Visitor Question

Paying Taxes on a Personal Injury Settlement

Submitted By: Christopher (Corvallis, OR)

My wife was hit by a car in California.

She received a settlement for pain & suffering.

I’ve read online that she does not need to pay income taxes on this money.

I am assuming this applies to federal law.

I could find nothing concerning the Oregon state law.

Are we required to pay taxes on the income at the state level? Do you think we need to see an Oregon attorney or CPA?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Christopher,

The basic answer is “no,” personal injury settlements are not taxable, but in order to really pass this test, the following criterion must be met:

You must be physically injured and the injury must be the result of a wrongful action, not a breach of contract, unlawful detainer or wrongful termination, for example. Provided the settlement comes from this type of physical injury, it is more than likely untaxable.

For further information on this topic, check IRC Section 104(a)(2). The reason is that the IRS considers personal injury proceeds to be compensation for injuries not “gains” per se which are taxable.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: April 6, 2010

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