Your Legal Rights at Work

Can You Leave A Personal Injury Claim In Your Will?

by Lewis Hamilton

You may have a pending personal injury claim and be worried that you'll be injured in a high-risk activity. Like anything else that you own, it is possible to make provisions for your personal injury claim in your will. Here's how it works.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim When It Comes to Wills?

A personal injury claim when it comes to your will is a right to collect money. Depending on how far your claim has gotten, this might be the right to collect a certain amount of money or the right to collect what you can win.

Even though a personal injury claim is based on an actual injury, you can still think of it kind of like a lottery ticket for a future drawing. You can give someone that lottery ticket and tell them they can have whatever it wins. This might be nothing, the jackpot, or something in between.

What If You Owe a Medical Debt?

If you have a personal injury claim, there's a good chance that you still have medical bills that you never paid. Part of that personal injury claim is supposed to pay off those medical bills. You can't choose to not pay those bills no matter what happens.

When someone who passes away owes money, their creditors have a right to get paid back from their estate. The creditors get paid before anyone in the will. It works the same for medical debts. So if you leave someone the proceeds of your personal injury claim, they get what's left after your medical bills are paid.

How Can a Personal Injury Claim Continue If You're Gone?

If you never took your personal injury claim to trial or got a settlement, you might wonder how it can continue if you're no longer there to sue. Your estate has the right to continue the lawsuit. Any money won from the suit would be paid into your estate. Your estate then pays your creditors first before paying your heirs.

There are two people who might continue your lawsuit. One is the overall executor of your estate. The other is if you designated a specific person in your will to pursue your personal injury claim. That person would then work with your personal injury attorney the same as in any other personal injury case. The only thing your will changes is what happens to the money won at the end of the case.

To learn more about how personal injury claims affect your will, talk to a local will and trust attorney today.