If your serious injury claim is successful and you are awarded damages or agree a settlement, it is likely that you will have a significant amount of money to deal with. If you have had to claim benefits due to not being able to work, then it is unlikely those benefits will continue if you then receive a lump sum of money from your claim. This is because most benefits are means tested and rely on you being in receipt of little money by way of income or savings.
The compensation you receive following a serious injury claim will usually be designed to last you for the remainder of your life. This could be a very long time. Your solicitor will discuss your options for dealing with the damages you receive.
You may be advised to place the money in to a Personal Injury Trust. A Trust of this nature helps to ring fence the money so it can be used for what it was designed to do. It may be needed for future treatment and care so you will need the funds available to you in the future for those purposes.
The main benefit of setting up a personal injury trust fund is that you will receive your full compensation payout, without any means-tested benefits that you may be receiving being affected. If you are not claiming benefits when the claim is settled, you may need to claim them in the future so it may be advisable to set up a Trust.
A Personal Injury Trust fund is not like a bank account. You should not make any deposits of any other sums of money whilst you have it open. The only money that should be in the fund is the money that was awarded to you from your personal injury claim.
You will need at least one other person to act as your “trustee”. This can be a family member as long as they are over the age of 18. The decision of who to choose as your trustee is very important. They will have a say in how the compensation money is spent. Most law firms will act as a trustee to your trust fund, but as you would expect, this comes with a fee. However, it may make sense for you to pay this charge and have someone completely impartial in the role. The trustee can be changed at any time.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident resulting in a serious injury, contact one of our experts at Maxwell Hodge Solicitors to see how we can help guide you through this difficult time.