If you have received or anticipate receiving a settlement for your injuries, you may be wondering if this money is considered marital property. Learn more about your rights to personal injury settlements obtained in Virginia. The answer depends on the timing of the accident and what the rest of the assets look like. Judges are legally required to consider a variety of factors, the court will determine the property according to those factors. In the case of a personal injury settlement, the amount of the award could be added to the total assets of the marriage.
Under Virginia Law § 20-107.3. the court shall classify property as martial property and determine separate property. This can be a very tricky area and the arguments should be carefully crafted in your favor. Consider consulting with an experienced attorney to determine whether your personal injury settlement is marital property.
Is a Personal Injury Settlement Marital Property?
The answer depends if the funds were kept separate from other marital assets or not. If a personal injury to one spouse results in medical expenses and lost wages, the recovery of these expenses is marital property. If a spouse is being compensated for their personal pain and suffering or other personal loss, this recovery can be treated as separate property. The court may direct payment of a percentage of the marital share of any personal injury or workers’ compensation recovery as part of marital property. Meaning that part of the personal injury case can be marital property if determined by the court.
Marital property is defined as all jointly owned property acquired from the date of marriage to the date of separation, this includes income earned after the marriage. Any property that is by inheritance or a gift that is from anyone other than your spouse is considered to be separate property.
If you have suffered a serious injury, monetary compensation can be vital to supporting yourself. This includes compensation from a personal injury settlement, workers’ compensation benefits and disability benefits. People who are limited in their ability to work can receive a larger share of the injury compensation and the marital properties. The disabled party can appeal a court’s division of property, if he or she believes the court did not properly consider his or her disability. In an ideal situation, the two parties can come to an agreement on their own.
We are here to help, we want to make sure that you know your legal rights. We believe that having an aggressive law firm on your side can make all the difference. The Richmond, VA-based personal injury lawyers at Geoff McDonald & Associates can fully investigate your case for all potential sources of recovery. To learn more about how we can help, including our No Fee Guarantee®, contact us online or call us today at (866) 369-9051
Our initial consultations are always free.