Pound Ridge, NY asked in Personal Injury and Car Accidents for New York

Q: Can you direct me to the legal act that protects personal injury settlements from garnishment by creditors in NY State?

2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In New York State, personal injury settlements are generally shielded from garnishment by creditors through a combination of federal and state laws. While there isn't a single specific legal act that offers this protection, it's derived from various legal provisions. Federal exemptions safeguard specific income sources, including personal injury settlements, while New York State's Exempt Income Protection Act (EIPA) further fortifies these protections. Additionally, structuring settlements as periodic payments or structured settlements can enhance protection, and the state's homestead exemption may safeguard the equity in your primary residence from certain creditors, albeit with county-specific limitations.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: This is something that collections, bankruptcy, and asset protection attorneys probably have deeper and more sophisticated insight into than most personal injury attorneys. There are headings for "Collections" and "Bankruptcy" here if you wanted to try reposting with the added headings. If you consult with attorneys in this area, it would probably be helpful to know the breakdown of an award. Personal injury awards can have multiple components - pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, medical expenses..., sometimes further broken down as past, present, future on complex cases. Good luck

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