I have previously written in this blog about the pernicious impact of medical debt and how it has become a leading cause of personal bankruptcy for American citizens.
Considering that medical bills so often drive people into a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is not surprising that individuals that have been injured in a serious accident often find themselves needing help from a personal injury lawyer and a bankruptcy lawyer.
Unless they can find a lawyer that works in both of these areas, an injured person can have problems if they hire two lawyers that do not communicate, or if the two lawyers do not understand the impact of bankruptcy on a personal injury lawsuit.
Recently, one of the Orlando bankruptcy trustees expressed concern about the fact that personal injury lawsuits are not being disclosed to the bankruptcy court.
A personal injury lawsuit is an asset just like any other. Even if the claim has not yet been settled or gone to trial, it has at least a potential monetary value. If the injury occurred before the filing of the bankrutpcy case, then the personal injury lawsuit, and its potential value, is an asset of the bankrutpcy estate, and it must be disclosed to the court.
Special arrangements must be made with the court to approve the personal injury attorney who is pursuing the lawsuit. Failure to disclose this information to the court can result in a dismissal of the bankrutpcy or other sanctions.
In my Orlando law office, we help individuals who are dealing with both personal injury lawsuits, and the financial distress that goes along with them.
As a lawyer that handles both personal injury cases, and bankruptcy cases, I make sure that my client’s are letting me know about their personal injury claims so that we can make the proper disclosure to the court.
But if you are not working with a lawyer that specializes in personal injury law, and also helps clients with bankruptcy, make sure that your lawyers know what the other is doing!
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