Once you receive your settlement from a personal injury lawsuit, your goal will be to use that money to compensate you for the injuries that you sustained, and hopefully return to the life that you had before the injury. Unfortunately, this may not be possible, since there always seems to be people out there that want to take that settlement from you once you get it. Be aware of these three types of people that want their share.
Health Insurance Providers
Since a personal injury case can take time to settle, your insurance provider understands this and helps by paying for the bills until your court case is settled. Once you receive your settlement money, they are going to want to get back the money that is owed to them.
With medical bills being such a large part of the settlement, you'll want to make sure that your insurance provider is not taking more than what they are owed. Be sure to go through your medical bills and make sure that any that are not related to the accident are not included in the amount that you owe them. For instance, you do not want the mistake of a doctor visit related to an annual check up being billed to your settlement claim.
Do you think that it's possible that you will be getting divorced? Know that your spouse may want part of that settlement claim. State laws may define that settlement claim as marital property rather than personal property. This means that the money will be divided during divorce proceedings based on state laws about how property is divided.
You can prevent this from happening if you live in a state with common-law property. You need to deposit money related to the settlement into a personal bank account rather than a joint bank account, which keeps the settlement in your name. If you do not combine the settlement money with other assets, you won't need to divide it later during a divorce.
A personal injury can leave somebody with financial troubles, especially if they're out of work and having difficulty paying the bills. Creditors are going to come after you to get back money that you owe them, and you might not be able to keep them away for very long. Be familiar with your state laws and if filing for bankruptcy will let you keep your settlement money.
Work with your lawyer to help deal with any of these people that want a part of your settlement.