People of all walks of life may find themselves suffering from an injury that is someone else's responsibility. Whether you are a businessperson, teacher, farmer, union laborer, artist, or any number of other occupations, you may suffer an injury just about anywhere, at any time.
When you have been injured by someone else's negligence, the law has a clearly defined process through which you may pursue justice. If a court rules in your favor, you may recover a broad range of remedies. Your financial recovery may include compensation for your medical expenses and your lost wages while recovering from the injury. They may also include compensation for losses more difficult to quantify, such as lost wages in the future from an ongoing disability, or compensation for your pain and suffering.
Each case is different, and deserves its own, individualized approach. However the court sees fit to address your losses, the verdict is not the end of your battle, and wise legal counsel will help you plan for one of the trickiest components of any personal injury case - collecting your award.
What happens after a judge makes an award?
Perhaps you've seen movies or television shows where a judge awards an individual thousands or even millions of dollars after a tense trial. What those representations rarely mention, if ever, is that the winner of the case does not receive a check for the full amount as they are leaving the courthouse.
In a best-case scenario, the party who owes a settlement or judgment will pay the damages quickly. In general, it is in the best interests of these parties to do so, because failing to pay a judgment can lead to them owing more and having to deal with collections agencies. Most often, defendants in lawsuits are insured, and insurance companies will pay the proceeds of the settlement or judgment.
If insurance does not cover the full award, you may need to seek permission of the court to grant you a garnishment of the losing party's income if they refuse to pay your settlement, or (more often) refuse to pay all of it.
If your judgment is against a company rather than an individual, you may be able to seize assets the company owns to satisfy the settlement.
In any collections effort, it is important that you do not violate laws or another party's rights in your efforts to obtain that they owe you. It is always wise to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you walk through the process to its completion.
A strong team goes the distance
When you build your team to make a successful personal injury claim, it is vital that you choose an attorney that you know will see the process all the way through and help you pursue the remedies you deserve even if they are not easily obtained.
With proper legal guidance, you can rest assured that your rights will remain protected while a court hears your claim fairly.