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Insurance Company Delivers Buckets of Coins as Settlement

The McClellan Law Firm

In a bizarre incident, a California man received his settlement from a 2012 lawsuit against an insurance company not by check, but in buckets upon buckets of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.

The 73-year-old man sued Adriana's Insurance Service, Inc. in 2012, alleging he was physically assaulted by an employee of the company. After agreeing to a settlement in June, the man expected to receive a check, as would have been the norm in such a situation. He instead received a strange – and easily viewed as extremely rude – surprise.

The insurance company decided to deliver the settlement in the form of a check – and buckets of coins. According to the man's attorney, the coins add up to more than $21,000. They were delivered to the attorney's office by eight Adriana's Insurance employees, who arrived in a van with a number of five-gallon containers. They left the coin-filled buckets in the attorney's waiting room and left.

The attorney said that his client just had a hernia operation and would be unable to lift a single bucket, let alone handle the many that were left in his waiting room.

While it is true that the settlement was paid, this was an unorthodox method of delivery and brings about an important question when it comes to personal injury actions. How should settlements be paid and delivered?

There are two primary ways in which a plaintiff may receive a settlement resulting from a personal injury action:

  • The first is a structured settlement, which involves preplanned payments over a certain period of time, which will eventually add up to the entire settlement amount. A $1,000,000 settlement, for example, could be paid over a period of 5 years at $200,000 per year or could even be broken down into monthly payments, depending on the agreement. This type of settlement can reduce or even eliminate tax liability and offer a plaintiff regular payments over a certain period of time, helping with financial stability.
  • The second option is a lump sum payment. With this type of settlement, the plaintiff receives the entire amount at once. In the case discussed above, the man received his entire settlement as a lump sum, although it was in loose change instead of the check he rightfully expected. Normally, lump sum settlements are paid by check or may be transformed into trusts, which can support disabled patients. At times, a plaintiff may receive a combination of structured settlement payments and lump sums, with a larger payment at the beginning to help with initial expenses and a steady flow of payments to help with continued treatment or other expenses.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with both structured and lump sum settlements, so it is important to discuss your options with your attorney. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could be entitled to a significant amount of money to compensate you for medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, in-home care, lost earnings, loss of future or potential earnings, property damage, emotional trauma, pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. This compensation cannot erase the damage your injuries or loss have caused, but it can help you work on rebuilding your life.

At The McClellan Law Firm, we believe in fighting for fair compensation on behalf of the injured and wronged. We take on personal injury, product liability and wrongful death actions across San Diego and the surrounding areas in Southern California, utilizing our experience and resources to seek the best possible result for every client we represent. For more information about our firm and the help we can provide, please call a personal injury attorney today.