After the Lawsuit: Planning for a Child Disabled Because of Medical Malpractice or Personal Injury

It’s devastating when a child becomes disabled due to medical malpractice or personal injury, and many families seek to recover from those whose negligence harmed their child. Lawsuits can take years, and take an emotional and psychological toll on the families involved. Should the family prevail, getting a verdict in their favor can be a godsend that allows them to recover from financial difficulties due to the child’s medical needs. However, even after a settlement or verdict, there is more to do. 

Your child may still be qualified for public benefits. 

A settlement or verdict may not always cover a disabled child’s needs, but with careful planning, any lack of funds can be covered by other sources, such as public benefits. If your child is unable to work, he or she may still qualify for some benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, even if they receive money from a settlement or verdict. 

Consider creating a Special Needs Trust.

 Special Needs Trusts are specifically created to benefit a person with special needs and cover not only their medical expenses but their personal ones.  Placing a settlement or verdict in a Special Needs Trust will preserve the child’s eligibility for public benefits like SSI and Medicaid, since the assets in a Special Needs Trust are not counted as belonging to the child.

Special Needs Trusts also shield the assets in the Trust from being misused since a trustee is named to ensure that the money is protected and used appropriately.

Winning a medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit is a hard-fought and hard-won victory, and it can be eclipsed by the new task of figuring out how to handle the money received. Creating a Special Needs Trust can help you create long-lasting financial security for your child with disabilities. Virginia Special Needs Planning Attorney Sheri Abrams can draft such a Special Needs Trust and help you create a solid plan for the future.  For help getting started, contact our office at (571) 328-5795 to schedule an appointment.

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