In almost any accident-related injury situation, there is usually someone or something that is at fault. It may be a car accident where one driver failed to obey a traffic device or it may be a slip-and-fall accident where a business was negligent by not maintaining a safe environment for customers. Whatever the cause, we are fortunate in this country to have the ability to pursue and then recover damages.
But, just because a court awards a judgement to someone doesn’t mean they will be able to recover. Let’s go to the beginning of the whole process.
1 – A person checks into a hotel and steps into the tub to take a shower. The tub is slippery from a spill of one of the bottles of shampoo, and the guest slips and falls, hitting their head on the hard tile and is seriously injured. The hotel is uncooperative about admitting their contributory negligence, and the victim files a lawsuit.
Before anything happens, there will be a pre-trial phase where motions will be made and a judge will decide if they have merit. These motions will usually involve evidence which may be witness testimony, photographs, or actual pieces of evidence. This information is reviewed so cases with little chance of winning do not clog up the courts.
Note: There have been thousands of incidents like the one described above, and many have failed to go forward due to lack of evidence. If you are ever injured because of someone else’s negligence, it is very important to document what happened the best you can. Take pictures, save evidence, and ask for the names and phone numbers of witnesses. It all helps to build your case.
Once the pre-trial phase is complete and a case moves forward, a trial by judge or jury will be scheduled and if a judgement in favor of the plaintiff (victim) is granted, what happens then?
A very important concept to understand is that a judgement has value to a victim if it is collectible. If the defendant has the assets to pay, there is usually not too many problems, but if they don’t it might present a delay. Some defendants may attempt to hide assets and finding them can be difficult.
Interviewing attorneys about their credentials, ability to win cases, and collect judgments is very important when making a decision to hire an attorney who will be able to represent you and fight for your rights.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has earned a sterling reputation for gathering evidence into a clear and convincing cases, and then following through with doing whatever it takes to get clients the help they need. Please call us if you have any questions about how to help if you’ve been hurt in any kind of accident. Our number is 954-356-0006.