Talking About Personal Injury Cases

Four Ways To Document Your Expenses Following A Personal Injury

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Ways To Document Your Expenses Following A Personal Injury

If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of others, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation should include reimbursement for any medical bills that you have had to pay as a result of the accident, but many times when it comes time to settle such a claim, people have difficulty remembering all of the expenses they have incurred. This could easily result in you not receiving reimbursement or you payment for these expenses out of your own pocket, but it could also cause the insurance company, or person who is having to pay the bills, to question the extent of your injuries. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways to document your expenses. Take Photographs/Shoot Video There is an old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Studies have shown that 65% of the population are visual learners. This means that they take in more information when they are able to see the images that are being described than if they are only able to hear the information. In addition to being able to better process the information, visuals also allow the receivers to do the following: Retain the information longer Process information faster Concentrate on the information Evoke emotions Studies have shown that 90% of all information that is transmitted to the brain is done so through visual means. Thankfully, most people have the ability to shoot clear pictures and videos through your personal mobile phone. Although, as the injured party, you may not be in a position to immediately record the scene of the accident, you can ask someone who is with you to do so. This will help to show the following: The circumstances that caused the accident The weather conditions during the accident Injuries incurred as a result of the accident Other mitigating circumstances surrounding the accident and more You may even find that, in reviewing pictures or video that was shot during or after your accident, you are even able to recall more pertaining to what happened and how it happened. If there seems to be no video or pictures taken at the scene of your accident, there may be other avenues to collect such information. Others may have video that you don’t know exist. Request this information through social media or by posting flyers around the scene of the accident. If it was a traffic accident, look around to see if there are any traffic cameras that may have recorded the event. Save Your Evidence Save anything and everything that pertains to your accident. This should include torn clothing, damaged property, and more. Make sure that you request that the hospital does not dispose of these items, especially if they have to be cut off of you in the emergency room or during your treatment. Request Your Medical Records Although your personal injury attorney will likely request a copy of your records directly from the hospital, you need to request a copy of your records as soon as your treatment is complete. Review your records for accuracy once you receive them. A simple error contained within your record omitting an injury, a required treatment, or referrals could cost you when it comes time to settle. Even something as simple as your medical record indicating that...

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Don’t Become A Drowsy Driving Statistic

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Become A Drowsy Driving Statistic

Most people are aware of the dangers of getting behind the wheel of their vehicle after they have consumed alcoholic beverages, but they are not aware of the dangers of taking the driver’s seat when they have not had enough sleep. Unfortunately, both behaviors could have very similar consequences and could put you at risk of being involved in an automotive accident. Understanding the dangers of drowsy driving is one of the first steps to keeping you, as well as the others on the road, safe from this potentially deadly behavior.  What Is Drowsy Driving? Drowsy, tired, fatigued, or sleep-deprived driving is defined as the act of operating a motor vehicle anytime you are cognitively impaired by the lack of sleep or suffering from sleep deprivation. Although it is very difficult to put an exact number on the number of drivers this affects, studies have shown that approximately 1 in 23 drivers over the age of 18 have reported that they have fallen asleep while driving during the previous month. It is estimated that drowsy driving has caused approximately 100,000 accidents, which in turn resulted in more than 40,000 injuries and over 1,500 deaths annually. It is thought that the number of fatal crashes could be much higher since this cause is often hard to identify. Research has shown that there is little difference in the driving abilities of people who have been awake for more than 17 hours and a driver with a blood alcohol level of .05%. Drowsy driving and sleep deprivation affect drivers in multiple ways. These include: Impairing the driver’s coordination Impairing their judgement Impairing the driver’s ability to remember and retain pertinent information Requiring longer reaction times Who Is At Risk Of Drowsy Driving? Anyone who does not get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel is at risk of drowsy driving, but it often affects certain groups more than others. These include: Shift workers (especially those who work overnight or who work extended shifts) Commercial drivers who work extended hours People who suffer from various sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or narcolepsy Drivers that take certain types of medications that can cause them to be drowsy How Do You Avoid Drowsy Driving? One of the best ways to avoid drowsy driving is to ensure that you get enough sleep prior to getting on the road. The average adult requires 7.5 – 9 hours of quality sleep in order to be fully rested. If you find yourself waking up just as tired as you were when you went to bed or feeling sluggish throughout the day, there is a good chance that you are not getting quality restful sleep. Even cutting your sleep schedule by one hour can affect your reaction times as well as your thinking ability. Pull over when you feel yourself showing signs of being drowsy. These include: Yawning Frequent blinking or watery eyes Daydreaming or not remembering portions of your trip Drifting from lane to lane Encountering the rumble strip on the roadside or in the center of the road When you find yourself experiencing these things, pull over, take a break, and if you are able to, change drivers. Try to plan long trips during times that you are the most awake, and make a point to...

