Q&A: CAR ACCIDENTS AND DISABILITY CLAIMS

Car accidents can lead to severely disabling injuries.  I represent claimants who have been severely injured in automobile accidents.  Sometimes my car accident clients are so severely injured that they apply for Social Security disability benefits in addition to pursuing an automobile accident injury claim.  Here are some of the questions my automobile accident clients frequently ask:

Q:  Can I pursue a claim for a car wreck and pursue disability benefits as well?

A:  Yes, the two are separate claims and can be pursued at the same time.

Q:  Will I have to pay back money from the car accident if I received SSDI benefits?

A:  No, you can receive money for personal injury and collect SSDI benefits as well.

Q:  Do I qualify for SSDI benefits if I sustained a brain injury in a car accident?

A:  It depends on the severity of the brain injury.  Your treating physician diagnoses the brain injury and then your attorney makes an argument to the ALJ regarding whether the diagnosis qualifies under the Bluebook Guidelines for mental disorders and neurological disorders (cerebral trauma).

Q:  I was hit by an insured car but my vehicle was not insured, will their insurance still cover my medical bills?

A:  In Louisiana, we have a law called “no pay, no play.”  That law says that the driver of an uninsured vehicle, involved in a car accident, cannot collect the first $15,000.00 in damages owed to them by the at fault driver.  The passengers in the uninsured vehicle, as long as they are not the owner of the vehicle, can collect any damages owed to them.  Further, if the driver or owner of the uninsured vehicle has damages that exceed $15,000.00, that person can collect the damages owed to them, over and above $15,000.00.

The question of whether your car was insured does not affect the ability to proceed with an SSDI claim, which is not controlled by the no pay, no play statute.

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