Flora, IL asked in Personal Injury for Indiana

Q: I am trying to find out if there was some type of violation that occurred involving a personal injury statement.

The father of my children, who lives in KY, was in a car accident and received an 80K settlement. He has owed back child support for about 10 years and from everything I read child support should have intercepted the settlement. So, something got out of order. I know that this was settled outside of court, so I don't know if that makes a difference. Is it possible that the settlement came in the Attorney's name which would avoid interception? If so, is that a violation of some sort?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: If the claim was settled before a lawsuit was filed, child support would've had no way of knowing about the claim. The attorney who handled the claim would have had no way of knowing that a child support lien existed unless his client told him or the attorney was notified by child support. Again, if the claim was settled before the case was filed in court, child support would not have had any opportunity to advise the attorney that the child support lien existed. Some insurance companies write separate checks to the attorney and to the claimant but the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled by the insurance company writing one check that is payable to the claimant and to the law firm.

If the children's father was aware of the child support lien, you should advise child support of the settlement. You did say that the father lives in Kentucky but you posted this under Indiana law so I assume that the accident happened in Indiana. If suit had been filed, child support would have learned of it and a lien would have issued from the office of the Atty. Gen. of whatever state the accident happened in to the attorney handling the case. That would have prevented the attorney from making any distribution of the funds without first consulting with the Atty. Gen.'s office. As you know, that did not happen in your case.

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