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The Difference Between Serum And Whole Blood In DUI Blood Testing

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Difference Between Serum And Whole Blood In DUI Blood Testing

In addition to breath testing, law enforcement officials may also use blood samples in order to measure blood alcohol content (BAC). Blood samples obtained during DUI investigations are generally analyzed in one of two ways — as a whole blood sample or serum sample. The following explains the differences between the two and how both testing methods could affect your DUI case. How Blood Samples Are Used in DUI Cases For law enforcement officials, collecting a blood sample is a controlled process that requires several careful steps to be taken. For starters, the police officers at the scene must first either obtain consent or have probable cause to obtain a blood sample. The sample itself must be collected by licensed and trained medical personnel (including certified paramedics, registered nurses and trained phlebotomists) in the presence of a sworn law enforcement official. Once a sample of your blood is taken, the sample is documented and sent off to a forensic laboratory to be analyzed on behalf of law enforcement. At the laboratory, the sample is analyzed through the use of gas chromatography, where the sample is vaporized and its components separated and analyzed for alcohol content. What analysts usually look for is the concentration of alcohol in terms of grams per 100 milliliters of blood (for whole blood samples) or milligrams per deciliter (for serum blood). A person tested for BAC may be considered under the influence if the concentration of alcohol in their blood sample is equal to or exceeds 0.08 percent (or 80 milligrams per deciliter). Defining Serum and Whole Blood The majority of blood samples drawn in DUI cases are tested as whole blood samples. These samples are named such because they contain all of the things normally found in blood, including the plasma and platelets. Whole blood samples are so commonly used in legal cases that they’re often referred to as “legal blood.” Serum samples, on the other hand, are blood samples that have undergone a fractionation process to separate the whole blood sample into its component parts. The end result is a clear solution of blood plasma that doesn’t contain red or white blood cells. Since these samples are taken under hospital conditions, they’re often known as “medical blood.” One crucial difference between serum blood and whole blood is that serum blood’s higher water content can also result in a higher concentration of alcohol due to alcohol’s affinity towards water. As a result, testing a typical serum blood sample could result in a BAC that’s 15 to 20 percent higher than a BAC obtained from a whole blood sample. For this reason, serum blood results must be converted into an equivalent whole blood reading before being used as evidence. The Effects of Whole and Serum Blood on Your DUI Case The court’s decision to use whole blood or serum blood as evidence may have a sizable impact on your DUI case, especially if the results of the test show a BAC that’s at or close to 0.08 percent. A BAC of 0.08 percent produced by a serum blood sample may be closer to a BAC of 0.07 percent if converted into an equivalent whole blood result. This distinction could easily mean the difference between a DUI conviction and a dismissed case. When using serum blood,...

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Is It Legal Malpractice If Your Lawyer Socializes With The Defendant’s Attorney?

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is It Legal Malpractice If Your Lawyer Socializes With The Defendant’s Attorney?

