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Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2901
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
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i just wanted to go into my lawyers office today to look over

Customer Question

i just wanted to go into my lawyer's office today to look over my case file (P.I.). para says he is away 2 days; she does not have authority to let me see it. i asked her to get ok from higher level lawyer in the firm.   said she will call me back.   

the firm has had my PI case for over 7 yrs.   i am rarely contacted. have done 2 depositions; $450k settlement discussed, when i called again-that lawyer was gone.   have new lawyer, whom i have not met, called only briefly to tell me case is in "bankruptcy" court. postposted from April to July. he can't control calendar.   tells me not to worry, bankrupcy will be resolved and my case will go forward and be successful.    it was a slip and fall, had witnesses, therapy, surgery, and ongoing pain meds as well as talk therapy

what should i do now?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Terry L. replied 8 years ago.
IF it is in 'bankruptcy court' it sounds like the defendant has filed bankruptcy.
You would be allowed a proof of claim for your potential injury, whereby the bankruptcy case could stay open if there are assets for distribution. If the defendant filed chapter 7, the debt may be discharged, unless it was an intentional tort. There may be insurance coverage that you may be able to recover from if the defendant was insured when the injury occurred. Your lawyer can bring a motion to modify the automatic stay (debtor protection from creditors during the case) to go after the insurance only. You should request in writing a copy of all case documents and a timeline of events so you are fully informed, especially because you have had different lawyers, and haven't been able to get a straight answer.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am told there are secured creditors (ones with specific collateral) and unsecured creditors. If I am the latter and a number of people go after insurance proceeds, is there an order of priority?
Expert:  Terry L. replied 8 years ago.
The terms of the insurance policy will control as to your case, this is separate from bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy trustee is liquidating assets, or the debtor is in chapter 13, then you would be an unsecured creditor. You would get the same percentage in the bankruptcy liquidation or chapter 13 repayment as all other unsecured creditors, normally from 10% to 100% of the amount, depending on the debtors assets and income. If chapter 13, secured debts are paid 1st, then priority debts like taxes, then unsecured debts, so you might not get anything for a few years depending on the case. if the debtor is filing chapter 7, you are paid upon liquidation and approval by the court.