The Personal Injury claims exemption protects your injury lawsuit when you file bankruptcy. When you file bankruptcy, you are required to disclose everything in which you have an ownership interest. This includes but is not limited to tangible items, such as a car or house, and intangible items, such as rights to an inheritance or to collect from a third party for injuries you sustained. This does not mean that just because you list what you own you are going to lose it in the bankruptcy.
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Exemptions
There are several statutes in Oklahoma which protect your property interests. These are called bankruptcy exemptions. Exemptions protect property from being taken by the trustee to pay your creditors. One exemption protects your interest in your right to collect from a third party for injuries you sustained. The Personal Injury Claims Exemption in Bankruptcy protects proceeds from injury lawsuits for bodily injury, death or worker’s compensation. The exemption is up to a net amount of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000). However, this does not include any part of the claim for punitive damages.
Claim It or Lose It
The important thing about the Personal Injury Claims Exemption is that you list it in your bankruptcy schedules. To claim your Personal Injury Claim as exempt you must first list the claim as an asset. Then you must claim that asset as exempt under Oklahoma law. If you satisfy these steps your bodily injury claim up to $50,000 will be safe from being taken. Failing to follow these steps could allow the Trustee to take any proceeds from a personal injury claim and use those proceeds to pay creditors.
Tulsa Oklahoma Bankruptcy Help
If you’ve been hurt and have filed a personal injury claim don’t worry. Being hurt in a personal injury case is bad enough without the fear that its going to be taken in bankruptcy. Both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy provide an exemption. That means your settlement is yours to keep regardless of bankruptcy. For more information contact one of our bankruptcy attorneys for a free and confidential consultation.