Can I file for bankruptcy in Florida if I have a pending personal injury lawsuit?

When people have personal injury lawsuits they tend to take quite some time before they actually receive any money.  During that time period where the personal injury lawsuit is pending a person may consider filing for bankruptcy.  A question I receive from potential clients is whether or not they can file for bankruptcy while they have a pending personal injury lawsuit.  The answer is YES a person can file a bankruptcy while they have a pending personal injury lawsuit, but the more important question to ask is WHETHER they should file for bankruptcy with a pending personal injury lawsuit.

In the world of bankruptcy a personal injury lawsuit is considered an asset and in some cases it is a very lucrative asset.  A debtor, when filing for bankruptcy, must exempt the assets they want to keep and under Florida law there is NO exemption for a personal injury lawsuit.  A debtor may use the wildcard exemption or the $1,000 personal property exemption on the lawsuit but likely the debtor may not be able to cover much of the personal injury claim.  SO what happens if you have a lucrative personal injury claim and you file for bankruptcy?  In most cases you will transfer your rights in the lawsuit to the bankruptcy trustee and upon receiving any monies from the lawsuit, the monies will be used to pay off your debt.

If you have a pending personal injury lawsuit and are thinking of filing for bankruptcy then I suggest you meet with a qualified bankruptcy lawyer to determine how bankruptcy would affect your claim.  If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Shmucher Law, PL then call 305.741.5553 or 954.309.5559.  We offer consultations in any of our office locations including Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Plantation, and Sunrise Florida.

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