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5 Unexpected Windfalls You Might Get Throughout Your Life

Moneymagpie Team 7th Feb 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Some people may go through their lives and never receive a big chunk of money for any reason. However, most people will see at least one or two unexpected windfalls at some point. If that happens, it probably feels like an unexpected blessing from out of nowhere.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few possible windfalls that you might receive during your lifetime. If you get a large sum of money, you must decide what action you’ll take next. Most people have no problem with such a dilemma, though.

A Large Settlement or Judgment from a Car Wreck

Car wrecks occur frequently around the country. They happen every day, especially in and around large cities. For instance, Dallas had 35,366 car wrecks in 2021. That means several accidents occurred around the city on any given day.

If a car hits you, maybe it’s the other driver’s fault. You would hope you’ll walk away from such an occurrence without a scratch. However, that doesn’t always happen. You might suffer a serious injury. If that occurs, you may have a lawsuit on your hands.

Usually, you’ll bring a lawsuit in such cases if the other driver doesn’t agree they caused the wreck or if their insurance won’t pay your claim. Perhaps the insurance company feels there’s some ambiguity. They think you caused the wreck, or you share the blame. If so, it’s probable they’ll dispute the matter with help from their lawyers.

You might get a settlement offer from the other driver or their insurance company if they move forward with the case, but then they realize they’re losing. If they can see the writing on the wall, they may stop the trial and give you a settlement offer. If you sustained a severe or life-changing injury, maybe it’s a very large number.

The other driver or their insurance company might also wait for the jury’s verdict. If they do, and it goes against them, you might collect even more money.

If this happens, you may feel glad you have that cash, but perhaps you’ll also feel it wasn’t worth it. If you lost a limb, your mobility, or you face a very different life moving forward, you probably wish it didn’t happen more than you’re happy about the windfall. You should feel better you have that money vs. not having it, though.

A Settlement or Judgment from a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

You might get a large settlement offer or a judgment in your favor if you bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Like car wreck cases, medical malpractice cases fall into the personal injury category. They’re civil lawsuits, not criminal ones.

The situations with a medical malpractice lawsuit ending up in your favor and a car wreck where you get money in court bear striking similarities. In both cases, you suffered harm, and you’re getting money, but you may not feel it’s worth it. At least if you have that cash, you’ll feel you got some justice, though. That’s sometimes cold comfort, but it’s better than nothing.   

Winning the Lottery

Maybe you win the lottery and collect a large windfall that way. If so, most people feel that’s much better than getting money through a personal injury case. With lottery winnings, you’re essentially getting free money, and you won’t endure any pain and suffering, either.

If you win the lottery, maybe you’re suddenly a millionaire, or perhaps you didn’t win that much. That all depends. Maybe you won the top prize on a scratch-off ticket, but after taxes, you get only six figures. That’s still cause for celebration. Most people call that life-changing money.

If you won the Powerball or some other national prize, you could get tens or hundreds of millions, even after taxes. If so, you’re suddenly part of the glitterati.

In these situations, you might retire and never work again. If you have a spouse or partner, they can do the same. You might give your kids, friends, and other relatives generous gifts.

You might also see some long-lost relatives or forgotten friends come out of the woodwork, though. It shouldn’t surprise you if people start hanging around, looking for a handout.

A Large Income Tax Refund

You might get a large income tax refund. Generally, if this happens, you won’t get millions, not unless you made some egregious error that the IRS must now correct. You might get a significant amount, though. You must now decide what action makes the most sense.

You can probably talk with your family about it, or at least the adults in your household. You might all decide you’ll take the family on vacation. 

If that seems too frivolous, maybe you’ll get a new roof for the house or add a new deck and fence. Perhaps you’ll get a new grill for barbecues or a big screen TV for reward show watch parties and major sporting events.   

Getting an Unexpected Inheritance

You may also get an unexpected inheritance. This can happen if you have a generous relative who you don’t know very well. Perhaps they don’t have any children who they feel deserve the money, or maybe they have no kids at all.

If this happens, much like receiving lottery winnings or an IRS refund, you must consider how much you’re getting to decide the best path forward. You might start a nest egg with the money. If you don’t have any retirement savings, this can start you in the right direction. You can send your kids to college with that money, or maybe you’ll pursue a degree yourself if you don’t have one.

If you get some unexpected money, then hopefully, you won’t pay for it through some accident or misadventure. Getting it free and without any advanced warning can constitute one of life’s greatest pleasures, especially if you’re not a wealthy person.

If you haven’t experienced anything like this, don’t give up hope. You never know what each new day might bring.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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