How Pre-Settlement Funding Companies Assess Risk: An In-Depth Look

Pre-settlement funding companies provide financial assistance to individuals who have filed lawsuits and are awaiting the resolution of their cases. These companies offer a lifeline to plaintiffs who may be struggling to make ends meet while they wait for their legal claims to be resolved. In this article, we will explore how pre-settlement funding companies assess risk to determine whether they will provide financial support to a potential client.

Understanding Pre-Settlement Funding

What is Pre-Settlement Funding?

Pre-settlement funding, also known as lawsuit funding or legal financing, is a type of non-recourse loan that provides plaintiffs with immediate financial assistance while their legal case is still pending. The loan is repaid only if the plaintiff receives a settlement or court-awarded judgment. If the case is unsuccessful, the plaintiff is not required to repay the loan.

How Pre-Settlement Funding Works

Pre-settlement funding companies evaluate the merits of a plaintiff’s case and the likelihood of a successful outcome. If they believe the case is likely to result in a favorable settlement or judgment, they provide the plaintiff with a cash advance, which can be used for any purpose. Once the case is resolved, the plaintiff pays back the funding company from the proceeds of the settlement or judgment.

Risk Assessment in Pre-Settlement Funding

The Importance of Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is an essential aspect of pre-settlement funding, as it determines whether a funding company will provide financial assistance to a plaintiff. It involves evaluating the likelihood of a successful outcome in the plaintiff’s case, as well as the potential amount of the settlement or judgment. A thorough risk assessment allows funding companies to minimize their potential losses and make informed decisions about which cases to fund.

Factors Considered in Risk Assessment

Case Merit and Strength

One of the primary factors considered by pre-settlement funding companies is the merit and strength of the plaintiff’s case. This involves examining the facts of the case, the applicable laws, and the evidence supporting the plaintiff’s claims. A case with a strong legal foundation and compelling evidence is more likely to be successful, making it a lower risk for funding companies.

Legal Representation

The quality of the plaintiff’s legal representation is another crucial factor in risk assessment. Experienced attorneys with a track record of success in similar cases can greatly increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Pre-settlement funding companies will often review the attorney’s credentials and case history before making a decision.

Defendant’s Financial Situation

The financial status of the defendant also plays a role in risk assessment. A defendant with substantial assets or insurance coverage is more likely to be able to pay a settlement or judgment, reducing the risk for the funding company. On the other hand, if the defendant is financially unstable, the chances of recovering the loan amount may be lower, even if the plaintiff wins the case.

Timeframe for Resolution

The expected timeframe for the case’s resolution is another factor considered in risk assessment. Cases that are likely to be resolved quickly may be more attractive to funding companies, as a quicker resolution means a faster return on investment. However, cases that are expected to take longer may still be funded if other factors, such as case strength and potential settlement amount, are favorable.

Potential Settlement or Judgment Amount

The potential settlement or judgment amount is a critical factor in risk assessment. Funding companies are more likely to invest in cases with higher potential payouts, as they provide a greater return on investment. Cases with smaller potential settlements or judgments may be considered riskier, as they may not generate enough return to justify the investment.

The Risk Assessment Process

Gathering Information

The risk assessment process begins with the funding company gathering information about the plaintiff’s case. This includes reviewing case documents, such as pleadings, discovery materials, and expert opinions. The company may also conduct independent research or consult with legal experts to gain a better understanding of the case.

Analyzing Factors

Once the funding company has gathered all relevant information, they will analyze the various risk factors mentioned above. This analysis helps the company determine the likelihood of a successful outcome for the plaintiff and the potential settlement or judgment amount.


Based on the analysis, the funding company will decide whether to provide financial assistance to the plaintiff. If the case is deemed low-risk and likely to result in a favorable outcome, the company may offer a cash advance. If the risk is considered too high, the company may decline to fund the case.


Pre-settlement funding companies play a crucial role in providing financial support to plaintiffs awaiting the resolution of their legal cases. Understanding how these companies assess risk is essential for plaintiffs seeking pre-settlement funding, as it can help them better prepare their case and increase their chances of receiving financial assistance. By carefully evaluating factors such as case merit, legal representation, defendant’s financial situation, the timeframe for resolution, and potential settlement or judgment amounts, pre-settlement funding companies can make informed decisions about which cases to invest in and minimize their potential losses.