Is My Spouse Entitled to My Personal Injury Settlement
Personal injury awards can be a great source of financial relief after suffering an injury. However, it is important to consider whether or not your spouse is entitled to a portion of the award. The answer depends on several factors, such as whether the marriage was legally recognized in the state where you live and if there are any prenuptial agreements or other marital contracts in place.
In addition, the courts will need to determine which, if any, part of your personal injury claim is considered marital property and which will not be counted toward a spouse’s share.
In some cases, the courts might divide the injury settlement into two separate parts: one for the injured party and one for the spouse. This will depend on the type and severity of your injury and could be heavily influenced by factors such as whether you were able to continue to work, future lost wages, community property during your marriage, and more.
With so much confusion, it is vital to get help from a Blairsville personal injury lawyer. A Blairsville attorney will be able to provide you with more information about your rights when it comes to personal injury settlements and marital property. They can also advise you on the best course of action to ensure you get the most from your settlement.
Settlement Awards for Personal Injury
First and foremost, it is important to understand the types of damages that are awarded in personal injury cases. These damages can be divided into two categories: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages in settlement awards for personal injury are designed to compensate the victim for the losses incurred due to their injury. This could include things such as:
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for lost wages or earning capacity
- Compensation for medical expenses
Punitive damages, on the other hand, are meant to punish the wrongdoer and can include punitive fines or jail time.
Knowing which type of damages your spouse will be entitled to, it is important to understand what is considered marital property and which is not. Generally, any assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property and can be divided if a divorce is in process. This means that if your personal injury settlement is from an accident that occurred during the marriage, you and your spouse may have entitlement to it.
However, if the injury occurred before marriage or if the money was awarded for pain and suffering or loss of consortium. In these cases, your spouse is not likely to be entitled to a portion of the personal injury settlement as these are not subject to division among the spouses.
Marital vs. Separate Property
In Georgia, most courts will determine which part of the award is considered marital property (meaning it can be divided) and which will be considered separate property (meaning you can keep all of it).
In general, marital property is anything that might be compensation for your injury, such as lost wages or medical expenses. That is because community funds between you and your spouse more than likely paid for these expenses. For instance, if you were out of work because of the injury and your spouse was employed and paying for medical bills, those costs would be considered marital property.
On the other hand, punitive damages are not considered marital property and will remain separate. This is because they are meant to punish the wrongdoer rather than compensate the victim.
Need Help With Personal Injury Settlement?
It is important to remember that each case is different, so it is vital to get help from an experienced Blairsville personal injury attorney if you are involved in a personal injury case. At The Law Office of Daniel R. Duello, we understand how confusing and challenging this process can be, which is why we are here to help.
We can provide you with more information about your rights when it comes to personal injury settlements involving your marital relationships. We will also discuss the best course of action to ensure you get the most from your settlement.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us for a consultation. We look forward to providing you the help and guidance you need during this difficult time.