Personal Injury Claims and Bankruptcy in Illinois
What happens when I have a Personal Injury claim and I need to file a Bankruptcy? Can I protect a potential settlement or judgment?The answer is “Yes” you can file bankruptcy, protect your claim, and even keep your current lawyer.
The problem most frequently arises when a person is hurt in an automobile accident and has hired a lawyer to pursue the claim. At the same time there are a lot of debts and financial relief is needed.
The first thing is to list the claim whether a law suit has been filed or if your lawyer is negotiating a settlement before filing a lawsuit or even if you have not hired a lawyer.
This is vital Illinois has Personal Injury exemptions that protect almost all Personal Injury cases. Generally one can file a Chapter 7.If you have a Worker’s Compensation claim it is totally exempt. The claim is not a problem if a Chapter 7 is needed.
What if there is a very large Personal Injury claim. A Chapter 13 can be filed with special provisions that protect your claim, and you get to keep your lawyer. In this case the Chapter 13 payments are very low.
What happens if you have a claim and do not list it? Before the settlement or the trial the Defendant (which would be the Insurance Company) can look at the Public Records. They can go directly to the Bankruptcy trustee who will take the case over and fire your lawyer. The trustee will likely settle the case for less than its value; charge trustee and new lawyer fees and take away your Exemption. Also, the Bankruptcy Court can revoke a Discharge. You could wind up getting nothing or still owe money. Also, there is always the possibility that the matter could be referred to the Justice Department for a criminal prosecution.
The lawyers at Robert J. Adams & Associates have successfully helped many clients who have a Personal Injury and/or a Worker’s Compensation claim. With Robert J Adams & Associates, our clients get their just monetary recovery and get a discharge of their debts.
Hiring Robert J. Adams & Associates is a win-win for you.
(The above is only given as a guide and not legal advice. You must always retain a lawyer and set out all of the facts.)