Structured settlements are not something that most people are seeking. The thought of receiving an unexpected annuity (a prearranged sum to be paid out annually) in addition to a regular income is certainly compelling. But the fact that you must suffer a serious incident or accident that results in long-term injury or illness in order to qualify for such a settlement makes the prospect far less appealing. And yet, if you have been the victim of such unfortunate circumstances, you definitely want some kind of settlement to ensure that you don’t spend the rest of your life saddled with medical bills that you can’t hope to pay (in addition to your ongoing pain and suffering). Of course, many people hope for a lump sum that they can do with as they wish. But many judges see fit to offer a structured settlement instead as a way to maximize the payout (often by reducing taxation through a deferred payment plan) and protect injured parties from themselves (whether justifiably or not).