Can Filing for Bankruptcy Negatively Impact Your Personal Injury Case?

By Derek Prosser

Sometimes the amount of money that we owe far exceeds that money and assets that we have. When that’s the case, people long for a way to get out of their dire financial situation and “start over.” Bankruptcy exists to afford people a new opportunity in life when their situation can’t be remedied. 

There are a variety of contributing factors when it comes to deciding to file for bankruptcy. One factor is often the financial burden of personal injuries. When someone is injured in an accident, his or her medical expenses and property damage are only compounded by his or her lost wages due to an inability to work. Despite having good insurance, the financial implications of such a situation can be overwhelming. In such a situation, when creditors come asking to be paid, sometimes the only option is to file for bankruptcy. 

Bankruptcy Can Impact Your Personal Injury Case

While filing bankruptcy can be a lifesaver, it can also play a role in your current personal injury case. It’s important to understand how bankruptcy can impact your personal injury case – or else you could end up responsible for the cost of your injuries despite being the victim. That’s why it’s important to work with a qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney. 

When your attorney files a bankruptcy petition on your behalf, it creates an estate that includes all legal and equitable interests at the date of the filing. Therefore, it includes not only your current interests and assets, but it may also include those that you have yet to receive. This could even include injuries that you suffer before or after the petition has been filed. 

You must have what is referred to as “standing” in order to bring a claim for personal injury in your name. To prove standing you must provide a list of all property (and values) in the schedules provided by your bankruptcy attorney. This property also includes personal injuries, which can later be considered exempt from the list. The personal injury attorney will check to ensure that you have listed the correct values. Then the bankruptcy trustee will rule the claim as exempt or abandon it.  The amount of personal injury claims you’re allowed to exempt (i.e. protect) will often depend on the character of the loss.  

Toronjo & Prosser Law Helps Those Who Are Dealing with Bankruptcy 

It’s undoubtedly stressful to realize that you don’t have enough money, and even more stressful when you realize that filing for bankruptcy may be your best option. The process of filing for bankruptcy can be extremely complex and confusing. 

When you are going through the bankruptcy process, it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney. He or she can help you to identify important documents needed to file for bankruptcy as well as help you to avoid mistakes that could really cost you. 

At Toronjo & Prosser, our qualified Dallas Bankruptcy Attorneys can help you to navigate the process. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation contact us online or call us today!

About the Author
Derek Prosser understands that clients need help and need answers and that in order to properly address those concerns, clients need to deal with an attorney first and always, not just an assistant or paralegal.  By effectively counseling from the outset of a case, Toronjo & Prosser Law can anticipate and address potential problems before they arise, as opposed to when they’ve already surfaced (the “Counsel Later” approach), and, in the end, strive for a seamless representation.