Options For Fighting Judgment-Proof Defendants

One of the biggest factors that sometimes deters folks from hiring a personal injury attorney is the belief that a defendant is essentially judgment-proof. In the world of personal injury attorney services, being judgment-proof usually means that a defendant either lacks the money and assets to pay a judgment or that their cash is inaccessible through legal means. There are, however, some potential options for getting compensation from this type of defendant.

Pursue a Claim Against Someone Else

Being practical matters a lot when you're trying to get compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and other forms of damages. It's often the case that a personal injury attorney will encourage a client to simply file an insurance claim or a legal action against someone other than the most directly responsible party.

Suppose you were injured while at a water park. The business has since filed for liquidation of all their assets and for bankruptcy protection. It may be simpler to look at an option like going after one of the manufacturers of one of the systems that were involved in the incident.

In many cases, going after the little guy with no money can come off as downright unsympathetic anyhow. If an injury involving a slip and fall accident caused by a janitor's actions occurred in the lobby of a building owned by a multinational corporation, for example, a personal injury attorney isn't going after the janitor. They're going after the corporation because that's where the insurance money is.

Seek a Lien

The goal is to look for anything the defendant has that might be converted into cash. Your attorney will then ask the court to place a lien on specific items, such as any real estate or vehicles they own. They'll be encouraged to set up a payment option, but the lien makes it possible to seize and sell assets until the judgment is satisfied. Newly acquired property can also become the subject of a lien if the judgment hasn't been paid in full. You'll also have the right to demand interest.

Wage Garnishment

Just like some creditors and the government do, you can also ask the court to garnish a portion of the defendant's wages. Although this will likely be the longest route to getting paid in full, it at least gives you a way to get something from a defendant who otherwise just has no insurance and insufficient resources to pay a judgment.