If you have filed a Nevada injury case and are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, don’t do it without speaking with your injury attorney. Filing for bankruptcy can and will impact your pending case, so it is important to have a strategy in place that will protect your assets. If you have already filed for bankruptcy, let your injury attorney know quickly so they can work with you to adjust plans as necessary.
How Declaring Bankruptcy Can Impact Your Nevada Injury Case
When you file for bankruptcy, all of your assets become part of the estate. For example, your checking account, any money you are owed in commissions, your home, cars, and your personal injury claim all become part of the estate. The court has the ability to decide what happens to everything inside of your estate, so once you file, you do not have the freedom to make choices like selling your car — not without prior approval of the trustee (court).
Bottom Line: You do not control your money, property, or other assets once you have filed for bankruptcy. While they are still yours, the court gets to decide what happens to them.
#1 – When you file for bankruptcy, your personal injury claim becomes part of the estate, and the trustee is the one who selects what lawyer will represent you. The only way to be certain that you can keep your same lawyer is to file after your injury case is settled.
#2 – Your creditors will benefit from any money you receive from your personal injury case. Whether you settle or go to court, whatever you are paid will become the property of the estate and can be used to pay off creditors. The work you put into going to trial or preparing for the case could end up benefitting your credit card company.
#3 – You must disclose your personal injury case when filing for bankruptcy. Hiding it is illegal.
Filing for Bankruptcy Creates Complications
Declaring bankruptcy in a Nevada injury case creates all sorts of complications. Since your claim moves from you to the estate, you become almost like a bystander or inactive participant. The trustee is the one who gets to hire the attorney, and the trustee has the only say over how the case is to be handled. It is a strange concept that can become fairly uncomfortable for all involved. What you need to be aware of is that the trustee’s duty is to your creditors and not to you. The personal injury lawyer you hired initially has a duty to you. The difference is an important one when it comes to watching out for your best interests. With that in mind, you should carefully consider if and when you want to file for bankruptcy if you have a pending injury case.
Bankruptcy can be complicated. Do you know anyone who has filed for it while in the middle of a lawsuit? What happened? Share your story here!