I've asked my bankruptcy lawyer but can't seem to get any answer except, "send me the settlement to review". I filed for bankruptcy 4/10/12 and was discharged 7/23/12. I was pregnant and in an auto accident 9/22/12. It caused a tear in my placenta. I was monitored my whole pregnant and now that my daughter is her and healthy, we are wanting to settle our claim with the auto insurance. I was within the 180 days after I filed, but the accident was after and I want to know what the law is about this. Most of my settlement will be considered pain and suffering for the concern of my daughter until I completed my pregnancy. I'm not sure why I can't get a straight answer from my lawyer as the laws should be black and white in regards to this.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, the law is not black and white, and your attorney needs to simply review the paperwork to give you the answer. He is going to be in the best position to give you a correct answer since he will have all the facts and all the information. Your lawyer wants to see if there is any language that would give your creditors an opportunity to get part or the whole settlement.
I hope you have a personal injury attorney handling your injuries and your daughters case.
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Take a copy of your bankruptcy discharge and contact an attorney or clerk at the bankruptcy court
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Personal Injury Lawyer
It all depends on what the bankruptcy court discharged. I agree, take the documents to the court and see if they can tell you if your PI case was discharged.
DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
Very few areas of the law are black and white. Your situation-- what falls within the "180 day windfall" rule-- is not black and white.
Pain and suffering are treated one way, reimbursement for medical bills are treated a different way, and lost wages are treated another different way. There's also going to be fluctuation depending on whether some of the settlement is for a cause of action that belongs to your daughter versus only your causes of action.
Although it's doubtful that any of this settlement is on behalf of your daughter instead of on behalf of you, it's impossible for your bankruptcy lawyer to tell you if you won't let even let them see what's in the agreement.
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It makes sense for your attorney to look at your papers before giving you an answer to your question. I would certainly want to do that before I gave you any detailed advice. I can give you some general information, though. It appears from your description that the accident happened after your bankruptcy discharge. Therefore, this is not an asset of your bankruptcy estate at all. The 180 day rule you are talking about applies to only a few narrow circumstances, including inherting property from an estate or life insurance after a death, or a marital settlement agreement. The 180 day rule does not apply to an auto accident that occurred after the filing of your bankruptcy. I know it seems like the law should be black and white, but it rarely is. Best of luck to you.
I am licensed only in Texas. Offering information of a general nature in response to a question is not intended to be legal advice in your state.
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