Do GoFundMe’s or Other Fundraisers Affect My Injury Claim?
Medical debt is a huge problem in this country. Millions of Americans are saddled with overwhelming medical costs, and every year, hundreds of thousands of people are forced into bankruptcy because they can’t pay their medical bills.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in Phoenix that was caused by another person’s negligent behavior, you have the right to file a claim to help collect damages that will cover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses, such as lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and occupational therapy.
These days, a lot of people are reaching out for help on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe to defray the cost of their medical bills. These efforts can help accident victims get valuable resources. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to attract anywhere near the amount you actually need after an accident from a GoFundMe campaign if you have suffered catastrophic injuries.
There are additional complications that result from GoFundMe fundraisers. It could harm your chances of collecting a settlement that covers the true cost of your injuries, and it could also end up costing you money in the long run due to taxes, lost benefits, and other issues.
It’s important to consult with your personal injury attorney before making any arrangements to set up a GoFundMe account or use any other type of crowdfunding platform.
A GoFundMe Account Could Cost You Money
Crowdfunding is when people use an internet platform to fund a project, venture, or charitable cause. For example, a moviemaker may use crowdfunding to help get a film project off the ground by raising many small amounts of money from a large group of people. In exchange for helping them finance the movie, the filmmaker may offer respondents a small piece of equity in the movie, or they may provide funders with special incentives, such as movie posters or invitations to movie premiers.
GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that people use to raise money to fund special projects such as celebrations, graduations, or charitable causes. GoFundMe is a private business that keeps about eight percent of the total proceeds. People who are having difficulty paying for expensive medical treatment will often turn to crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe.
It’s laudable that there are people out there who are willing to assist others and alleviate the financial burden in your time of need. But there are a number of reasons why this may cause complications and make it more difficult to collect the money you require after a serious accident occurs.
The money you get from a GoFundMe campaign has the following disadvantages:
- It’s unpredictable. You may receive donations for a while, but the amount you get is likely to diminish over time, and people who suffer catastrophic injuries often require a lifetime of medical treatment and in-home nursing care.
- It could be taxed as income. Funds collected from a GoFundMe account are generally considered ‘personal gifts’ by law. However, this is not always the case. The IRS may include the money you receive when they assess your total amount of taxable income, and this could impact your personal injury claim.
- Your personal credibility may be harmed. During a jury trial, lawyers for the defendant may use your account and the comments it attracts to depict you as a greedy person who is attempting to make money from a personal tragedy.
- Doctors and health insurance companies may file legal claims against the proceeds of a GoFundMe in their efforts to recover the cost of any unpaid medical bills you may have.
- Your SSI and Medicaid benefits may be denied based on the amount of income coming from a GoFundMe account.
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If somebody hurt you, they should have to pay for it. The Husband & Wife Law Team has been helping people in Phoenix for over 25 years. We’ll sit down with you and your family and come up with the best plan to help you get the resources you need to care for yourself and your family after a tragic accident.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer