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Below, you can find answers to some of the most common questions we receive from our clients. We hope you find them helpful! If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, and would like to schedule a free consultation with an attorney, give us a call today at (502) 222-2222.

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Personal Injury FAQs

A personal injury lawyer is a legal professional who represents people who were harmed by a car accident, defective product, dangerous workplace, or another incident. Their goal is to help injured people recover fair compensation from the parties that caused those injuries.  

Your personal injury attorney can help you through the entire claim process: investigating your accident, identifying all the negligent parties and their insurance carriers, filing an insurance claim, calculating your case’s settlement value, negotiating with the insurance company, and when necessary, filing a civil lawsuit and representing you at trial. 

But a good personal injury lawyer does much more. They counsel their clients, helping them during tough times and giving them the information they need to make better decisions. They also advocate for their clients, standing up to insurance companies and big businesses and doing everything they can to hold wrongdoers accountable. 

You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you are hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault. There are many reasons why you need to act quickly. 

First, the evidence that might prove or strengthen your injury claim won’t last forever. An experienced attorney will be able to act quickly to investigate the accident, protect essential evidence. 

Second, the insurance company will try quickly to settle your claim as cheaply as possible. It might even try to get you to make damaging statements that devalue your claim. A lawyer can protect you from these insurance company tactics, and give you the time and space you need to heal. 

While some minor accidents won’t require an attorney, initial consultations are always free. Whether you hire a lawyer or not, you have nothing to lose (and potentially much to gain) by seeking out expert legal advice. 

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Personal injury attorneys almost always work on a contingency basis. This means they are paid a percentage of your final settlement or award, and only get paid if you do too.

In other words: you won’t have to pay your personal injury lawyer while your case is ongoing and there is no retainer fee. At Karl Truman Law Office, we also cover any case or court fees up front, and only get reimbursed if we get you a recovery. No matter who you are, or what your situation in life, you can afford experienced legal representation for your personal injury case.

Personal injury attorney fees vary depending on the lawyer and the case, but are usually around 1/3 of your final settlement. Research consistently shows that injury victims who are represented by an experienced attorney still receive much higher compensation on average than those who are unrepresented.

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The team at Karl Truman Law Office works hard to make sure every client receives excellent legal representation, and is also listened to, respected, and treated with the utmost care and compassion.

You should know within the first month if we are the right law firm for you. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with our representation at any point within the first 30 days after hiring us, you can walk away and owe us nothing—even if we’ve already spent time and money working on your case.

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Our law firm has received hundreds of five-star reviews from past clients on our Google listings. You can also read some of them on our client reviews page.

And please don’t hesitate to ask us about previous cases we’ve handled or clients we’ve worked with who have similar circumstances to yours.

Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in both Kentucky and Indiana and regularly represent clients throughout both states. This includes in state courts, as well as the U.S. District Courts for Eastern and Western Kentucky and Northern and Southern Indiana.

Additionally, we represent clients based across the United States in Social Security Disability cases, and often act as counsel for local residents with federal cases that must be filed elsewhere. For example, we can help victims of Camp Lejeune prepare their cases (even though those cases must be filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina).

We also have contacts with attorneys throughout the country to find you help wherever you need it.

Video: The insurance company said they will pay my medical bills. Should I sign their paperwork? – YouTube 

You should only accept a settlement offer if you are confident that it is fair, or if no greater amount can be obtained (for example, the settlement offer is for the policy limits of the available insurance).

Once you decide to settle a personal injury case, the matter is closed. You cannot ask for more later. So, it’s extremely important to make sure that the amount offered is enough to provide the support and stability you need to live your best possible life. We know you may just want your case to be over and money back in your bank account. But trust us: it’s far better to be patient and get a fair settlement than to accept too little and later wind up struggling to make ends meet.

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you accurately estimate the damages you’re entitled to, such as compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They can also give you honest, objective advice about your chances of success at trial, and help you make an informed decision about whether to settle or try the case.

Some additional tips:

  • Rejecting an initial settlement offer doesn’t mean you won’t get a better offer later. It is the start of negotiation—not a “take it or leave it” ultimatum.
  • The first offer made by the insurance company will almost always be a “low ball.” They are incentivized to settle your case quickly and cheaply, not to treat you fairly.
  • You should almost always wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement before accepting any settlement. This makes your long-term medical costs much easier to estimate accurately.

In general, personal injury settlements are not considered taxable income.

IRS rules specifically exclude compensatory damages from taxation, as long as they are related to a physical injury or illness. “Compensatory damages” are those portions of a settlement that are meant to compensate you for specific losses that you’ve sustained, such as medical bills or lost wages.

Do note that this exclusion doesn’t apply if you didn’t sustain a physical injury. For example, if you sued for emotional damages only, or a breach of contract, those settlements would be taxable.

Furthermore, if you obtained any punitive damages in your settlement, that portion would be taxable as well. Punitive damages are specifically meant to punish and discourage excessive recklessness or malice, rather than compensate victims for specific losses. However, most personal injury settlements don’t include them.

If you have any questions about whether or not you’ll owe taxes on any part of a personal injury settlement, speak with your personal injury attorney or a tax attorney.

Car Accident FAQs

As soon as possible after a car accident, you should take the following steps (provided you can do so safely): 

  • Check for injuries and seek medical care as soon as possible (even if your  injuries seem minor) 
  • Contact the police and report the accident 
  • Gather name, address, phone number, and insurance information from other involved drivers  
  • Gather name and contact information from any eyewitnesses 
  • Document the crash (like damage to both vehicles and road debris) and your injuries with photos 
  • Contact a car accident lawyer for a free consultation as soon as possible 

The sooner you see a doctor and call a car accident attorney, the better your chances of making a successful recovery—in terms of both your health and your financial compensation. 

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If your crash resulted in injuries, hospital bills, or missed time from work, hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car accident is almost always worth it.

Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or only offering you a fraction of what your case is truly worth, unless you can provide significant evidence about your crash and your injuries. The insurance adjuster’s job is to save money for the insurance company, not to be fair to you. An attorney can protect you and fight for a fair recovery.

If your car accident was a minor one, with no significant injuries, you may not need a personal injury attorney. However, because your call and initial consultation with the attorney are free, it is always to your benefit to seek experienced legal advice before deciding whether to handle your case on your own.

Yes, you can still make a car accident claim or file a lawsuit even if you did not obtain a police report. A police report is just one piece of evidence in a personal injury claim.

However, police reports are usually given significant weight when an insurance company or jury is evaluating your claim. If you don’t have one, your attorney will have to rely on other sources of evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This may make your case take longer or even make it harder to win, especially if the other driver is lying about what actually happened.

Indiana requires drivers to report an accident immediately if it results in death, injury, or property damage more than $750 in value. Kentucky requires drivers to report an accident resulting in death, injury, or property damage more than $500—although drivers have up to 10 days to report.

For these and other reasons, we strongly encourage people involved in a car accident to always call the police and get an accident report.

READ MORE: When Do I Have an Accident Case? | Karl Truman Law Office

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Legally, you have until your state’s statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Kentucky, this is typically one year from the date of the accident. In Indiana you typically have two years from the date of the accident.

However, it’s essential that you contact an attorney and begin working on your case as soon as possible, regardless of the legal deadline. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for your lawyer to “pick up the pieces,” gather the necessary evidence, and build a strong case before a lawsuit needs to be filed. Critical evidence may even disappear entirely if you do not act quickly to preserve it.

READ MORE: How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim After a Car Accident? (

There are many reasons why it can take a long time to settle a car accident claim. The process can get bogged down if you have serious injuries that take a long time to recover from, you’re claiming a significant amount of compensation, or there are any factual problems with your case. While timelines vary significantly, the reality is that most car accident cases take one year or more to settle.

The insurance company’s goal is to save money. If there’s uncertainty about who caused the accident or you’re making a large claim, they will take their time. They might offer you quick, lowball settlement offer to try to make your case go away. But if you don’t take it, they aren’t going to budge unless you or your attorney gather a substantial amount of evidence that supports a higher settlement.

Waiting months or even years for fair compensation is stressful, but ultimately it’s better to get a fair settlement than a quick, bad one. Your attorney can help you deal with medical bills and put collection efforts on hold until after your legal case is complete.

READ MORE: How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take? – Truman Law

If you were in a fender bender and only suffered property damage—no injuries—you probably don’t need a lawyer to represent you. In fact, most personal injury attorneys won’t take those kinds of cases.

Dealing with a property damage-only claim can still be complex and stressful, however. If you are currently in this situation, we highly recommend downloading a copy of our quick guide, After a Car Accident: Your (Legal) Survival Guide to Handling a Property Damage Claim Without a Lawyer.

If your crash was serious enough that you needed a hospital visit, medical treatment, or missed time at work, you should schedule a free consultation with a trustworthy personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. Even a “minor” car accident can still sometimes cause significant financial hardship, and you have a right to fair compensation by those who caused your injury.

A case review is free and there is no obligation, so even if you don’t end up hiring an attorney, there’s no reason not to seek expert advice as soon as possible.

Video: Who’s going to pay my medical bills?

Yes, in the short term, your health insurance will cover your medical care after a car accident. However, it is considered a secondary form of insurance in these cases. Auto insurance policies are meant to be the primary source of coverage for medical bills. Once you have used up all your available car insurance coverage, your health insurance takes over.

In practice, however, the situation is more complicated. It may take months or even years to get a settlement from the auto insurance company. Meanwhile, you have hospital bills piling up.

Generally, what happens is that your health insurance will cover your medical care up front, after you’ve used up any personal injury protection coverage (PIP, also known as “no fault”) you have in your own personal auto insurance policy. Then, once you get your full car accident settlement, you’ll need to pay back your health insurance provider from settlement funds.

In the meantime, your lawyer can help you set up an arrangement with your health provider to stop their collection efforts until after your case is complete. They also may be able to negotiate with your health providers to settle your debt for less than the full amount you owe.

Video: What to tell the insurance companies?

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, the wisest decision is to say nothing to the insurance company. Let your attorney handle it.

The insurance company wants to settle claims as cheaply as possible. They use tactics to get injury victims to say things, on record, that could be used against them. You might accidentally say something that sounds like an admission of guilt, or accidentally make a misstatement. The insurance company can then use those mistakes to damage your credibility.

We strongly encourage you to never agree to give a recorded statement to the insurance company, and always talk to an experienced personal injury before dealing with an insurance adjuster.

Video: What’s the most common cause of motorcycle accidents?

By far, the number one most common cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other drivers to detect and recognize motorcycles on the road. Due to a motorcycle’s small size, drivers of larger vehicles may fail to see them coming.

Unfortunately, non-riders often hold unfair, negative stereotypes about motorcyclists. For this reason, insurance companies and juries may be more likely to assume that the motorcycle rider behaved recklessly, and more likely to blame them for accidents that were caused by other drivers.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, we strongly encourage you to work with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who understands the motorcycle community and is passionate about handling these cases.

READ MORE: Karl Truman Law – Louisville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

There are many critically important differences between typical car accident cases and auto accidents that involve a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck. Here are a few of the most important:

  • Truck accidents tend to result in more severe injuries, due to the sheer size and weight of most commercial vehicles.
  • Truck accidents tend to be much more legally complex, since there are more parties that could potentially be at fault—for example, the truck driver, the trucking company, a mechanic, an equipment manufacturer, etc.
  • Truck accident cases tend to result in higher settlements, since trucking companies must carry substantial insurance policies. However, they can also be tougher to win without an experienced attorney, since the cases are complex, require a lot of evidence, and trucking companies and insurance companies defend themselves aggressively.

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, we encourage you to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.

READ MORE: Louisville Truck Accident Lawyer | Karl Truman Law Office

In most car accident cases, your damages are paid by the insurance company of the at-fault driver, up to the policy limits of the insurance policy. (In Kentucky, you may also have personal injury protection or “no fault” insurance that will provide primary coverage for medial bills and lost wages). However, the minimum amount of coverage drivers are legally allowed to carry is fairly low. This means that if you suffer a moderate to severe injury, your medical bills, lost wages, and fair compensation for pain and suffering may be much greater than the available “no fault” and/or liability insurance benefits.

When this happens, you basically have two options. One is to see if there are other available sources of insurance, such as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) within your own auto insurance policy. Two is to sue the at-fault party directly for their own personal assets. However, if they have few assets and no way to pay you, there’s little you can do.

