Protect Your Recovery Even in Bankruptcy
Typically, an injury accident claim stemming for a car wreck, truck wreck, or slip & fall belongs to the person that experienced the injury. However, and in certain circumstances, the claim will be pursued or needed to be approved by someone else. Some of these situations include injuries sustained by minors, where a Judge and a Guardian Ad Litem may need to approve the settlement. Similarly, a Court may get involved if family members are helping a person suffering from mental disabilities. Another situation requiring approval from the Court involves injured persons who have filed for bankruptcy.
Filing bankruptcy is not an easy decision to make. Bankruptcy protects your assets from creditors that are trying to garnish wages or your bank account. However, filing bankruptcy means that your assets are now part of the bankruptcy estate and are controlled by the Trustee. It is the Trustees job to collect these assets to pay off your creditors. Another important decision that the Trustee makes is to either approve or reject any settlements regarding your accident injury claim.
Disclosing Injury Claim in Bankruptcy
It is imperative that you list your injury claim in your bankruptcy. Technically, this is an asset of your bankruptcy estate as your claim has monetary value. Failing to list the accident claim can result in your injury case being barred; meaning that you cannot recoup for your losses. It is important that you let both your bankruptcy attorney and injury lawyer know about your situation. They will ensure that the asset is listed in the bankruptcy, petition the Court to allow an attorney to pursue your injury case, and finally, petition the Court to approve any settlement.
Exempting Settlement & Injury Proceeds
The good news is that Georgia allows persons hurt in an accident to claim certain exemptions over injury proceeds. This means that making an insurance claim can allow you to pay off your medical bills, recoup your lost wages, and be compensated for the pain and suffering you have endured. The amount that you can exempt will be dictated by bankruptcy law and in certain situations some money may go towards paying back your creditors.