Case Studies: Jim Dyson

Jim usually drove his car to work, but on one fateful day he decided to ride his bike instead. Just as he reached an intersection, his light turned green. Since his view was obstructed by a large truck parked to his right, he slowed as he entered the intersection. That was the last thing he could remember from that day. Jim’s next memory was of waking up in a hospital bed confused, groggy and in a lot of pain. He knew right away that his life had changed. He had been hit by a delivery van driver who ran a red light.

Jim’s next memory was of waking up in a hospital bed… He knew right away that his life had changed.

Jim suffered multiple bone fractures, internal injuries and a spinal cord injury. Eventually the broken bones and the internal injuries healed, but the spinal cord injury left him with no feeling in his legs and only limited use of his arms and hands. Due to the severity of the injuries and the demands of his rehabilitation efforts, Jim was unable to return to work.

Jim’s legal claims were eventually settled for two million dollars and after settling the medical bills, case expenses and legal fees, Jim’s share was reduced to $1,100,000. He decided to receive most of the settlement proceeds in the form of a structured settlement to help stretch the money to cover his projected medical and living expenses.

Six years after the injury, Jim learned about a new and experimental surgical procedure that might restore some of his former capacities. He thought it over carefully and decided to get the procedure. However, he found that he would have to bear the entire cost himself and he had very little in savings. Jim contacted the settlement broker who had helped him arrange his original structured settlement. He asked the broker if there was a way to get his money now and proceeded to describe his predicament. His broker listened to him patiently, but Jim could tell that the thought of selling part of the structured settlement was painful for the broker to contemplate. The broker tried to identify other ways to get the money and gave Jim a good idea of what his options were.

“I’d do it again in a minute,” said Jim, “and Rhonda and her staff were very helpful and they made a long and hard process easy for me.”

In the end, even the skeptical broker had to admit that a factoring transaction was in his best interest. Although he had a low opinion of the factoring industry, he referred Jim to Bentzen Financial by saying, “Rhonda [Bentzen] is the most professional person I have met in that industry and that is not saying much. But, you can trust Rhonda to treat you with respect and to get you as much as you can get for your future payments.”  After hearing the broker’s words she responded with, “That’s okay.  I have grown used to such backhanded compliments from my former settlement planning peers.”

Rhonda gathered the documents and discussed the financial consequences of the transaction with Jim in a very direct way. Together they formulated a plan to sell some of the future payments to raise enough for the surgery while they kept enough of the future payments available for future living expenses. The future would not be as bright financially, but the prospect of regaining some of his physical abilities outweighed that concern in Jim’s mind. The payments were sold and the surgery happened. Although the surgery was not as successful as Jim’s doctor had hoped, Jim did regain some important bodily functions. “I’d do it again in a minute,” said Jim, “and Rhonda and her staff were very helpful and they made a long and hard process easy for me.”