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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Personal Injury Claims and Bankruptcy

    If you are injured and later file for bankruptcy, is your personal injury claim part of your bankruptcy? That is, can a settlement or judgment be reached by the trustee and creditors, or is it exempt so that you get to keep the money from any eventual settlement or verdict?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Personal Injury Claims and Bankruptcy

    A personal injury claim should be disclosed as a contingent asset in the bankruptcy case.

    State law exemptions may vary; but looking at federal law there are some exemptions that could shield the claim from creditors, in part or in full. Federal exemptions for injury claims are usually larger than state exemptions.

    The federal exemption for personal (bodily) injury claims can be found at 11 U.S.C. 522(d)(11)(D). Under that exemption, you may keep up to $23,675 from a personal injury award or settlement, not including pain and suffering or compensation for monetary losses. Assuming that both spouses are plaintiffs in the personal injury case, the exemption may be doubled to $47,350.00 for a couple filing a joint bankruptcy. That figure is periodically adjusted for inflation.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Personal Injury Claims and Bankruptcy

    Bankruptcy requires the debtor to tell his or creditors about any property or assets the debtor holds. Failure to disclose all properties and assets, even unintentionally, can constitute bankruptcy fraud.

    As part of this requirement, debtors who suffered from a personal injury prior to filing for bankruptcy are required to disclose the injury and any compensation they receive or expect to receive (total award amount minus attorney fees). Once all items are disclosed, the process of protecting a personal injury claim with exemptions can begin.

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