We filed ch. 7 in Oct. 2012. This month we found out that my sons birth defect and disability may be due to chemical exposure and we are considering filing a lawsuit. Right now the lawfirm is evalating our case so we are not even sure if they will go on with our case. I was not aware of this possibility until Feb 2013. Do I tell my bankruptcy lawyer? If so what will happen? WIll the trustee try to go after a settlement (if there is one) and is there any way to protect it if we do get some sort of settlement which most likely will not happen for years? Are there any exempts for this sort of situation. Thanks in advance.
Thank you everyone for your answers. We have not signed anything yet, but we are still deciding what to do. Well I am waiting on my other half to agree before we go ahead. If we decide to go ahead we will wait after the firm evaluates our situation before we mention this because they may say that we do not have a case and there is no claim. If there is no claim there is no asset. But if there is a case then we will let our bk attorney know asap and then contact an asset lawyer. Again thank you for your comments. I just wanted to be prepared if we decided to go on and what to do and what to expect in this situation. This was so unexpected and we are really going through it over here. Thanks again for your replies.
Family Law Attorney
Yes, tell you BK lawyer ASAP. Since it is your son that is injured, not you or your wife, you need to discuss any possible settlement and the possibilities of putting the proceeds into a trust for your son. This is likely to protect your son's settlement from the BK trustee, BUT any settlement for you and you wife is likely to be taken by the trustee. You will need legal guidance from a number of attorneys who practice in different areas of the law. Good luck.
Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.
You wrote, "We filed ch. 7 in Oct. 2012... and we are considering filing a lawsuit
I was not aware of this possibility until Feb 2013. Do I tell my bankruptcy lawyer?"
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
You absolutely need to tell your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. He or she will best be able to assess your situation to determine if the funds will need to be turned over to the Trustee.
Personal Injury Lawyer
See if your bankruptcy attorney can set up a trust for your son.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with the other lawyers that have answered this question. Definitely tell your bankruptcy lawyer. The personal injury law firm may also be able to help with the trust.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
The majority of the lawsuit should be for your son, with you and/or your wife suing on his behalf. I think his portion would be outside of the scope of the bankruptcy estate. As for any damages that you, as his parents, could sue for, most definitely you need to advise your bankruptcy attorney and he or she will probably need to amend the schedules and add the cause of action as an asset. You do not want to omit the asset and have the issue of res judicata or collateral estoppel prohibit you from pursuing a future claim.
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