Although this may seem unfair to individuals injured on the job, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the portion of a workers’ compensation benefits award representing past lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and medical expenses is a marital asset subject to equitable distribution (also known as property division) to be split between both the husband and the wife in a Florida divorce case.
However, the portion of the workers’ compensation award representing future lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and future medical expenses is the separate property of the injured spouse.
This is true for for both workers’ compensation cases and personal injury cases.
The difficult part in these cases is deciding which portion is for past lost wages, future lost wages, loss of earning capacity, etc. There is obviously a huge difference between benefits from the past and benefits for the future. An award for workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury injury claims is not separated out, therefore an experienced family law attorney needs to argue what benefits were received as a non-marital portion on behalf on an injured party and which benefits are marital, if any.
Experienced Tampa divorce attorney Mindi Lasley can represent both parties in distinguishing which portion of benefits is marital or non-marital and thus subjected to be equitably distributed by the court. While one party may have been unable to work, the other party may have had to financially support the entire household.
Please contact our office for a consultation to find out more about how we can help you in the areas of workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury claims.