This is why we strongly urge all drivers to purchase as much UM/UIM coverage as they can realistically afford. UM/UIM coverage tends to be relatively inexpensive for the amount of coverage you get, and can protect you if you are badly hurt in a crash with an at-fault driver only carrying the minimum liability insurance coverage.

READ MORE: Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver | Karl Truman Law Office

VA Disability FAQs

VA disability ratings are based on the severity of your service-connected illness or injury. The VA evaluates the evidence you submit as part of your claim and compares it against its guidelines for that disability. 

Your symptoms (typically as measured by a physician using standardized exams) are compared against benchmarks for that or a related condition in a document called the Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). Each benchmark is assigned a disability rating between 0% and 100%, in 10% increments. 

If you have multiple service-connected disabilities, VA ratings are combined by multiplication and then rounded to the nearest 10%.  

For example, say you have one 40% rated disability and one 30% rated disability. The VA will start with the highest-rated disability (40%), which has a remainder of 60% “not disabled.” The VA will then apply the next-highest-rated disability (30%) to the 60, which gives a result of 18. These ratings are then added together (40 + 18 = 58) and rounded to the nearest multiple of 10 to get your final combined rating of 60%. 

In many cases, the VASRD uses very strict guidelines that significantly underestimate an injured veteran’s true ability to maintain gainful employment. If you believe your VA rating is too low, or believe your symptoms make you unemployable despite a low VA rating, you may have other options to increase your VA benefits. An experienced VA disability attorney can help you evaluate your options and fight for the benefits you deserve. 

Yes, it may be possible to increase your VA disability rating under certain circumstances. For example:

  • If you believe the VA’s initial rating is incorrect, you can appeal the decision.
  • If your condition has gotten worse since your rating was originally assigned, you can file a claim for increased disability compensation and submit updated medical evidence supporting the higher rating.
  • If you have multiple service-connected disabilities or have developed a secondary disability that is linked to your primary disability, your ratings for these disabilities can be combined into a higher overall VA disability rating.

However, you must also understand that the VA uses very strict criteria for rating many disabilities. While you may feel that your rating is unfairly low, it may be “correct” according to the VA’s guidelines.

If your disability is severe enough to prevent you from maintaining any significant gainful employment, you may be able to pursue Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU). If approved, TDIU allows veterans to receive benefits at the 100 percent disability rating even if their VA rating according to official guidelines is lower.

If you believe you deserve a higher VA rating, you should connect with an experienced VA disability attorney as soon as possible.

READ MORE: Was Your VA Disability Claim Denied? Here’s What You Should Do Next – Truman Law

Video: The Need for Veteran Legal Support

Most VA disability attorneys will charge between 20 and 33 percent of any retroactive benefits they are able to obtain, plus case fees.

VA disability attorneys must follow strict rules of ethical conduct, which includes limitations on how much they can charge. To determine whether a fee is reasonable, the VA will look at the complexity of the case, how much time the lawyer spent on the case, the skill of the attorney, the results, and how much other lawyers charge for similar services.

By VA regulations, any attorney fee under 20% is presumed to be reasonable, and any fee over 33% is presumed to be unreasonable.

Some other important things to consider:

  • VA disability attorneys almost always work on contingency, meaning you never pay out-of-pocket. If your attorney does not win your case, you owe them nothing.
  • VA disability attorneys cannot charge veterans for help with filing an initial
  • VA disability attorneys can only charge a percentage of retroactive benefits—backpay you were owed from your effective date to the present. It is illegal for them to take any of your future benefits.

As a veteran himself, Karl Truman understands the sacrifices veterans make and the frustration that comes with dealing with the VA. We believe veterans deserve the highest quality of representation and should only be charged what is fair and reasonable under the circumstances.

READ MORE: Karl Truman Law | VA Disability Lawyers

The short answer is that nothing happens to your VA disability benefits when you reach retirement age. As long as you are disabled, your benefits will continue at the same level for the rest of your life.

Periodically, the VA may re-evaluate your condition if it believes that your condition has likely improved. This could mean a reduction or even termination of your benefits.

Yes. The benefit calculations for VA Disability and Social Security Disability do not affect one another, so veterans who are eligible for both can obtain both without penalty. However, you must apply for each separately, and you may not qualify or be approved for both, depending on your specific circumstances.

