legal funding

Consumers Speaking Out: Letter to the Editor Runs in The Tennessean

Check out the Letter to the Editor HERE.

Over the Easter weekend, I sat down and watched the video from a Tennessee General Assembly committee meeting from last week where I submitted written testimony. The topic of the hearing was very important to me — something you don’t know about until you need it urgently — consumer legal funding.

In 2013 my husband was hurt in a fall that was not his fault. With over $30,000 in medical bills, we have been so burdened. Everything has a co-pay or a deductible.

In most states, legal funding can help people who’ve been in an accident get money from a potential settlement upfront to cover daily expenses, like medication.

After the accident, we tried desperately to get legal funding and found it impossible. We contacted our legislator and found out that due to a law passed in 2014, it’s almost completely unavailable in Tennessee.

Eventually, we discovered that the insurance industry led a push to eliminate the use of legal funding because it’s an alternative to taking an unfair settlement offer from an insurance company. Everyday people aren’t made of money. Savings run out, and insurance uses this to pressure people into low settlements and increase profits.

They eliminated our option, but not our need.

I urge the members of the Tennessee legislature to stand up to insurance companies motivated by profit and change the law in favor of your constituents. You don’t know how vital access to legal funding is until you need it as a lifeline.

Kathleen Wisenewski, Mt. Juliet 37122

We thank Kathleen for bravely speaking out and for bringing attention to this important issue. Our thoughts are with her family as they go through this trying time. We hope that the Tennessee General Assembly will listen and act.