabled, then you’re going to have problems because it’s difficult to get a loan.
Companies That Offer Loans against a Settlement Charge Exorbitant Interest Rates
There are companies out there that will loan money against a settlement. I don’t like to do that because those companies are like loan sharks. Whatever amount of money they give, they’re going to charge an exorbitant amount of interest. Then, when they get paid out of the settlement, they’re going to eat up a good part of my client’s settlement because they loaned a little bit of money upfront.
That’s basically the only option available for a loan. Most clients find themselves in situation where they end up going back to work earlier than they should. I have a client now who’s applied under the Family Leave Act. She can take off work for 12 weeks, but she doesn’t get paid for those 12 weeks.
A person that’s in that dire of a situation where they can’t work usually end up relying on family members or friends or their church to help them out most of the time. As lawyers, we’re not allowed, under our license and our code of ethics, we’re not allowed to loan client’s money. It’s unethical.
There are some people who think that lawyers can do that, but we’re not allowed to do it. We could lose our license to practice law.