When you are in an accident due to the fault of another, you want to be compensated for any injuries that you incur. Whether those injuries are mental or physical in nature, or damage to your property, you deserve to be compensated. It is equally true that when you are in an accident, you do not expect to have to share your earnings with anyone else unless you choose to, considering that no one else sustained the same injuries that you sustained or endured the same trauma that you endured. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A divorce may put your personal injury award in jeopardy.
If you were married when your personal injury occurred, you may have to share your personal injury award proceeds with your spouse when you are in the midst of a divorce, depending on your case. Because of this, if you or a loved one have been injured and is expecting to be compensated for your injuries, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Spokane personal injury attorney so that we can help you strategize about the best possible outcomes for your case.
Personal Injury Awards and Divorce
Washington is a community property state. This means that any property that is acquired before marriage is considered separate property and not considered in any community property calculations. Some types of property that are not considered to be community property are inheritances or a gifts. In the case of personal injury settlements or awards, these delineations become a bit trickier.
If the personal injury award was given for a victim's pain and suffering, then the award is considered to be separate property and will not have to divided between divorcing spouses. However, if the award or settlement was received because of physical damage to property or for lost wages, then this compensation can be considered community property and will be divided between divorcing spouses. This is because, generally, when property is divided in a divorce, vehicles and income are classified as marital or community property. Seeking legal advice and representation is invaluable if you have or will receive a personal injury award but you are in the midst of a divorce. There may be ways in which you may not have to divide your personal injury award between you and your divorcing spouse.
Need Legal Advice?
Personal injuries are never easy to deal with. It is even more difficult when you have sustained these injuries while having to go through a divorce. The good thing is, you do not have to go through this alone, and there may be ways to protect your personal injury award from your divorce settlement. Therefore, if you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligent or intentional acts of another, contact an experienced personal injury to help you with your case. Contact the West Law Office online or call at 509-993-0748 so that we can help you with your case today.
(image courtesy of Jimi Filipovski)