Getting Divorced? Here are Tips on Protecting Personal Injury Settlement

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Getting Divorced? Here are Tips on Protecting Personal Injury Settlement.

Upon the divorce of hitherto couples, it is required that all material things, assets and so on, are settled between the couples. And by settle, we mean shared between them both. Amongst this settlement, it is very possible that you receive some more if your claim for compensation to personal injury flies. To come out on top for the claim you made, there are many factors that are to be put into consideration, the date the accident that led to the personal injury happened, the separation date, as well as the date the divorce was finalized. Other factors include how the compensation that you got for the personal injury claim was allocated. As such, different cases will be adjudicated upon differently as all depends on the facts of each and every different case.

Therefore, there are many different ways this could eventually end, be it in your favor or against you. However, many of these possible outcomes are quite common and have happened repeatedly. So, it is quite advisable for you to get familiar with all the possible scenarios and be prepared for which seems likely to happen in your own case.

Scenario One

A wife and a mother of three got diagnosed with breast cancer when it was very late. The lateness was due to an earlier misdiagnosis by her doctor and because of it, the cancer had spread to other vital parts of her body. Of course, she has to start receiving treatment regularly which made her take time off from her work. No work, no earnings. So, she is not earning and she is not taking care of the three children and the entire burden becomes the husband. Yes, she has a husband. The husband now has to take care of his family which includes his wife while ensuring that it doesn’t affect his work seeing that he is the only current earner in the household.

The couple blames the earlier misdiagnosis by the doctor for the extreme condition of the cancer and they file a civil suit against the doctor that was responsible for the error. In the claim filed, the claimants demanded damages for the harm this has caused to the wife, and also a consortium claim on part of the husband. But as the civil suit was going on, the couple filed for divorce. The divorce will have what effect on the personal injury claim that is still going on, especially the husband?

Scenario Two

The husband was in a fatal car accident and as a result suffered a broken leg. The accident was clearly the fault of the driver of the other vehicle involved. The husband then files a personal injury claim against the other driver. And he wants damages for the damage done to himself as well as his car.

Couple of weeks after this, the couple, who have been considering divorce filed for it in the court of law. What effect will this have on the damages gotten from the personal injury claim? Will the wife still get a share of the compensation paid by the respondent since the claim was filed before the divorce?

Scenario Three

A brain damage was suffered by a child during a very common operative procedure because of a medical malpractice. The parents filed a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. They won the lawsuit and got millions of dollars in settlement.

Putting into consideration that the child is a minor, the amount was deposited into two accounts. The first would be for and only for the child’s benefit. The second account would be jointly owned by the couple. Peradventure the couple divorce, who gets what amount and/or who doesn’t?

Fact of Individual Cases

The judge is going to divide the damages or settlement gotten from any personal injury claim based on the facts of each case. And the scenarios given above are only some of the few ways in which complications might arise. To avoid these complications, there are steps that can be taken to protect your settlement even if you divorce your partner.

Steps to Take

Allocate the settlement into portions on paper. The amount of the claim to be considered ‘marital’, and the one to be considered ‘personal’. With this only the former gets divided in the event of divorce while the latter is yours ab initio.

Consult with a lawyer to direct you as to the best thing to do prior to any divorce talks or eventual proceedings. Be informed as to the legal standpoint of your own scenario in the event of a divorce and act accordingly.

Finally, keep a different bank account from that of your wife or husband. In the event of a divorce, this would save you a whole lot of stress, trouble and back-and-forths.