One of the worst nightmares after a car accident is to lose in your case. But when all dust is settled, your lawyer has fought a good fight, and you won a favorable outcome, the game is still not over. You will have to wait for the defendant to pay.

Personal Injury Damages

Unfortunately, the defendant may not have the money needed as fast as you think. You may be forced to wait for some time to get your check.

After winning, one more burning question that will linger in your in is how long it will take you to receive your hard-fought awards. How soon you get your damages will determine whether you decided to negotiate a settlement or to litigate.

Collecting Your Payment For Damages

If you agree on a specific date within which to receive payment and the defendant fails to honor such, your lawyer can advise on collecting the money. Two ways would be:

  • To add some interest on top of the award or
  • Go back to court to demand such payment.

This can automatically push the defendant to pay the amount on time. Most cases are uncomplicated, thus demand less payouts. Others are adamant and hence may take time before you collect the payout. In most cases, you will find that the settlement may be issued relatively quicker, such as within a month or two.

Before collecting any settlement, you will have known what your case is worth. This will significantly help you to avoid collecting a lesser judgment than what you deserve. That’s why you may need to find car accident attorney near me to understand the legal process to follow.

What To Do If The Defendant Doesn’t Pay On Time

If you filed a successful personal injury claim and the time to get your compensation has elapsed, there are few steps you can take to ensure you receive your check.

Fortunately, if you were dealing with an insurance company, you can expect to get paid within a month, assuming that the defendant doesn’t file a motion or appeals.  Where there is an appeal, you cannot collect any settlement; you will have to wait for the court’s ruling. In such a case, any the court will uphold your payment. Bu you may appeal and the whole process will start up again. Your car accident lawyer can advise whether such is appropriate.

If the defendant had an insurance policy, you would not have a hard time collecting your settlement. In that case, their insurance company will only write up a check and have you sign a release. Remember that signing the form releases the defendant from any further liability due to their negligence actions.

That’s why you should not just sign a release without your lawyer’s knowledge. Such a lawyer can read all the jargons that may lead to a bad case scenario.

Releases of payments for personal injuries should only be signed if both parties and mainly the plaintiff are sure of the scope of the injury.

If the defendant was a corporate or an individual, things might be somehow tough. The court will issue a judgment that you are to receive a certain amount of money, but collecting such payment is another story. Things become complicated if the defendant had no money or assets. Here, there are few options to execute the payment. Some of the ways include:

  • Wage garnishment: According to wage garnishment laws in Alaska, you can only collect 25% of the defendant’s earnings for a week, or the amount to be garnished is lesser of the defendant’s disposable earnings for a week exceeding 30 times the minimum wage as per federal guidelines. Such garnishment continues until all debt is paid. Nevertheless, it would be unfortunate if the defendant file for bankruptcy.
  • Execution of defendant properties: The defendant properties can be seized or subjected to detention, but again, this has to be done following the Alaska judgment enforcement rules.

If the defendant seems reluctant to pay your damages, you may look for an experienced lawyer in your state who will help execute judgment and help you collect your car accident settlement or verdict.

Get Legal Help

Remember that your lawyer will not receive their pay until you have received your settlement or judgment. But, your lawyer can help push for a quicker collection of settlements depending on your situation. For instance, if you or your loved one has suffered severe injuries, the victim may require urgent money to cater for the ongoing medications. This doesn’t mean that a faster settlement will lead to a lower settlement. The critical issue is that you should consider taking the matter to an experienced car accident lawyer to help you focus on the right legal strategies to collect your settlement or damage award.

After collecting the payment, your lawyer ensures that any personal injury lien has been settled. This could include a medical or government lien, depending on how much is to be deducted from your check.


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