Even though they may be standing on opposite sides of the courtroom battling with each other on behalf of their clients, it’s not unusual for attorneys to socialize outside the courtroom. Some have even been good friends or married to each other for years. One of the immediate concerns many plaintiffs have when they find out their attorneys fraternize with the “enemy” is whether or not the relationship will compromise their cases and what, if anything, they can do about it. Here’s some advice on how to handle this situation. It’s Not an Ethics Violation for Opposing Attorneys to Socialize Although it may seem like a conflict of interest for opposing attorneys to hang around outside of the courtroom, there’s nothing legally or ethically wrong with it. These attorneys typically work with each other day in and day out, so it’s natural they would form relationships over time. This can actually benefit you because your attorney will usually have a good understanding of the opposing counsel’s personality and the best way to approach him or her when negotiating a settlement. Your attorney’s relationship with other lawyers not involved in the case can help too because he or she can tap them for advice if a solution to a particular legal problem eludes him or her. Having said that, though, there are times when an attorney’s relationship with an opposing lawyer may be a problem. The biggest issue is ensuring there is no breach of the attorney-client privilege. Your and the defendant’s attorney can talk about the case during their social interactions—which could lead to a satisfactory outcome for you—as long as no privileged information is shared or the opposing attorney doesn’t gain access to confidential materials as a result. However, it would represent a legal violation if your attorney does let something slip to the defendant’s lawyer that shouldn’t have been shared or the opposing attorney gains access to privileged information that hurts your case. At that point, you would have grounds to take action against the attorney for the damage caused by the indiscretion. What to Do If Your Attorney Is Friends with the Defense Lawyer The majority of attorneys are very skilled at keeping their personal and professional lives separate, so you generally don’t have anything to worry about if your attorney and the defendant’s lawyer have a social relationship of some type. If you are concerned about it, though, it’s best to discuss the issue with your lawyer to resolve any misgivings you may have about the situation. Clearly state your objections and what, if anything, the attorney can do to alleviate your fears. Most of the time, you and your attorney will be able to work this issue out to your mutual satisfaction. The other option is to transfer your case to another attorney. As the client, you have the right to terminate your relationship with the lawyer at any time and pretty much for any reason. However, changing attorneys can hurt your case, especially if the person hasn’t done anything wrong to warrant being dismissed. In addition to causing you to spend precious time and money searching for a new attorney, changing lawyers may delay resolution of your case because the new lawyer will have to spend time getting up to speed before he...

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Strengthening Your Case: 3 Ways To Prove The Severity Of A Motorcycle Accident Claim

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Strengthening Your Case: 3 Ways To Prove The Severity Of A Motorcycle Accident Claim

Motorcycle accidents tend to be especially severe since motorcyclists have less protection than vehicle drivers. With that said, proving the severity of the accident can be difficult. If you are seeking compensation with a motorcycle accident claim, it is important that you do all that you can to strengthen your case. While a motorcycle accident attorney will recommend many different methods to prove the severity of the accident, here are 3 ways that you can get started. Don’t Repair Your Motorcycle While you might be tempted to repair your motorcycle after the accident, it’s best to wait until the case is settled. The condition of your motorcycle after the accident can be very telling of how serious the accident was and how severe your injuries are. A motorcycle accident attorney may recommend bringing in the motorcycle to court or taking additional photographs or videos for court in order to strengthen your case. You might have missed some important details of the damage when taking photographs. In addition, by not repairing your motorcycle after the accident, your attorney can get an accident reconstruction expert to inspect the bike in order to testify about the severity and the nature of the accident. With the damaged property untouched, an expert witness can provide more in-depth testimony from their inspection in order to provide the court with more details pertaining to the accident. Take Video Evidence Photographs can conceal important evidence or downplay the severity of the accident because they don’t give the viewer a 3 dimensional view of the accident. Instead of taking a photograph, you’ll be able to provide your motorcycle accident attorney with a better idea of how the accident took place and what the scene of the accident looked like by taking a video. Make sure that the video clearly shows distinct landmarks, the location of each vehicle involved in the accident and the weather. A video will not only show how the accident happened, but also the conditions in which the accident happened. These details can help your attorney defend your case against any allegations that the other parties may make. For example, other parties involved in the accident may try to shift the blame on poor weather conditions, and claim that all parties are at fault for the accident. Video evidence can prove otherwise. You want to clearly show whether there was any rain or snow and the intensity of the sun’s glare. Receive Continued Medical Treatment To prove how severe the accident truly was, it’s important to receive continued medical treatment until your conditions are deemed to have reached maximum medical improvement. This is basically when your physician has deemed that your injuries are not going to recover anymore. You need to take clear notes of the treatments you received, how you felt and how your injuries affected your quality of living. By receiving continued medical treatment, you are proving to the court that you have taken all of the steps necessary to recover to the best of your ability. Your physician will also be able to testify on how severe your injuries are and how the injuries have compromised your performance and quality of living. These details are especially important when calculating compensation for non-economic losses. Conclusion Provide as much evidence as you can to...

