Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Can you collect on your suit?


The cardinal rule to all civil lawsuits: Don't sue unless you can collect the award. Unlike criminal law where the government can take your freedom or even your life, in civil law the only thing you can collect is property or cash, and the courts need to be able to access those tangible goods. So even if you win a million dollars in a damage liability suit with a homeless man, you will not see anything except his smiling face. People and business who are broke or can hide their assets are essentially impossible to collect from.

Good signs that you can collect your judgement from someone are a job, money in the bank, and real estate property. Wages can be garnished, so the employer pays a percentage to you before the employee. In most states, you can garnish up to a quarter of a person's wages. Government payments, pensions and disability are exempt, so the person must make money on some non-exempt way for you to collect. Most people in the united states do not have significant assets in the form of property or cash. So in most Denver motorcycle injury cases, this is where you would be receiving your payment.

Collecting from a legitimate business is usually relatively easy. If the company refuses to pay but is still collecting income, you can have the sheriff or other court agent go to the bank and physically take out the money owed. If the business is cash only, or doesn't have any real location you may be out of luck.

The next thing that can be seized by the court is property. In many Denver personal injury cases you may be able to claim some of the defendant's property. However some possessions are exempt, especially those that the defendant uses for his business. A defendant in bankruptcy is also exempt from any claims. Denver accident attorneys are therefore more leery of suing someone without extra property outside the home.

So the key factors that indicate a person will be able to pay that you should check before suing are: Personal or future income and business income. Licensed professionals may lose their license if they do not pay, and recent bankruptcies cannot file for bankruptcy again for a long time, so people in both these situations may be compelled to pay.

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