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Do You Have To Share The Money From Your Personal Injury Case With Anyone?


You would never know this from news coverage of them, but personal injury lawsuits are not about getting rich, and they are not about having the last laugh.  Most personal injury claims do not make news headlines, as they involve amounts of money that would not make very good clickbait.  The purpose of the damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit is to pay the plaintiff’s medical bills and, if the plaintiff is no longer able to work because of his or her injuries, to replace the salary or wages that the plaintiff would have earned if not for the injury.  In other words, the goal of a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is to break even.  Of course, as every family that lives paycheck to paycheck on a six-figure income knows, breaking even is easier said than done, even when, on paper, it looks like you have a lot of money.  If it is any consolation, personal injury awards and settlements enjoy substantial protection from certain channels that tend to gobble up employment income.  To find out more about where personal injury settlements come from and where the money goes after the court awards it to you, contact a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer.

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable Income?

Money that you receive pursuant to a judgment or settlement is a personal injury lawsuit is not taxable income, so you do not have to pay taxes on it.  If you deposit the money you receive as compensation for lost income or as noneconomic damages into a savings account, and it earns a substantial amount of interest on it, you may have to pay taxes on the interest.

Are Personal Injury Settlements Marital Property?

According to Florida law, most income that married people earn and assets they acquire are marital property, meaning that they legally belong to both spouses and can be divided in the event of a divorce.  If the plaintiff in a personal injury case is married at the time of filing the lawsuit or receiving the settlement or judgment, the money the plaintiff receives from the PI case is separate property, not marital.  This means that if you get divorced after winning a personal injury case, your ex-spouse is not entitled to a share of the damages award.

What About Paying Your Lawyer?

Injured plaintiffs who can afford to pay their lawyers by the hour from the beginning and who are just suing to teach the defendant a lesson about being more careful are the exception to the rule.  Many personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis, where the plaintiff pays the lawyer after receiving a settlement or damages award.  Plaintiffs figure their legal expenses into the damages amounts they request, so you will still have enough money left for yourself after you pay your lawyer.

Contact Douglas & Douglas About Personal Injury Cases

A North Florida personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a personal injury claim.  Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.



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