legal funding

In Tennessee, Consumers Are Shut Out of Choice, Financial Options

From our press release: Games aren’t just being played in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena—a game of the strong verses the weak is being played just down the street, in the state capitol building. Big Insurance is using its influence and power to prevent consumers access to an important financial tool called legal funding. And in the end, the people of Tennessee are the ones losing out and getting crushed.

Kathleen Wisnewski of Mount Juliet went in search of legal funding after her husband was injured in 2013. With over $30,000 in medical bills, Wisnewski has been under enormous stress to make ends meet. “Everything has a co-pay or deductible. One medicine costs $700, and we’ve started just forgoing treatments. We have no family to lean on. I don’t know how we are going to make it.”

For people who have been in an accident and are pursuing a legitimate legal claim, consumer legal funding can be an alternative to taking an unfair, lowball settlement offer from an insurance company just because they can’t meet their daily living expenses. Insurance companies know legal funding can help normal people settle fairly. So, motivated by profit, they have used their immense lobbying power to quash this consumer-friendly option.

Last month, Tennessee lawmakers refused to forward House Bill 1161, which intended to roll back improper regulation passed in 2014. That legislation effectively barred consumer legal funding from the state by making it all but impossible for providers to operate. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Susan Lynn (R- District 57), would have provided a lifeline to injured consumers inTennessee.

Wisnewski was dismayed when she found out that legislators didn’t forward the bill. “It’s just cruel to refuse us the option. We need someone to help!”

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