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PI lawsuit and Bankruptcy

San Jose, CA |

Can a personal injury lawsuit judgement be nullified by filing bankruptcy? If YES and that simple then what is purpose of these trial courts system. Plaintiffs spend so much money and time in getting the judgement against defendant and he/she can just file bankruptcy and walk away.

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Attorney answers 4


I can see your question is more from idle curiosity than practical purpose, but I will humor you with a brief legal justification.

Most (not all) judgments for personal injury can be discharged in bankruptcy.

The trial court system is supposed to ensure fair and balanced judgments on a variety of disputes. The bankruptcy system is to ensure that the unfortunate debtor is not saddled with an impossible debt for the rest of their life.

Every chapter of bankruptcy has ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, so people can't just "file bankruptcy and walk away." Of course, the poorer one is, the easier it is. The mid-level income (i.e., hard working people) have it the worst. They generally can NOT just "file bankruptcy and walk away", yet they don't really have the assets to pay out large judgments either. From a practical point of view, the ulta-rich also get a pass (like Mr. Trump) because they can hide a lot of money easily too.

In any case, I hope this slakes your curiosity.

Good luck.

If you need further clarity, please email me at MICHAEL@MIRELAND.US Answers to questions are for general information purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. This is not legal advice, simply information. You SHOULD NOT act on this information without consulting a competent bankruptcy attorney in your area and providing ALL relevant information.

Paul J Molinaro

Paul J Molinaro


Excellent post, Michael J. Ireland, Esq. - Paul Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker Fransen & Molinaro, LLP 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206 Corona, CA 92879 (951)520-9684 / "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy. ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.


Exceptions to discharge:

There are many purposes to the trial court system and many people are able to collect on Debts/Judgments using our trial courts, otherwise there would be no work for Attorneys successfully practising collections. Bankruptcy provides a fresh start to an honest debtor rather than jail time, previously known as "Debtor's prison." The previous answer is spot on.


Yes. But under certain circumstances, the proceeds of any insurance policy can still be recovered even after filing bankruptcy .

I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


If the accident involved a dui, usually not.

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