Is my spouse entitled to my personal injury settlement?

Generally, if you receive your personal injury settlement funds and deposit them into your bank account, it becomes marital property. If, before receiving those funds, you file for divorce or are separated, then the funds are not considered marital property.


Do you have to claim workers’ compensation settlements on your taxes?

No. Funds from a workers’ compensation claim are not taxable.


Can you be fired while on workers’ comp in Indiana?

The technical answer is no. Under the 1973 Indiana Supreme Court case of Frampton v. Central Indiana Gas Company, there is an exception to the at-will employment doctrine stating that you may be fired for any reason or no reason at all. The exception is that you may not be retaliated against for exercising your statutory rights. Indiana’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides statutory rights to injured workers. Making a claim for workers’ comp benefits is exercising those rights. If terminated, you likely have a right to sue the employer for a retaliatory discharge claim, which are now known as “Frampton Claims.”


Can you collect Social Security Disability and retirement?

No, because practically speaking you are either (a) not disabled and not retired, (b) disabled and not retired, or (c) retired. Social Security Disability benefits are available for qualified individuals prior to reaching their “full retirement age” under the Social Security Retirement rules. Full retirement age depends on when you were born. Once the individual reaches his/her full retirement age, the benefits received switch from disability to retirement. If the disability benefits received were Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB, aka Title II) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI, aka Title XVI), then the typical monthly benefit received from disability will be the same amount received under Social Security Retirement. If you elect to take “early retirement” from Social Security (as early as 62 years old), you reduce your monthly retirement benefit for the rest of your life, unless you also apply for disability benefits and are found to be disabled as of the date of your early retirement, in which case your disability and retirement benefits will be the full amount retroactively.


What does personal injury protection cover in Indiana?

Indiana does not have PIP. We do have a similar coverage called Medical Payment Coverage, or MPC. It similarly is a no fault type of coverage, but covers only reasonable and necessary medical expenses that result from the covered loss. It cannot be used for wage loss replacement or other types of losses.


Is it hard to sue an insurance company if I was in a Semi-truck accident?

Suing a trucking company is no more difficult than suing a defendant who was not operating a tractor-trailer. You do not actually sue the insurance company, but rather the driver and his/her employer (trucking company). Often, the trucking company has its principal place of business in another state other than Indiana, which may provide the defendant to remove the case from state court to federal court under diversity jurisdiction.


Is a personal injury settlement considered marital property?

If a personal injury claim is settled and paid to the injured person before separation or divorce, then the proceeds are considered marital property. If the claim resolves and the injured party is paid after separation or divorce, then the claim is not considered marital property.


How does a workers’ comp settlement affect Social Security Disability?

In many cases, there is no effect on Social Security disability benefits from benefits received through worker’s compensation. However, SSA rules require an offset (reduction) of disability benefits when adding the worker’s comp amount to the disability amount would equal more than 80% of the claimant’s pre-disability average earnings. Lump-sum payments from work comp settlements should be handled by a knowledgeable attorney in order to minimize the potential offset. Contact Finderson Law for assistance.


Who is exempt from workers’ compensation insurance in Indiana?

IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6 does not apply to railroad employees engaged in train service as: (1) engineers; (2) firemen; (3) conductors; (4) brakemen; (5) flagmen; (6) baggagemen; or (7) foremen in charge of yard engines and helpers assigned thereto.

It also does not apply to employees of municipal corporations in Indiana who are members of: (1) the fire department or police department of any such municipality; and (2) a firefighters’ pension fund or of a police officers’ pension fund, but if the common council elects to purchase and procure worker’s compensation insurance to insure said employees with respect to medical benefits under IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6, the medical provisions of IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6 apply to members of the fire department or police department of any such municipal corporation who are also members of a firefighters’ pension fund or a police officers’ pension fund. Also, certain independent contractor contracts with not-for-profit entities will be exempt.