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Injury On A Lunch Break: 5 Scenarios That Could Affect Your Workers Comp Case

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injury On A Lunch Break: 5 Scenarios That Could Affect Your Workers Comp Case

Getting injured on the job includes a lot of factors that can impact your ability to earn workers compensation payments. While working on a daily basis, you are granted lunch breaks to relax and enjoy a meal. Unfortunately, sometimes you can get injured on these breaks and find yourself dealing with a complicated worker’s compensation case. When working with an attorney, it’s important to break down different factors of the injury, where it occurred, and if your employer is responsible. The following five factors can impact your case and change your eligibility to receive workers comp payments. Independent Lunch Break Leaving the work premises for a lunch break often eliminates any liability from your employer for injuries that you have sustained. For example, if you go a fast food restaurant and slip and fall, your employer cannot be held responsible in that situation. This has been shown in court cases, because even though it was during a work day, you chose to go to the restaurant on your own. Even though you may not have a workers comp case in a situation like that, you could have a personal injury case and may seek a lawyer for help. Lunch Break Group Orders One of the biggest exceptions to the traveling lunch break is if your company participates in group orders. If the boss or higher-up in your company assigns workers to pick up lunch for everyone, then the employer may be responsible for any injuries that occur. This includes injuries while traveling to or picking up food at the location. In these situations you are performing a service for your employer and technically they could be held responsible. An attorney can help gather evidence on the case including how the group orders were made, who received food, and how often this tradition was done. For example, if this was done every Monday at the office, then it is clearly a regular part of the job and may fall under the employer’s responsibility. Lunch Break Cut Short Another exception to going out for your lunch break is if the lunch break is cut short by your employer. For example, if you work at a hospital, you may be paged back for a medical emergency. If you are injured or hurt during this transition period, your attorney can help fight for workers compensation benefits. Getting called back on a lunch break is different than an injury while on-call. If you’re on-call, the same type of workers comp coverage may not apply. When on-call, your employer is typically not responsible for your location or actions. An attorney can help determine the specific situations and if you have a possible case. Lunch Break Meetings A lot of times your lunch break may double as a work meeting. If you are meeting with a supervisor, potential client, or another employee for work matters, then your workers compensation coverage may cover these situations. Even though you are enjoying a lunch, you are actually engaging in business and your employer may be held responsible for any injuries sustained. This includes parking lot injuries, food injuries, or slip and fall accidents.  Break Room Injuries If you decide to eat lunch on the work premises, then the employer is most likely still responsible for injuries sustained. For example,...

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Common Assertions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits: Are They Fact Or Fiction?

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Assertions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits: Are They Fact Or Fiction?

If you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you’re sure to get a lot of feedback and so-called advice from well-meaning friends and family members. However, not all of the common assertions about wrongful death lawsuits are true. Here’s a look at some common ones. You might be surprised which are fact and which are fiction. You have to file your lawsuit promptly because there’s a statute of limitations: FACT Friends who have told you to hurry up and hire a lawyer while you still can are right. Each state has its own statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits. In most states, the limit is either one, two or three years. In some states, the clock starts ticking when the wrongful death is caused. In other states, the clock starts ticking when the action that led to the wrongful death is discovered. A lawyer in your state can fill you in on your state’s specific rules, but one thing is for certain: if you’re going to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to act quickly. You can only file a wrongful death lawsuit for a family member: FACT You might be convinced that your best friend lost their life wrongfully, but if he or she was not a relative, you cannot file a lawsuit. His or her family members would have to do so. Furthermore, you cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit for just any family member. In many states, the lawsuit has to be brought to court by someone who is a designated beneficiary of the deceased. In some other statess, a wrongful death claim can only be brought to court by a designated representative of the deceased individual’s estate. Usually, only immediate family members fall into these categories, so you are more likely to be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit for a parent, child, or grandparent than a distant cousin. If you file a wrongful death lawsuit and win, you get to keep all of the damages: FICTION Usually, if you win a wrongful death lawsuit, the money becomes a trust of the deceased person’s estate. It is then distributed among the beneficiaries of that estate. In most cases, if you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you are technically doing so in the name of the deceased — so it makes sense that the damages are rewarded to the deceased, or since they have passed — their estate. A wrongful death claim is always filed against a doctor: FICTION. A lot of people have the misconception that wrongful death lawsuits and medical malpractice lawsuits are the same. Any friend who is telling you this is misinformed. While you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against a doctor or hospital if their negligent actions resulted in your loved one’s death, you can also file against others who potentially caused your loved one’s death. Many wrongful death lawsuits are filed against drunk drivers, assailants and caregivers. If you win the wrongful death lawsuit, the person responsible for the death will go to jail: FICTION. While the person responsible for the death might sometimes be jailed, it will not be because of your wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case. If you win, you will be awarded monetary damages. There may very...

