Collecting Money After A Personal Injury Suit
The goals of most personal injury cases are rather simple: to be properly compensated for any out-of-pocket expenses caused by the injury and to hold the responsible party accountable. Let’s say you’ve won a lawsuit and were awarded financial compensation. How do you collect the jury award? In this article, we’ll tell you how.
Pay Up or Else
A judgement or jury award is, in fact, a court order. Essentially, that means that the person or organization that owes you money must pay up or face further legal consequences. That threat of further legal action is usually enough of a push to get defendants to pay what they owe. Unfortunately, there will always be a few who will drag their feet. When this happens, you can march right back to the court and file a request for post-judgement discovery that will force the defendant to reveal their financials – including credit reports, bank account balances, 401k and pension reports, etc. The court may even rule that the defendant’s wages be garnished or property seized and/or sold until all of the debts and associated fines are satisfied.
How Long does Defendant Have to Pay
Here in Arizona, judgements remain effective for five (5) years from the moment they are entered into the Clerk of Court’s office. If you have not received your award and the five-year limit is approaching, you can file a renewal of the judgement, which will prevent the defendant from being released of their obligation.
The Bankruptcy Option
If the defendant decides to declare bankruptcy, an automatic stay is triggered. This prevents creditors from pursuing further action against the defendant. When bankruptcy action is taken, the defendant may be protected from paying what it owed to you, but they will have to provide proof of their dire financial situation. If the defendant is caught lying about any aspect of their bankruptcy filing, they are facing fines of up to $500,000 and five (5) years in prison.
The Oswalt Law Group Can Help You Get What’s Owed You
If you’ve been involved in a personal injury lawsuit or are considering filing one, we strongly encourage you to contact the Oswalt Law Group for a free consultation at (602) 225-2222.