If you are certain you are entitled to damages because somebody’s negligence brought you to harm, you may find yourself very disappointed if none of the attorneys you talk to are willing to take your case. It’s important that you understand that filing a lawsuit isn’t always going to do you any good, even if you are entitled to compensation from the individual you want to sue by any rational measure.
In order to collect on a judgment, you have to be suing somebody with the financial capability to pay that judgment. Here are some situations where you may find an attorney telling you what you don’t want to hear and some information to help you understand why.
The Person Is Broke
In some cases, a person may not have any substantial amount of money in the bank or any assets that can be used to pay off the judgment, but they will have a decent job. In such cases, the court may order that their wages are garnished to pay the judgment that they owe you.
If the person happens to have a very low income job, however, there is a chance that they will be exempt from wage garnishment. Combine this with the fact that such an individual is unlikely to have any money in the bank, is most likely a renter and not a homeowner and probably doesn’t have any assets to speak of and you have a situation where, even if you do win, the person simply has no way to pay you. Because most personal injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning they don’t get paid unless you actually get a jury award, they’re not likely to take a case against somebody in this sort of a financial situation.
You will need to talk to an attorney about such a matter, however, because some parts of this are rather counterintuitive. For example, if you’re suing someone and it turns out that they recently declared bankruptcy, which may lead you to believe that they can’t possibly pay you back. What that actually means, however, is that they can’t use another bankruptcy to get out of the money that they owe you for the judgment. They’ll have to wait until they are eligible to file bankruptcy to do so again and, in all likelihood, you should be able to collect your judgment from them by that time.
Remember that, when an attorney tells you that it might not be worth your while to file a lawsuit, it may simply be because the person you want to sue doesn’t have a way to pay you, and not because you don’t have a valid case.
That is why it is important to talk to a lwayer before making any decisions or coming to any conclusions. Competent lawyers have the expperience behind them to make this type of recommendation.