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Considering A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? Who Should You Name As Defendant?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considering A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? Who Should You Name As Defendant?

If you’ve recently been injured or made ill through a medical professional’s negligence, you may already be considering your legal options — including filing a malpractice lawsuit. However, even if you have a clear set of facts pointing toward liability, affixing blame on the wrong person (or entity) can cause your case to be dismissed; and depending upon the amount of time that has elapsed since your injury, you may be prevented from refiling against the correct person. Read on to learn more about the factors you’ll want to consider when naming various doctors, nurses, and other medical staff in your malpractice lawsuit. Who can you sue for malpractice? In a professional setting (like medicine, law, or finance), malpractice is broadly defined as the breach of the professional’s duty of care — physical, legal, or fiduciary. In the medical realm, an action (or inaction) constitutes malpractice if it falls below the accepted standard of care and results in injury or death.  It can be fairly easy to determine who to sue in some cases. If your injury resulted from a nurse who ignored a notation on your chart and administered a medicine to which you’re allergic, or a surgeon who didn’t get enough sleep the previous night and nicked an artery during a routine operation, you’ll likely be able to prevail in court by naming only the person who took decisive action leading to injury as defendants.  But in other situations, liability can be less clear-cut, and you may find it difficult to pin down one (or more) responsible parties or determine how blame should be apportioned. This is especially true when the malpractice claim is based not on action, but inaction. Should you sue the nurse who was too busy talking to her coworkers to promptly respond to your requests for assistance, the doctor who should have known (based on your vital signs) that you were suffering from internal bleeding, or both? Often, the answer will depend on the facts at hand. What should you consider when deciding who to name as a defendant in your lawsuit?  Even after you’ve come up with an individual (or group) who could potentially be named in your medical malpractice lawsuit, there are some legal and logistical factors you’ll want to consider before filing. As a general rule, it’s safer to cast a wider net of potential defendants, as it both increases your odds of being able to collect any monetary judgment awarded and decreases the chance that your claim will be dismissed if it’s found that a single named defendant was not sufficiently involved in your care to generate a malpractice complaint. Your first step may be to evaluate each potential defendant’s financial solvency. Although you’ll be able to seek detailed, specific financial information from each defendant only after a lawsuit has been filed and the discovery process has commenced, you may be able to determine whether a certain doctor or nurse is essentially judgment-proof due to non-dischargeable debt, doesn’t carry malpractice insurance, or is otherwise unlikely to ever satisfy a monetary judgment levied on your behalf. If this is the case, you’ll want to ensure you add as many additional potential defendants as possible to prevent you from winning an uncollectible judgment.  You may also want to investigate whether any...

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Crystal Ball Crime Prevention: What You Need To Know About Florida’s Tangled Premises Liability Law

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Crystal Ball Crime Prevention: What You Need To Know About Florida’s Tangled Premises Liability Law

