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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 11959
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Hi, I get conflicting answers on this question. This sounds

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Hi,

I get conflicting answers on this question. This sounds like personal injury law at first or criminal law, but after you hear where I am going with it you will understand why I asked for a bankruptcy attorney. I was assaulted 2 years ago and have permanent injuries by 2 different people. I am taking these people to court for damages. The 1st guy might say he was joking around when he jerked my neck backwards from behind on 3 different occasions. The 2nd guy might say he was joking around when he bashed me on top of the head.

Either way they are responsible, but they might be responsible under negligence or under willful tort. My interest lies in bankruptcy. Should I succeed in a civil suit against these people I want to be able to collect it without them filing bankruptcy and collecting it.

I have read that willful injury cannot be included in Chapter 7 or 13. They willfully hit me. That much is obvious. There were 3 separate occasions by each of them. However, it happened in a bar and they might claim they did not want to do damage. Does it matter? How do I protect my interests so the civil suit is not subject to bankruptcy?

The DA will likely consider a plea bargain for these people and will ask me about it. When that time comes, if it is in my interests I will consider mercy. In exchange I will want a statement of admission from them. In turn, I can use that statement in a civil suit. What does that statement need to say to protect me that a civil judgment against them is collectible regardless of them filing bankruptcy?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Q: How do I protect my interests so the civil suit is not subject to bankruptcy?
A: If you sue them for battery and win, then the judgment would not be discharged in bankruptcy because of Section 523(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code, which provides that willful or malicious injuries are not dischargeable. However, if you were to merely win a judgment for negligence instead of battery, then the judgment would be dischargeable because of the lack of intent by the defendants.

Q: What does that statement need to say to protect me that a civil judgment against them is collectible regardless of them filing bankruptcy?
A: I would want the statement to say that they purposely intended to jerk your neck and bash your head. They don't need to go so far as to admit that they intended to cause the injury. Intending to do the act which caused the injury is sufficient since they would have reasonably known that some injury was likely regardless of the extent of the injury. If they admit that, and you sue them win a judgment for battery, then that judgment should not be discharged.

Does that answer your question? Let me know if you need clarification, and please remember to rate me positively so that I receive credit for my efforts.

Thank you and good luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If they intentionally jerked my neck backwards and bashed my head (they did) is it still negligence regardless of intent to cause injury or not?

Also, would a judgement of negligence WITH a statement that they did it on purpose be enough to make the judgement non-dischargable?

Thank you for your help! I appreciate your patience. I have a lot riding on this and have to be clear.
Hi again.

Q: If they intentionally jerked my neck backwards and bashed my head (they did) is it still negligence
A: That is not negligence. That is battery.

Q: Also, would a judgement of negligence WITH a statement that they did it on purpose be enough to make the judgement non-dischargable?
A: Possibly. The statement would be evidence, but would not necessarily be conclusive proof. The judge would need to determine whether he believes that the statement is true or not. After all, the defendants could claim that the statement is false, and that they didn't understand what they were agreeing to, etc. If possible, I'd go for the judgment for battery rather than negligence. Moreover, a judgment for battery would entitle you to punitive damages. You cannot generally be awarded punitive damages for negligence.
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