CAN A CREDITOR GARNISH MY PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT IN CALIFORNIA?

CAN A CREDITOR GARNISH MY PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT IN CALIFORNIA?

Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 7:17 am    

Who has access to the money you receive from a personal injury settlement? You received the money for an injury. Therefore, no one should be able to take your money. You would assume this statement is true, but it is not true in all cases. However, there are some instances in which a creditor might be permitted to garnish a personal injury settlement.

You need to take steps to protect your personal injury settlement from creditors. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys can help you take steps to protect the money you receive for an accident claim.

Hospitals, Medical Providers, and Health Insurance Companies

If you owe money to doctors or the hospital for treatment for injuries sustained in the accident, those bills must be paid from the proceeds of your settlement. Under some circumstances, a medical provider may agree to accept a lower amount to settle the medical lien.

In addition, if your health insurance provider, including Medicaid or Medicare, paid medical bills related to the accident, the provider is entitled to reimbursement of those funds from your settlement. As with the medical providers, there are some instances in which an insurance provider may agree to accept a lesser amount to satisfy is subrogation rights. Therefore, these “creditors” may receive some of your settlement funds.

Other Creditors and Personal Injury Settlements

If a creditor files a lawsuit and obtains a judgment, the court may issue an order to garnish assets. Under California laws, money received from a personal injury settlement is exempt from garnishment by general creditors. However, if you do not keep those funds separate from all other money, the creditor could gain access to the funds.

For instance, if you deposit the personal injury settlement check into your bank account, the funds become commingled with other funds. You continue to deposit funds into the account and use the account to pay bills. If the creditor discovers the account, the court could issue an order granting the creditor permission to garnish the account.

Therefore, before cashing a check for a personal injury settlement, talk to your Sacramento personal injury attorney about ways that you can protect that money from creditors.

Protect Your Injury Settlement Proceeds From Garnishment

One way you can protect your personal injury settlement is to open a new bank account for your settlement money. However, you need to keep the settlement funds separate from any other funds you may have now or may receive in the future. Do not deposit any other funds in that account from any other sources.

If you have an existing judgment against you, you should tell your attorney immediately. Your attorney can help you take additional steps to protect your settlement funds from a creditor. Even though personal injury settlements are normally not subject to garnishment, that could change if you are not careful. If you even think garnishment or collection actions could be an issue, tell your attorney.

Call a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney for More Information

If you have questions about garnishments and personal injury settlement, we can help. Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Client Testimonials

Elena Basquez
Quote

The Tiemann law Firm has been very good to me ever since I walked in the door. James and Emily have been very responsive and professional and make me feel comfortable when I start to freak out a bit. Accidents can be pretty stressful and I feel like they’ve gone above and beyond. I’m happy that keep me up-to-date on how my case is going. I appreciate that they make me feel like a priority and that they take my case serious. I have already recommend them to a few friends and family members. God forbid I get into another accident, but if I do, I know exactly where to come for help.

Elizabeth Ochoa
Quote

I chose Tiemann Law Firm to help me after a car accident I was involved in. Throughout the entire process, Moe made sure to keep me updated, he always responded quickly whenever  I had questions about anything. My case won thanks to this law firm and their dedication. My experience with Tiemann Law Firm was amazing! 10/10 recommended.

Beca Lopez
Quote

Such wonderful experience with Tiemann Law firm. The employees are great, respectful, and kept in contact with me throughout the entire process. I would definitely recommend this firm. Thank you so much for your services!

Tajii Black
Quote

Don’t listen to the bad reviews! My experience with this law firm is unmatched , I always recommend to colleagues and friends and they have not been disappointed either. Great quality people who care about the outcome not just the bottom line

Dawniel Ewing
Quote

I have nothing but great things to say about this firm. They have been extremely helpful and professional when dealing with my case. Anytime I needed anything or wanted updated they responded immediately. They made me feel like they cared. Highly recommend them!

Amy J
Quote

Tiemann Law Firm is a great law firm. The best part is we won and I received a bigger settlement than I thought was possible! They keep in touch and are friendly and easy to talk to. If you want the best settlement for your case,   CALL THESE GUYS!!!

