There are other, less-obvious sections in the Bankruptcy Code that can be used to exempt proceeds related to personal injury cases.
Section 522(d)(11)(E) provides an exemption for payments for the loss of future earnings, to the extent needed for the support of the debtor or the debtor’s family. If you are considering bankruptcy and have a pending personal injury case, it is a good idea to retain a bankruptcy lawyer to work with your personal injury lawyer. This is because the settlement agreement matters. The way a settlement agreement is drafted can make a big difference in how settlement funds will later be treated in a bankruptcy. This exemption can be used to protect some personal injury settlements meant to compensate the debtor for lost future wages.
Section 522(d)(11)(B) permits an exemption for wrongful death awards. This is limited to the amount of money needed for the support of the debtor or the debtor’s family.
Section 522(d)(10)(C) allows an exemption of the debtor’s right to receive a disability, illness, or unemployment benefit, with no limit on the dollar amount. This can be used to cover insurance benefits if based upon the debtor’s inability to work after an injury.