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 settlements, we can help. Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Client Testimonials

Jennifer T. Testimonial
Quote

I highly recommend The Tiemann 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.

S.B. Testimonial
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 excellent staff as well.  Highly recommended...

Jereme S. Testimonial
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.

Hanna Padilla Testimonial
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!

Matt H. Testimonial
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.