In addition to Social Security Disability, disabled veterans may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they meet the financial qualifications. However, since this is a needs-based program, your monthly SSI benefit can be reduced if you are also receiving VA disability benefits.

This is a complicated question. The short answer is, “It depends on which agency you ask.”

From the point of view of the IRS, VA disability is not considered taxable income. The same goes for VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and VA disability pension payments. You do not need to report these as income on your federal taxes.

However, other agencies or organizations may count your VA benefits as income in various calculations. For example, the Social Security Administration considers VA disability benefits as “unearned income.” While this will not affect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, it will reduce the amount of any Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you would otherwise be eligible to receive.

Additionally, your VA disability benefits could be used to help determine things like how much child support or alimony you owe, or whether you are eligible for food stamps.

Workers' Compensation FAQs

Workers’ compensation is a form of employer-provided insurance that pays medical expenses and wage loss benefits to employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness. Any reasonable medical bills relating to your workplace injury should be covered by the insurance company. If your injuries prevent you from working, you will also be paid a portion of your pre-injury weekly earnings during the time that you’re totally or partially disabled.

Workers’ compensation benefits and requirements vary from state-to-state, including who qualifies for wage loss benefits and how long they can be paid. However, in most states (including Kentucky and Indiana) the process for obtaining benefits is similar:

  • Seek medical attention.
  • Report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. (Your employer will need to submit paperwork to the insurance company, and you may need to as well.)
  • Gather as much evidence supporting your claim as possible (like photos of injuries and the accident site, objects or tools that caused your injury, safety gear you were using, and eyewitness statements). You may need it later.
  • Speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Employers and insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or disputing the reasonableness of medical care. Your attorney can provide guidance and, if necessary, fight for unfairly denied benefits.

The biggest difference between the workers’ compensation programs in Kentucky and Indiana is whether an injured worker can choose their own physician. In Kentucky, you can see whatever doctor you wish. In Indiana, your employer can choose your doctor.

READ MORE: What Is the Workers’ Comp Process? | Kentucky, Indiana (

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Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to cover a worker’s medical expenses and a portion of their wages if they are injured on the job. Workers’ comp can also include vocational rehabilitation (job training or career counseling to help partially disabled workers return to the workforce), as well as death benefits for the family of an employee killed on the job.

Any injury that occurs “during the course and scope of employment” should be covered under workers’ compensation. The injury doesn’t necessarily have to occur on a job site. For example, if you were running an errand for your employer in your personal vehicle and get into a car crash, workers’ compensation would still apply. Workers’ comp also covers occupational illnesses.

READ MORE: Louisville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer | Kentucky & Indiana (

Video: Workers’ Compensation – Hurt on the Job? Commercial

If your injury was serious enough to require expensive medical care or caused you to miss time from work, consulting with an experienced workers compensation lawyer is a good idea.

And if at any point you feel stressed, confused, or encounter any complexity or resistance in your case—for example, a denied claim, lowball settlement offer, or retaliation from your employer—you should contact an attorney right away.

An attorney can ensure that you gather all the critical evidence and file all necessary forms before your state’s filing deadlines. They can also negotiate with the insurance company, work out a settlement on your behalf, and represent you in hearings or at court. Employers and insurance companies frequently deny workers compensation claims and dispute medical bills, so having experienced legal representation to level the playing field can make a huge difference for injured workers.

Also, if your injury was the result of negligence by an outside party (not your direct employer) or gross misconduct on the part of your employer, you may have the right to file a civil lawsuit for additional damages. An attorney can evaluate all your legal options and help ensure you get all the compensation you deserve.

READ MORE: 10 Workers’ Comp Adjuster Tricks to Avoid – Truman Law

Workers’ compensation attorneys work on contingency. They are paid a percentage of your settlement or future wage loss benefits, and do not get paid unless they win a settlement or award on your behalf.

States have strict rules for how much workers’ compensation attorneys may charge.

In Kentucky, your attorney may only charge 20% of the first $25,000 awarded, 15% of the next $25,000, and 10% of any additional amount recovered up to a maximum total fee of $18,000.

In Indiana, your attorney may only charge 20% of the first $50,000, 15% for any additional recovery above $50,000, and 10% of any award for either unpaid medical expenses or future medical expenses.