Michael T.
Quote

I sat down and met with Jelena Tiemann about my vehicle accident.I presented all of my documentation to her in which she gave me her assessment.Although the Tiemann Law Firm wont be representing me because my settlement offer was pretty good she was very clear,forward and professional about what she felt could and couldn't be done.I recommend this law firm to anyone who needs a helping hand at fighting a case where you don't have to worry about the outcome not going in your favor. Please don't review this business if you received a freebie for writing this review, or if you're connected in any way to the owner or employees.

Herb T.
Quote

The Tiemanns were referred to me by a friend and I am exceptionally happy with the service I received. I had never been in an accident before. I had no idea what to do. Jelena verbally explained how everything would work to me, and she and Peter handled everything. I didn't have to lift a finger once. They went above and beyond for me and I am extremely grateful. I pray I won't ever need this type of assistance again, but I will definitely be referring them to friends and family.

Jennifer T.
Quote

I highly recommend The Tiemannn Law Firm! I had never before been in a situation where I sustained injury and had to seek legal representation. I was nervous, traumatized, and had no idea what to expect. Jelena, Peter, and their staff walked me through each step of the process. They explained everything in detail. They patiently answered all my questions, responded quickly to every email, text message, phone call, etc. I felt totally prepared for each new phase of the legal process. Furthermore, they were fearless in their defense of me. In certain situations, when I felt attacked or scared my attorney protected me like I was family. Their diligence, honesty, integrity, and compassion provided a true sense of healing and closure for my family and I. The Tiemann Law Firm accomplished more for me than I ever thought possible and I am forever grateful.

Hanna Padilla
Quote

From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

S.B.
Quote

Here's the thing... Nobody really thinks much about lawyers until they need one.  Well, we needed one!  The Tieman Law Firm came through for us in a big way. They were professional, courteous, thorough, and had an excellent staff as well.  Highly recommended...

Star Fire
Quote

It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Jereme S.
Quote

No-one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but if you do. I prefer Tiemann Law. They helped a family member who was injured on the job, and the company did not want to compensate him even though, the injury occurred on the job on company time. Jelena was always professional in explaining the lengthy process of fighting a large corporation. 2 years later he finally is receiving the deserved compensation.

Maye Ly
Quote

I just saw my lawyer Jelena Tiemann on a t.v ad, which reminded me how much she helped when I was in a desperate situation. I just love her! That is why I feel a need to tell everyone. I had a situation that happened & didn’t know what to do, our where to go. I didn’t even know if she could help me or if any lawyer could. All I wanted was it to go away & was afraid most lawyers wanted to drag it out & possibly go to court. For one she was very professional but was very personable (maybe b.c she’s a lady). She didn’t make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious that I did something wrong or was the cause of the situation. She immediately said we should try our best before going to court. Let me handle some paperwork, if at the last we do go to court we have documents. She gave me all the details, pros and cons but reassured me she deals with these cases all the time. She came through and made it as painless as possible. I now have my life back.

Matt H.
Quote

I was in a car accident a while back where I was injured and had to miss work for an extended period of time.  After nearly a year of fighting with the insurance company with no results and no progress, I met with Jelena Tiemann.  I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and supportive advocate.  We quickly reached a settlement and I finally was able to move from the stress and burden of feuding with my insurance.  I highly recommending meeting with Jelena if you're in need of a lawyer.

Jennifer Birdseye
Quote

Tiemann Law Firm helped us with an injury case for my nephew. They were very knowledgeable and we are very happy with the service they provided. The entire staff is topnotch!

Lendzey Garcia
Quote

I was in a very bad/ major car accident I originally had an attorney who wasn’t trying to help me out much or take any of my calls so I called Tiemann and told them my situation. They made it an AWESOME and Smooth transition over to them and took on both cases I had. I just settled on my big case and am beyond great full. For them and their team! I highly recommend them. To add on to this a little On how much they will work with you, I moved to Montana in the middle of all Of this and it was not an issue!