Will My Disability Claim Affect My Settlement in a Personal Injury Case?

How a Disability Claim May Affect a Personal Injury Settlement

So you might be wondering if you suffer from a physical or mental condition that prevents you from working and qualifies you for disability payments from the social security department, what happens if you get hurt and file a personal injury claim—does your disability affect your ability to receive a personal injury settlement?

It might, but it depends entirely on what kind of disability benefits you receive.

The three most common types of disability benefits are:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, which is based on your disability but is not based on your income or resources.
  • Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is needs-based. This means you must have limited income and resources to qualify.
  • Private disability insurance company coverage depends entirely on the company that you work for.

Now that we’ve covered that, we can jump into whether your disability benefits can affect your ability to receive compensation from a personal injury claim.

When it comes to calculating your personal injury settlement funds, it’s pretty complex. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” method to do this, because each personal injury lawsuit is going to be worth a different amount as everyone is affected by their personal injury differently. No one case is the same.

Things that are taken into consideration when dealing with personal injury claims are:

  • Current medical expenses.
  • Future medical expenses.
  • Lost wages.
  • Loss of earning capacity.
  • Loss of a limb.
  • Loss of use of a limb.
  • Future lost earnings.
  • Your status (are you head of the household, a dependent, a co-earner).
  • The number of dependents you may have in your household.
  • Pain and suffering you’ve experienced since your injury.

Insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident are going to dig deep into your personal life to find anything they can that will force your settlement to be reduced.

But again, you asked us if disability benefits could affect your settlement.

It could.

The variables that are taken into consideration when looking at a disability benefit and personal injury settlement are:

  • Type of Disability: disability benefits for lung cancer probably won’t affect your personal injury settlement for back injuries you received while in a car accident. But disability for a bad back might. Your attorney will have to show the difference between your disability and the personal injury.
  • Length of disability: Your disability may be expected to last years—or you could recover in months. Will your personal injury last longer than your disability or vice versa? Talk with your attorney to figure this out alongside your physician.
  • Income vs disability benefits: Disability benefits are often less than your income prior to your disability. In some cases this personal injury settlement may be calculated using monthly benefits instead of previous income. Then you have to be able to answer questions—were you planning to return to work, and if so does your personal injury make it impossible? If so the impact your personal injury has on your income has to be considered.

Reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA that you trust, like the ones available at Wieand Law Firm LLC. Working with people you trust always has better results than working with people who are strangers.