Can a divorce affect a personal injury settlement? Having a trusted personal injury lawyer can help you understand if your personal injury claims would be included on the assets that would be divided once the divorce is completed.
Here are a few questions that can help you understand the possible effect of divorce on your personal injury case.
Can Divorce Affect a Personal Injury Settlement?
Can You Consider Personal Injury Settlements as Community Property?
This is a very tricky question because there are instances when personal injury settlements can be considered community property. Personal injury settlements are usually divided into different types of benefits so there are certain benefits that are included or excluded from community property.
Damages for Personal Injury
Any compensation given due to personal injury can be considered separate property. Your body is considered separate property, so if you received any compensation for injuries, past and future pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more, they would not be included in the divorce.
However, there are instances where these compensations would be considered community property.
If you agree to a settlement with the other party during an accident, the compensation might be considered community property if you fail to specifically allocate the amounts for the type of injury that you sustained. If the compensation is just considered as monetary compensation without any documentation, it would be considered community property.
Damages to Community Properties
Community properties are considered marital properties, so if you are asking for a personal injury settlement for a car accident, there are some parts of the compensation that would be considered divided between you and your spouse.
If you are asking for compensation for loss of income, it would be considered community property. If you are reimbursed with the medical expenses that you spent and it came from community property, the money will also be considered community property.
What Happens if You Get Divorced While There is a Personal Injury Case Pending?
It would depend on certain factors. You should know that your ex-spouse would still have a claim on your personal injury settlement, especially if they were impacted by the injury that you sustained. If the money or property used when you were injured came from community properties, then your ex-spouse would still have a claim on the personal injury settlement.
Is There Any Way to Prevent My Ex-Spouse From Getting My Settlement?
No. Your ex-spouse will always have a claim on your personal injury settlement because there are a lot of compensations that fall under community properties, which means that they should be divided equally.
However, you can always find a way to make sure that you would get most of the benefits. You just need a good lawyer to help you handle the case and they will make sure that most of the compensation will be given to you.
What Would Happen if I Filed for a Personal Injury Claim After Divorce, but It Was Incurred During the Marriage?
This is a bit complicated because the law would always look at the possibility of your ex-spouse being impacted by the injury that you sustained during your marriage.
Even if you only filed a claim after the divorce, your ex-spouse might still have a claim on the loss of income. This is also true if you suffered financial problems when you were injured. Your ex-spouse can use this as an excuse to get a part of your settlement.
You have to remember that personal injury settlements and divorce are both complicated. If you have to deal with them at the same time, you need a professional lawyer to handle the case. Getting the right amount of compensation for a personal injury claim is already hard, so you can already expect a lot of problems if you have to consider divorce in the equation.
At the end of the day, it would depend on the knowledge and experience of your lawyer to make sure that you can get the most compensation.
Anna T. working at Wilshire Law Firm, a nationally-recognized, AV-Preeminent Rated Personal Injury,
Employment, and Class Action law firm. Anna has established herself as a prominent author in personal
injury matters. She lives with her husband and two sons in Los Angeles. www.wilshirelawfirm.com