Collecting your award after a successful personal injury claim

Frank S. Clowney III

Winning your case in a personal injury lawsuit is wonderful. You will feel vindicated that the California court recognized how a person or company harmed you. However, winning is just the beginning of obtaining compensation for your suffering. Now, you must collect your financial damages from the at-fault party.

In most cases, those who lose an injury claim make every effort to pay the victim. Unfortunately, there are some cases where the defendant either refuses to pay or claims that they cannot pay. When this happens, it is wise to speak with a personal injury attorney about collecting your payment. Some of the collection methods your lawyer may recommend include:

  • Conducting post-judgment requests to identify the debtor’s assets
  • Asking law enforcement to seize the debtor’s assets
  • Garnishing the debtor’s bank account
  • Garnishing a portion of the debtor’s wages

You should also know that if the person or business files for bankruptcy, you could have even more difficulty collecting your judgment. However, if the time limit for collecting (typically ten years) expires, you can have the court renew your right to collect. This means that even if the defendant cannot pay at first, you can continue pursuing your compensation.

As you might expect, legal guidance is vital when pursuing any of the collection methods listed above. In fact, in most cases, it is illegal to attempt these collection methods on your own.

Keep in mind that the law is on your side when negligence results in a personal injury. Instead of giving up on your compensation, continue using the law to exercise your rights.