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its beginning to look alot like xmas

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  • its beginning to look alot like xmas

    But, I was wondering, are personal injury lawsuit settlements public record? I know that I heard somewhere that work comp settlements are, but that has not been settled. Also, is my most disliked Uncle going to want any of this, his name is Sam.

  • #2
    You may find information that a WC claim has been settled, but doubtful that any dollar figures are provided.

    In PI claims, as with any claim that includes medical treatment, CMS/Medicare/SSA are to be notified of any settlement whether the medical is 'sold' or not.
    You could be required to have a medical setaside for any future medical needs.
    Under the Medicare Secondary Payor Act, Medicare is always secondary to a 3rd party.

    "Pain and suffering'' and/or "punitative damages'' are not taxable generally in a PI claim...but you could see taxes on 'lost wages' you would have 'earned' had you been working.
    A lot depends on the facts/circumstance of the claim, and what you are being compensated for.


    • #3
      What state are you in...
      You didn't say in your post you were involved in a WC claim...

      and WC laws are state specific...


      • #4
        CAIW, you're fairly new here so you wouldn't realize but we know rear-ended well. She's been involved in a fairly lengthy and complicated w/c issue and her state is Pennsylvania.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


        • #5
          Thanx cbg...
          Can't help her any more...only California.


          • #6
            Yes, a suit of any kind is public record. While it is possible to keep the settlement amount "off the record" in a civil case, not so if you are doing so through WC. The amount of either would have to be disclosed to the other party in any case.

            What is taxable and what is not is best left for the lawyers and your tax adviser to explain.

            If the WC claim has not settled, then the future medicals are still open and you are not responsible for the cost of treatment.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


            • #7
              Work comp cases are not public records in most states, except perhaps for the final decision which may be posted in legal databases for research purposes. Personal injury civil suits are always public records accessible at the local courthouse unless the court file is sealed for some reason.

              As a general rule, the IRS does not tax personal injury and work comp monies. However, it can become taxable if you do something like use the settlement for consideration for a confidentiality agreement.

              This tax info is general and you should get your own tax advice specific to your situation, from a tax professional licensed in your state.
              Bob Bollinger, Attorney
              Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
              Charlotte, NC


              The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.