Imagine that you are unexpectedly involved in a motor vehicle accident in St. Louis, and another motorist suffers serious injury. That injured person may try to recover for medical bills and other losses by claiming you were negligent and filing a personal injury lawsuit against you. If the court finds in favor of the injured party, you may find yourself owing a large amount of money, most of which your insurance refuses to cover. You know it is impossible for you to pay tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to the motorist and keep up on your bills, so you are likely wondering if bankruptcy may be an option.
Be aware that lawsuit judgments can result from a wide range of scenarios, such as unpaid medical bills, credit card debts, divorce settlements, or other scenarios involving personal injury. Whether bankruptcy can help often depends largely on the source of the judgment against you. For example, some judgments are never dischargeable and others are only dischargeable under certain circumstances. Some examples of such judgments include:
Never Dischargeable—Judgments for the following:
- Student loan default
- Spousal or child support
- Debts you owe the government
- Death or injury caused by DUI
Possibly Dischargeable—Judgments for the following:
- Injury that occurs due to malicious acts such as assault
- Fraud in a fiduciary position (position of trust)
- Fraud meant for financial gain
If no malicious or willful action led to your lawsuit judgment, you may likely have the judgment discharged by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy filing does not protect you against judgments under all circumstances. The best way to find out whether filing for bankruptcy in Missouri can protect you from existing or anticipated future judgments is to consult with an experienced St. Louis bankruptcy attorney. An attorney will be familiar with all of the rules regarding bankruptcy as they apply to lawsuit judgments and can advise you on the best course of action.
Lawsuit judgments are only one type of debt that can cause you to struggle financially. No matter what type of debt you are facing, the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp can help you get back on your feet. Do not hesitate to call us today at 636-947-3600.