Carrasco Family Law Blog

« Back to Home

Where's That Money? Collecting Your Personal Injury Award

Posted on

If there can be anything positive about being injured in a car wreck, it might be getting the monetary help you need. There are two ways to get paid for things like car wrecks. You may be offered a settlement from the insurance company or you might prevail in court. Read on to learn more about when and how you can expect to be paid what you are owed.

Is there any money available? When your first spoke to your personal injury attorney, you likely gave a summary of your accident and your medical expenses. That, along with the at-fault driver's insurance policy information should have been enough for your attorney to agree to represent you. If the other guy is uninsured, you own insurance is only going to pay for so much of the damages.

How will the other party pay you?

That means that the other guy must have other means to pay in the event you win your lawsuit. Often, that might be through a bank account or property holdings. In that case, the judge will freeze the assets of the defendant in the case to protect the potential judgment funds. Liens can be placed on real estate holdings as well.

Is the driver's pay garnished?

If the defendant has little to no property or holdings don't be discouraged. If they are working then a wage garnishment could be placed on their paychecks. Each time the defendant get paid, you get paid a certain amount before they get the remainder. There are maximum amounts that protect a portion of the debtor's pay, however.

What if the driver still can't pay?

If your attorney is experiencing trouble locating funds from the driver, there's a hearing for that. Under oath, the at-fault driver will be questioned about assets. This hearing is sometimes known as the judgment debtor's examination and the judge has the power to order the defendant's assets be turned over to you immediately.

What happens next with the insurance check?

Whether you went to court or you were offered and accepted a settlement offer from the insurance company, there is typically a small waiting period before a check will be issued to you. While the exact amount of time varies, insurance companies generally respect the agreement or ruling and issue a check within 15-30 days. In some cases, punitive late fees could be added for failure to comply with the award distribution.

To learn more about where the money to pay you your money damages comes from, speak with resources such as Kilgore Smith LLC as soon as possible.