Winning Your Injury Case Isn’t The End of the Fight
Let’s assume that you are in an accident. You sue, and the jury rules in your favor, and awards you a sum of money to compensate you for your injuries. You’ve won. The check will be arriving shortly, right? Well, not so fast. In many cases, the issue of whether you can actually collect on your judgment can be a problem in your injury case.
Can the Defendant Pay that Verdict?
On top of analyzing your case to see if you can prove your case, and gather the evidence needed, your injury attorney will also analyze whether, in the event a significant verdict is entered in your favor, you will ever see the money—that is, whether the sued party can actually pay a judgment.
Sometimes, this isn’t such a concern. If you sue a large company, like Walmart or Home Depot or the local mall, or any number of large businesses, the business has the assets or the insurance to pay almost any verdict that a jury should award.
Smaller Businesses and Contractors
However, what about smaller businesses? Smaller, individually owned businesses may not have the assets or the insurance to pay a large judgment. Additionally, even if the Defendant is a large, soluble company, that doesn’t mean that company is the responsible party.
For example, assume you fall in Target—a big company with assets to satisfy any verdict. However, it turns out that the reason you fell is because of a cleaning company that contracts with Target that did not dry the floor after cleaning. That company may be smaller, and potentially, uninsured. The moral of the story is that you should never assume that the party you are suing has the assets to satisfy a judgment.
Thankfully, where a business of any size is insured, payment usually isn’t a problem. Most insurance companies can be relied upon to pay whatever verdict is rendered against them (unless there is an appeal from a judgment in which case the insurance company will often ask the court to allow them to hold off on paying, until the conclusion of the appeal).
Collecting on Car Accident Judgments
Car accidents are different from other kinds of accidents, because people can choose how much insurance they carry—and they can opt to carry none at all (the only insurance that is mandatory is the kind that pays our own medical expenses—not liability insurance, which pays damages to others who we may injure). It is not unusual for someone catastrophically injured in a car accident to find that the other driver had a very small insurance policy.
Often, where someone is uninsured or underinsured, the victim must rely on his own uninsured motorist coverage, or else pursue collection remedies against the liable driver.
Questions about your personal injury case? We can help you from the day of your accident to collecting on any verdict in your favor. Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help.