Visitor Question

Will State Disability Affect My Car Accident Claim?

Submitted By: Jack (Carson, CA)

I was rear ended on the freeway and the other driver’s insurance is accepting liability. I am claiming loss of wages, but I now may need surgery on my cervical spine due to the accident. I already have been off work for a month but now it might be two or more months for recovery.

If I receive California state disability insurance, will it affect what the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay me for loss of wages in my car accident claim?

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.

Answer

Dear Jack,

Jack:

In the State of California, Disability Benefits are considered collateral sources and are not to be deducted from lost wages paid as a result of an automobile collision. That is a fancy way of saying you should not be penalized for having been in a collision with another vehicle.

More importantly, the at-fault driver and his insurance company should not be able to benefit from California State Disability laws.

California Disability laws protect their residents from an at-fault driver and his insurance company. The driver and her insurance company shouldn’t be able to walk away with a “free pass.”

Also remember that State Disability payments are paid for a limited time depending upon the type and degree of injury. Lost wages paid by an at-fault driver’s insurance company have no statutory time period in which they must cease.

Your California State Disability payments may though be reduced for other reasons. Some or all of the following may reduce your SDI benefit:

• Commissions • Bonuses • Holiday pay • Sick Leave pay • Workers’ Compensation payments • Military Pay • Other income

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: July 4, 2011

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