Occasionally, one of my clients asks me to sign a lien agreement with a company offering to advance money to the client based on the client’s potential permanent partial disability award at the end of his claim. I have never agreed to sign one of these agreements. These advance settlement firms have been around a long time in the personal injury world, but are now beginning to show up with greater frequency in the workers’ compensation arena. The Las Vegas Review Journal has an article today on the state’s efforts to regulate these litigation finance companies, focusing in particular on the company ownd by TV reality star Rick Harrison of "Pawn Stars".
There are many reasons I refuse to get involved in any manner with these financial settlement loan companies. I understand that many people are desparate for money, particularly when their claim is denied, and there is no income and no medical care. However, from what little information a couple of these companies have been willing to share with me, these companies have no understanding of how workers’ compensation claims are settled in Nevada. They do not even know that legally, the only liens that are allowed on workers’ compensation claims are child support judgments. I recommend that my clients not sign agreements with these types of companies with regard to permanent partial disability award settlements.