A Waldorf car accident lawyer can explain that if you win your case, a judge or jury may award you monetary damages. However, winning is not the same thing as receiving the funds awarded to you. In some instances, the defendant refuses to pay the judgment or cannot afford the judgment. However, there are steps that you can take to collect the judgment that you received.
Ask for the Judgment
A Waldorf car accident lawyer can explain that defendants that are financially stable may pay a judgment in order to avoid having to pay additional costs associated with judgment. Additionally, they may wish to avoid being placed in collections and adversely affecting their reputation or credit.
You can go through a process similar to the one your Waldorf car accident lawyer went through during the beginning stages of your case, including submitting interrogatories, conducting depositions, or requesting the production of documents in order to determine the sources of income or assets that the defendant has.
Garnish the Defendant
Once you become a judgment creditor, you have certain rights. Your Waldorf car accident lawyer may explain that one of those rights is the ability to have the defendant garnished. For wages, federal law limits the amount of weekly wages that you can receive to 25 percent of the debtor’s disposable wages. Alternatively, you may be able to garnish the debtor’s bank account.
Seize Business Assets
If the judgment is against a company rather than a private company, you may have the ability to have the sheriff to seize funds from the business’s cash register. Additionally, there may be other business assets that you may be able to seize and then sell in order to recover a portion of the judgment owed to you. Only law enforcement personnel or individuals permitted by the state should take part in such seizures. Additionally, there should be no disturbance of the peace that results because of such seizure.
You typically have ten years in order to collect on a judgment. In some cases, it may make more sense to wait. For example, the defendant may not have high income or assets now, but he or she may in a few years. However, you should not start attempting to collect the debt close to the deadline or you may limit the amount of time that you realistically have to collect. Additionally, your collection efforts have to cease if the debtor files bankruptcy.
Register Your Judgment
If the debtor moves to another state or if his or her property that you want to seize is located in another state, you must record your judgment as a foreign judgment in that state. You must file the foreign judgment in the county where the property is located or where the debtor lives. The county must usually honor such judgments as part of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.
Seek Legal Assistance from a Waldorf Car Accident Lawyer
If you would like more information about collecting your judgment, contact a Waldorf car accident lawyer from the The Law Office of Carroll Drake, LC by calling (301) 638-1280.