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Personal Injury Settlements: Anticipating Impact of Tax Reform on Settlement Proceeds

Strategies to Manage Tax Impact on Lost Wages, Punitive Damages and Interest

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will guide personal injury attorneys on how to minimize the tax burden to plaintiffs on personal injury settlements after tax reform. The panel will discuss how to spot potential tax liabilities at the beginning of a claim, as well as strategies to classify damages and structure large settlements to minimize any taxes that may be owed.


In many cases, personal injury settlements are non-taxable; however, since the 2017 tax reform, plaintiffs may be required to pay taxes on a portion of the proceeds depending on how a given settlement is structured.

Settlement negotiations should include tax considerations to ensure that the tax burden on the money that is needed to compensate for lost wages, medical expenses and related damages is minimized. Damages awarded in a personal injury settlement that may be taxable include wage reimbursement, interest, and any awards for emotional suffering or punitive damages.

It is critical that personal injury attorneys educate their clients on how their tax filings at the beginning of a case may impact the eventual settlement, which could often be a year or more down the road.

Listen as our distinguished panel discusses how the 2017 tax reform laws have impacted personal injury settlements. The panelists will discuss how to spot potential tax issues at the outset of a claim, how best to counsel clients on mitigating tax exposure, and strategies for structuring large settlements to minimize any tax burden.



  1. Impact of 2017 tax reform on personal injury settlements
  2. Types of personal injury damages that are subject to taxation
    1. Lost wages
    2. Interest
    3. Emotional suffering
    4. Punitive damages
  3. Best practices for identifying and mitigating tax burden on settlement proceeds


The panel will review these and other important topics:

  • How did the 2017 tax reform law impact personal injury settlements?
  • What portions of personal injury settlements are subject to taxation?
  • How can attorneys structure personal injury settlements so that any tax burden is minimized?


Wood, Robert
Robert W. (Rob) Wood

Managing Partner
Wood LLP

Mr. Wood handles a wide range of tax planning and tax controversy matters. He also serves as an expert witness on tax...  |  Read More

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