Have you been injured on someone else’s residential or commercial property in Florida, due to a crime being committed there? You may be able to sue the owner of the premises for personal injury under Florida’s premises liability law. However, when you bring the case to court, you will likely discover that the actual law essentially requires the owners of the premises to be fortune tellers, and the way each judge assesses a property owner’s psychic abilities is quite subjective. This confusion between the actual Florida statutes, the courts, and lawyers regarding the law means you need an extremely well-qualified and experienced personal injury attorney on your side. The Basics of Florida Premises Liability Law When It Comes to Crimes Crimes can happen on both commercial and residential property, usually in the form of theft, battery, and rape. If you were injured on someone else’s property due to a crime being committed there, the law in Florida does allow you to sue if a very important criteria is met. That criteria regards the property owner’s foreknowledge of the likelihood of a crime being committed there. This means you can sue the property owner if you believe the property owner had a good idea that a crime could be committed there and did not tell you. This puts the property owner in the position of needing a crystal ball regarding crime, so they can tell you personally, put up a warning sign, or take reasonable measures to prevent it. The Way the Law in Florida Determines a Property Owner’s Foreknowledge If the house or business where the crime was committed is in a high crime area, the property owner is expected to know the risk and reveal it to you. In other neighborhoods that aren’t known for crime, it becomes much murkier. Lawyers for both you and the property owner will look at things like how many crimes have been committed in the area recently, whether the property owner knew about them (or, sometimes, should have known about them), whether anyone had a grudge against the property owner, and the friendliness of the neighbors, among other things. The lawyers will put all of this information together to present their case to the judge on whether the property owner could reasonably be expected to have known there was a risk for crime on their property when you were there or not. Judges and Florida Premises Law All of the gathering of evidence that goes into a property liability case with personal injury involved is incredibly subjective. Whether the property owner is found liable is going to depend on how the judge interprets the evidence that is presented in court. The pure subjectivity of this information means many of these cases go to appeals courts, because attorneys for the side that doesn’t win believe a different judge may interpret the evidence in their client’s favor. This is a smart move, because these cases are quite often overturned on appeal due to the viewpoint of a different judge. Conclusion If it can be proven that the property owner should have known there was a high likelihood of a crime being committed on their property, you can get financial compensation for any injuries you sustained in the commission of the crime. The only exception...

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What Should You Know About Collecting A Personal Injury Judgment After A Car Wreck?

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Should You Know About Collecting A Personal Injury Judgment After A Car Wreck?

If you’ve recently won a personal injury lawsuit against someone who injured you in a car wreck, you may be relieved to finally have vindication against the person who caused your physical and emotional pain. However, in many cases your legal battle may have only just begun. Read on to learn more about the steps you’ll need to take to collect on your judgment, as well as what you can do if faced with a recalcitrant defendant. How are judgments normally executed?  The execution process for a personal injury judgment often depends upon the defendant’s insurance limits. If the defendant held a valid auto insurance policy at the time of the crash, this insurance policy will pay the costs of the judgment up to the policy limit. However, if your judgment exceeds the defendant’s insurance limits (or if the defendant didn’t have auto insurance), you’ll instead be collecting your judgment from the defendant’s personal assets. Your judgment gives you a number of powers under law, including the ability to seize certain assets or even garnish the defendant’s wages. You’ll first need to file a subpoena with the court requesting an order that the defendant provide you with information on all his or her bank accounts (including account numbers), investments, real estate holdings, and personal property. This subpoena will also request the defendant’s employment information and (if married) the employment information of the defendant’s spouse. Once the court orders the defendant to provide you with this information, the defendant will have a brief period of time during which to respond to your request. The court may then order the defendant to turn over certain assets to you to satisfy the judgment, in some cases even liquidating non-residential real estate or signing over possession of non-retirement investment accounts. If the defendant has a negative net worth (or some assets, but not enough to fully satisfy the judgment), the court may instead issue a repayment plan that involves garnishing the defendant’s wages. You’ll need only to provide the defendant’s employer with a copy of the executed court order to begin receiving regular checks or direct deposits from the defendant’s salary. What are your options if the defendant doesn’t respond to your requests?  In some cases, a defendant may simply ignore your requests for information following the judgment in your favor. While requests submitted outside the court process don’t always merit a response, when a defendant ignores lawfully-issued court orders requiring information, he or she may soon become liable for contempt of court. You’ll need to bring this failure to respond to the court’s attention by filing a motion for contempt. While it’s unlikely the defendant will spend any time in jail if determined to be in contempt of court, he or she may be required to pay a fine (payable to you) in order to remain free after defying a court order. When a defendant is non-responsive to requests but has a regular income, the court may still issue an order permitting you to have wages garnished. Attempts to evade this garnishment (like earning income under the table or calling in favors from the coworkers who handle garnishments) may be met with even stiffer contempt sanctions. One final hurdle to collection of a personal judgment may take place when the defendant declares bankruptcy....

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