Collecting Court Judgments in a West Virginia Personal Injury Case
Miley Legal Group
After suffering injuries in a car accident, you filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation. As a result, a jury has awarded you a judgment against the defendant. So your ordeal is over – right?
Unfortunately, you may just be beginning a lengthy process of collecting your judgment. While some defendants or their insurance companies quickly pay the necessary funds in order to avoid more public exposure and time spent on the case, others aren’t so cooperative. Some individuals or companies claim to be penniless, while others are simply stubborn.
What can you do?
There are some steps you and your Clarksburg personal injury lawyer can take to collect the money that the court has awarded to you. You can garnish the wages of a person or the bank account of a company. This means that the court will automatically take funds out of the paychecks or accounts of the defendants and send the money directly to you.
If you feel that the defendant is being untruthful about their financial status or hiding assets, your Clarksburg personal injury lawyer can conduct what is called post-judgment discovery. This involves the defendant submitting documents and responding to questions related to their finances (much like the pretrial discovery process).
If the defendant is a business, you might be able to seize some of its assets, such as equipment, vehicles, or money in the cash register. Usually, a sheriff or other law enforcement official carries out this seizure process.
How long do you have to collect?
Under the law, you have 10 years to collect on a judgment, though that period can be renewed if the judge allows. You will probably have to retain your Clarksburg personal injury lawyer until the time when you have collected the entire judgment amount. This highlights the importance of choosing an attorney with whom you feel comfortable throughout the duration of the process.
Collecting your compensation is just one aspect of the West Virginia personal injury trial process. Learn more by visiting our article library.
Contacting a Clarksburg Personal Injury Lawyer
Unfortunately, car accidents are a regular occurrence on West Virginia roadways such as I-79, I-77, Route 50, Route 33, and I-68. In fact, our state averages over 40,000 car crashes, over 400 deaths, and over 11,000 serious injuries each year. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a West Virginia car accident, order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, The 7 Biggest Mistakes that Can Wreck Your West Virginia Car Accident Claim then contact a Clarksburg personal injury lawyer at The Miley Legal Group for a FREE consultation – 304- 326-1800.