The January 16, 2011 on line edition of the NY Times reports on the unregulated business of loaning money to plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits, often with devastating financial consequences for the injured borrower who ends up paying astronomical interest rates. Unlike injured workers with accepted workers compensation claims, plaintiffs with personal injury claims must wait until their claims settle or until the defendant is defeated in court before the plaintiff receives any compensation for lost wages or reimbursement for medical expenses.
Personal injury plaintiffs who are out of work due to an accident become desperate for money during the months and years it takes to obtain money on their claim or lawsuit. They turn to lawsuit lenders when they are unable to borrow from friends and family. These lawsuit lenders ordinarily do not advertise their prices, and they are largely unregulated by most states.
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