READ MORE: Louisville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer | Kentucky & Indiana (

Social Security FAQs

Video: How do I qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must either have an injury or medical condition that makes it impossible to perform substantial gainful activity for at least one year, or is expected to result in your death. If you can still work part-time or expect to return to work again within the next 12 months, you cannot obtain SSDI benefits.

The Social Security Administration maintains an extensive “List of Impairments,” sometimes called the “Blue Book,” which identifies conditions considered potentially severe enough for SSDI benefits. The list includes a wide variety of disorders, including musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, sensory, neurological, mental, and other disabilities.

However, there are a few important things to note:

  • If your condition is in the Blue Book, it doesn’t necessarily mean your SSDI will be approved. Your symptoms will also need to be severe enough to meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for disability.
  • If your condition is not on the list, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your SSDI claim will be denied. However, you will need to show that your medical condition is similar to a condition that is on the list, and meets the criteria for severity.

Unfortunately, the waiting period for approval (or rejection) of Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits is often long, with many applicants waiting several months just to find out if their initial application is approved or denied. If the initial claim is denied, it could easily be more than year until you receive your first payment.

All applicants must wait a minimum of five months after becoming disabled before they can receive their first SSDI payment. This is known as the “elimination period.” If you have short-term disability insurance through a private insurance company, it can help you cover this gap.

If your SSDI claim is not approved until after the elimination period, you can receive up to 12 months of past-due benefits (“back pay”) in a lump sum.

Filing for SSDI can be confusing and eligibility rules are extremely strict. Working with a Social Security Disability Attorney before filing your initial application can significantly reduce the risk that your application will be denied, so you can begin drawing your benefits sooner.

READ MORE: How Long Will I Wait for Social Security Disability Benefits? (

Video: Are you terminally ill and filing for a Social Security claim?

The Social Security Administration recognizes that certain conditions are so severe that anyone who has them will meet the eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability benefits. These conditions qualify for a compassionate allowance, which can significantly decrease the waiting time for benefits to be approved.

The list of compassionate allowance conditions includes several forms of cancer, brain disorders, congenital disorders, and other severe medical conditions.


You don’t have to hire a lawyer to file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, an experienced attorney can significantly improve your chances of getting your initial application approved, or winning an appeal.

SSDI claims are complex and time-consuming. In addition to filing your application in a timely manner, you’ll also need to provide extensive medical records and documentation, and may need to handle requests for additional documentation. An experienced attorney will know what documents you need and how to best handle your application, giving you substantial peace of mind.

The best time to speak with an SSDI attorney is before you file your initial claim. If you’re already submitted your application, wait until the Social Security Administration makes a decision. If they deny your application, contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your appeal.

READ MORE: Do You Need a Lawyer for Social Security Disability? – Truman Law

Video: How much does it cost to file a Social Security Disability claim?

Under normal circumstances, a Social Security Disability attorney who handles your claim can receive either 25% of your Social Security past-due benefits (“back pay”) or $7,200, whichever is less.

In rare circumstances, an attorney can seek more than $7,200 in payment for cases that are exceptionally complex and require significant work on the part of the attorney (multiple hearings, multiple appeals, federal court action, etc.). However, any exceptions to the $7,200 limit must be approved by the Social Security Administration.

It is illegal for your attorney to take any percentage of your future benefits after your claim is approved. They can only be paid a percentage of your back pay.

READ MORE: Is it Worth Hiring an SSDI Lawyer? | Louisville, Kentucky (

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are calculated using a strict formula based on:

  • The number of years you’ve worked from the year you turned 22
  • Your average monthly earnings over your career, indexed to the current year (in other words, adjusted for inflation based on the value of a dollar at the time you file for SSDI).

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will “throw out” the lowest-earning 1 to 5 years in your career when calculating your average monthly earnings, depending on how long you’ve been working.

If you are totally unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA), you’ll receive your full SSDI benefit. If you monthly earnings (minus work expenses) while on SSDI exceed the SGA threshold, or you obtain certain other types of public benefits (worker’s compensation, government retirement, etc.), your SSDI benefits may be reduced or cut off.

If you believe that the SSA has miscalculated your monthly benefit, you can request a recomputation. Before you do this, however, we recommend you speak with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney.

READ MORE: What Are SSDI Benefits? | Karl Truman Law Office | KY & IN