Personal Injury Claims in Bankruptcy
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Personal Injury Claims in Bankruptcy

If you have been injured in an accident and are now facing financial woes, bankruptcy has probably crossed your mind. But before you dive head first into a bankruptcy, there are some things you should consider with respect to your personal injury claim. When you file bankruptcy, you are required to list every debt owing to every creditor, as well as every asset belonging to you. A personal injury claim is an asset that is required to be listed. Understandably, you may be anxious about listing the claim for fear of losing it in the bankruptcy, leaving you uncompensated for your injuries. Perhaps paradoxically to the untrained in bankruptcy law, the best way to protect your claim and your right to recover money damages is to disclose the claim in the bankruptcy and assert the exemption or protection for it. Your attorney will know how to best “present” your case in the bankruptcy documents. Although there is a general protection for personal injury claims in Utah, there is no definitive answer about how far that protection extends, i.e. whether it protects the portion of your recovery for loss of wages or pain and suffering. Punitive damages are not protected. Appropriate language in the settlement agreement attributing the award to “compensation for bodily injury” is the best possible characterization for bankruptcy purposes. There are many more legal and strategic avenues to consider than mentioned above. This is one area where you don’t want to go it alone. You’re best bet is to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you keep most, if not all, of your personal injury award. For the best of all possible worlds, look for a reputable law firm that practices in personal injury and bankruptcy law. If you need an experience Salt Lake City bankruptcy lawyer, contact us today. The initial consultation to determine what course will best meet your needs is free.

Craig Swapp & Associates
9980 S 300 W Suite 400, Sandy, UT 84070
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