How to Support a Personal Injury Client Struggling Financially
Yes we know you went to school to be a Personal Injury attorney and not a financial advisor. But did you know it may also be in your best interest to provide financial advice to clients that are struggling financially? We know you already have a lot on your plate but when you have clients that are in dire financial straits, if you don’t help them get relief, their financial problems could jeopardize the outcome of your case.
Facing stacks of medical bills and mounting personal expenses your client could make decisions that reduce the overall value of the case by going back to work to soon or skipping needed medical treatment. Besides just focusing on their case and seeking the maximum settlement award possible, what else can you do to ease their financial burden?
The Value of Supporting Clients
Supporting clients is obviously a good thing if it means improving the quality of life for your clients. You can often reduce their stress and improve their mood – and feel good about yourself in the process. But there are also some practical benefits to supporting your financially struggling clients.
- Less stress and clear decision making. Money issues result in stress almost universally. If you aren’t making enough money, or if your financial future is uncertain, you’ll be unsure of whether you can make your mortgage payment or pay for your necessities. If not properly managed, this stress can take over a person’s mind, making it difficult to focus on much else. This means a client afflicted with financial stress is going to have a hard time thinking clearly and making good decisions. If you can help them manage that stress, they’ll be able to feel better and make better decisions regarding their treatment.
- Confidence and cooperation. Giving your clients the tools and/or resources necessary to tackle their financial issues will give them confidence in your capabilities and in your firm. They’ll feel valued and will have more faith that you’re acting in their best interests. Accordingly, they’re more likely to cooperate with you, providing you with as much information as you need and taking action when necessary.
- Referrals and reviews. After the case has ended, your clients can continue providing value to you. If they’re suitably happy with the results you’ve gotten them and the service they had along the way, they’ll be likely to leave good reviews for your firm – or even recommend you to friends or family members. Supporting clients through their financial woes is a great way to win their full appreciation, which could include some extra revenue-generating opportunities in the future.
How to Support a Financially Struggling Client
You can support your struggling clients in a variety of ways, including:
- Listen. One of the best things you can do is listen to your clients. Make some time to get to know them and figure out what’s going on in their personal lives. You don’t need to be best friends, and you don’t need to ask invasive questions, but if your client is telling you about the financial strain they’re experiencing, sit back and let them. Express empathy and reiterate what they’re saying so they know you’re hearing it. Simply talking about your problems can make them much easier to deal with; it’s cathartic to express your feelings out loud, and you can often come to new conclusions by doing it. If you’re a good listener, your clients may feel an instant sense of relief.
- Get documentation on everything. Encourage your client to get documentation on everything they can, including bills and fees that are in any way related to their personal injury. You’re likely doing this already by having your clients keep track of their medical expenses, lost income, and other important financial matters. However, you may want to take things a step further. If your clients get in the habit of keeping better track of their income and spending, they may be able to resolve some of their financial troubles on their own – or at least have a better idea of how they’re going to work things out.
- Offer a pre-settlement loan. One of the biggest problems clients face is the time it takes for them to receive their settlement money. Even after an agreement is signed, it can take 6 weeks or longer to get the cash in hand. That’s why pre-settlement loans are so valuable. When a client applies with a promising case, they’ll be approved – and might be able to get proceeds within a day. They can use the money however they want, paying medical bills or dealing with other expenses. As long as you find a trustworthy loan provider, this can be a very helpful financial move.
- Provide direction to other resources. You can’t do everything for your client, but you probably have connections in your professional network who can. If your client continues to have difficulty making ends meet, or if they’re concerned about their financial future, consider pointing them to an expert who can help. You can also recommend websites, books, and other resources you think could be helpful.
- Expedite what you can. The faster your client gets their settlement money, the faster they’ll be out of financial distress. Do whatever you can to expedite the process, getting the paperwork signed and processed. You can’t always control the speed of this timeline, but there are some variables you can influence.
When the bills seem insurmountable, your clients may feel hopeless – even if you’re there to mentally and emotionally support them on this difficult path. But with the help of pre-settlement funding, your clients can get access to their settlement money early – and put some of their concerns to rest. Contact Capital Now Funding to learn more about how it works – and how you can do more for your clients!