A: At the end of your case you will have a lump sum of money if you are successful.
What will you do with it?
Invest it? Spend it? Put it into a savings account?
Lose it by having well-meaning friends and relatives offer financial advice?
Donate it charity?
What are your tax consequences of each of the items listed above?
What is your financial situation now? What do you envision will be your financial goals and needs over the next ten to twenty years?
What debt do you have?
A structured settlment allows you the ability to receive your money over time. Your money is invested in different conservative investments and then, depending upon your specific needs, can pay you yearly, every few years or intermittently over the course of your lifetime.
There are considerable tax savings by having your payments made over the course of your lifetime, assuming you don't need all the money at once. There are other significant implications associated with tying up your money for long periods of time. The most obvious is that when friends and relatives ask to borrow money, you can rightfully say that you have no access and control over the money and cannot touch it for "X" years.
If you are successful in your lawsuit, you must absolutely become educated about how to best invest and manage your money.
A structured settlement is not for everyone. However, before making any decision, you must consult with multiple financial planners and tax advisors. Importantly, in a New York negligence, medical malpractice or wrongful death case you must make a deicsion about a structured settlement payout BEFORE you actually receive any of your settlement money.