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Car Crash Victim Gets Both Insurance and Disability Payments

Personal Injury Law News

July 20, 2019

by Kherkher Garcia LLP

A woman who became disabled after a car accident can be compensated for her lost wages under her auto insurance policy, even though she’s also receiving Social Security disability benefits, according to a federal judge in Pennsylvania.

Francine Smith became totally disabled after a car crash with another driver. The other driver had a $100,000 insurance policy, but that wasn’t enough to fully compensate Francine for her loss. Fortunately, Francine had an “underinsured motorist” benefit in her own auto insurance policy with Progressive, which kicked in to help cover the difference.

Meanwhile, Francine applied for Social Security dis­ability benefits and began receiving $1,174 each month.

Progressive claimed that it should be able to deduct the $1,174 per month from the amount it was paying Francine for lost wages under the policy. It said that Francine was being compensated for that amount twice.

And it pointed to a state law that said people shouldn’t be allowed to collect double for the same harm.

But the state law was never meant to apply to Social Security disability benefits, the court ruled. Therefore, Francine could collect the full amount.

Of course, the law varies from state to state, and only an attorney can determine the full amount of compensation to which you’re entitled in your specific circumstances.

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