Do I Have to Report a Settlement to Unemployment?
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Do I Have to Report a Settlement to Unemployment?

If the injuries you suffer in an accident leave you unable to work, your employer can terminate your employment and you will lose your regular salary and wages. You can recover this lost income and other damages in a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party that caused the accident. You can also file a claim for federal and state unemployment benefits when you lose your job, but you will not be able to double recover your lost wages through both unemployment benefits and damages in a  personal injury case. 

Southern California accident victims can maximize the total compensation they are entitled to recover as damages in a personal injury lawsuit and through unemployment compensation with they retain a personal injury lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to file claims properly and to structure settlements to properly account for the victim’s damages. The accident and injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law in Los Angeles have an in-depth understanding of how to report and coordinate personal injury lawsuit damages and unemployment benefits. We use that knowledge on behalf of every one of our clients to get them the full amount of compensation and reimbursement that they deserve after they are injured in an accident.  

When are lost wages recoverable as damages in a personal injury lawsuit?   

If your accidental injuries prevent you from working and earning your pay, your personal injury lawyers will argue for reimbursement of those wages as part of your damages. The damages award that you receive either through a settlement or following a trial will describe each component of the total amount, including the amount allocated to lost wages, that you will be paid.  Most personal injury lawsuits are not settled or tried until months or even years after an accident, and you will not receive interim payments of lost wages or any other damages components until the case is resolved. Because of this, injured accident victims that are terminated due to their injuries will often file for unemployment benefits. 

Do you report a pending lawsuit or claim for damages to the Unemployment Department in California? 

The damages that you will receive in your personal injury lawsuit will not be definite or final until the case is settled or a court enters a final judgment after your case is tried. You do not need to report the pending lawsuit, but if the damages award that you recover includes payment for lost wages and you have received unemployment compensation, California laws and regulations require you to report the portion of the payment that covers the wages you did not receive.   

What might happen if you received unemployment compensation and you do not report your damages award? 

The Employment Development Department of the State of California, which is responsible for administering the State’s unemployment compensation program, will likely discover your damages award through public records or other resources and will send you a notice of benefits overpayment. You will then be obligated to repay to the State any reimbursements for lost wages that you double-recovered through unemployment and your lawsuit. 

How will a personal injury lawyer coordinate personal injury damages and unemployment compensation? 

When an accident and injury case is resolved, a personal injury attorney will confirm that the amount of the award that is allocated to reimbursing lost wages is clear and accurate and that no other portion of the award will be included in that damages component. In most cases, unemployment compensation will not cover the full amount of an injured party’s lost wages. That attorney will then compare unemployment compensation amounts and the lost wages component of a damages award, and prepare and file all necessary forms with the State of California to preclude any adverse notices from the Employment Development Department.    

Ellis Injury Law will help you to recover all of your lost wages after your accident  

Coordinating unemployment benefits and personal injury damages for lost wages is a complex matter that can be a trap if it not managed correctly. At a minimum, an injured party that recovers lost wages twice will have to reimburse the overpayments, which could be several thousands of dollars. In the worst case, the California Employment Development Department can charge someone with fraud if false or misleading claims are made.  

The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law want to help accident victims recover the largest amount of their lost wages and other damages without any of these risks. Please see our website or call our Los Angeles offices directly to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about how you can recover the full amount of your damages after you have been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence.