Is a Personal Injury Settlement Taxable? Understand Taxability

After your case has been resolved, you will undoubtedly have some questions. In light of the fact that we are currently discussing settlements, one of the most frequent inquiries we receive is, “Is my personal injury settlement taxable?” And it relies on the response to that query. I’ll start by knocking on the first of three objects, depending on what I find. Punitive damages are the easiest. Punitive damages are taxable, yes, and this is the easiest case to handle because it only arises in two situations.

Determining The Taxability of Personal Injury Settlement Through Different Scenarios

One I’ve never witnessed. And that would be the case if you always included punitive damages in your release whenever you reached a settlement, which is absurd. I’m not sure why someone would do it. I have never seen it. In an alternative scenario, if the case goes to trial and is decided in your favour, you may be awarded punitive damages. 

As a result of its great rarity, it falls under the category of something that is extremely uncommon. I’m not sure why someone would do it. I have never seen it. In an alternative scenario, if the case goes to trial and is decided in your favour, you may be awarded punitive damages. As a result of its great rarity, it falls under the category of something that is extremely uncommon.

That is the first scenario. The second scenario, which is the most typical one, is if your settlement includes compensation for lost wages. Now, if you’re wise and a lawyer, you’ll know what to do. The value of the settlement is increased by including you and using your lost wages, but as soon as you sign the release, it becomes only about the bodily harm claim, which is not taxable.

Until I get to #3, your personal injury claim is not taxable. I’ll get to that shortly. Claims for physical harm are not taxed. Taxable lost wage claims include lost wage claims. Therefore, you should take care to exclude the lost wage claim from your compensation. Okay, so this brings me to #3. If there is a confidentiality condition in your settlement release, you should make sure that only a portion of the confidentiality is taken into account because personal injury claims are taxable when they are kept private.

This is what I mean by that, too. Consider that you received a $10,000 settlement. I’m just going to use a $10,000 settlement. What you should do is set aside $100 of the sum for privacy. In this approach, you just pay tax on the $100 and not the $9900 portion of the settlement. 


As a result, another method we occasionally use is to settle a lawsuit, after which the opposing party requests secrecy. And if we consent to confidentiality—which is uncommon—we will say, “Okay.” Give us an additional $100, at the very least. If you absolutely want confidentiality, you may have to pay an additional $10,000 or $5,000, depending on what is acceptable under the circumstances. 

However, if the $10,000 settlement is offered, we may ask for $1,000; if they refuse, it’s good; we will accept $100 as payment for the confidentiality; alternatively, we may carve out a piece of the $10,000 to include the confidentiality clause since otherwise you would have to pay taxes on it. $10,000 in its entirety, which is what we’re attempting to prevent. There is truly no benefit to doing that.

Confidentiality is one of the things that has changed over the past ten years. When it comes to accounting, we keep up with the regulations as they change. Therefore, you should ensure that you have an account and check your settlement to see if you owe any taxes on it.

Informational Reading

It’s crucial that you do your research on the tax implications. And the IRS is always the best option. They do a great job of publishing materials that explain to everyone what is and is not taxed. There is a considerable probability that the CPA or tax attorney you consult with will also be looking at IRS data. The first is just that.

The link to the second document I want to draw your attention to is this one from Cornell University. If you click on this link, you may also learn more about whether or not your personal injury settlement might be subject to taxation. The only exception is if you deducted medical costs from your prior year’s taxes. Therefore, that becomes complicated right away. and that’s more than we’d like to cover in a video. But have a look at these links, check them out, and keep everything in mind.

Is Personal Injury Settlement Taxable?

Settlements for personal injuries are not taxed. You receive tailored guidance, and it is subject to several exceptions. People frequently inquire if you have a personal injury settlement. I’m providing you with the same response I do for everyone. Settlement. One thing you should keep in mind is that these negotiations are kind of a one-way ratchet, which means that once you lower a settlement demand, there really isn’t a reason to raise it later on unless there is some kind of change in circumstances that really justifies it or simply because the case has continued and you’ve incurred more case file costs. 

You don’t want a rationale based on expenses. That’s inside your acceptable range for settlement. So while these conversations are still going on, what role does the client play in this? Well, that’s the crucial point to remember.

Even if I, as a lawyer, would never suggest it to the client in the end, I have an ethical duty to inform clients of any settlement offer that is being made. The case belongs to the client. Whether or not I personally agree with the client’s decision, it is their life and their decision.