How to Get Paid After a Car Accident

Plaintiffs in personal injury cases get paid on their claims from defendants found responsible for causing their harm. Sometimes getting the money that someone owes you after an accident is an uphill battle. To increase the odds of you receiving maximum recovery, you need an accident attorney working on your side. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, contact a local car accident lawyer to get paid after a car accident.

Available 24/7

Our specialists are here to listen and help for free, no strings attached.

877-999-9999  for a free consultation or Request a consultation online

What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?

If you get injured in a car accident, you are entitled to receive compensation for the injuries the accident caused.

Examples of some of the harm an accident victim may suffer after a car accident include:

  • Medical care (an accident victim can recover both current and future medical care costs)
  • Lost wage (an accident victim can recover for both current and future lost wages)
  • Lost earning capacity. Lost earning capacity refers to the change in how you earn after an accident. A person who can still work but cannot work in the same industry as they did before the accident is entitled to compensation for the forced change.
  • Property damage
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Pain and suffering

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, call a local personal injury lawyer to assist you. An experienced accident attorney can help you ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.

How Do I Recover Money for My Damages After a Car Accident?

Winning a personal injury lawsuit is only the beginning of receiving the money you deserve as compensation for your injuries. It is important to name all potentially liable defendants in a lawsuit. This ensures that if the cost of your injuries exceeds the insurance coverage or assets of one defendant, you can collect them from someone else.

Money to pay judgments on car accident claims comes from the following sources:

Insurance Policies

The first source of recovery for a car accident victim is the at-fault party’s liability insurance coverage. Every insurance policy has a coverage limit. A policy coverage limit is the amount of money that the insurance company will pay for any one accident.

For example, a defendant’s policy limit for an accident is $50,000. If that is the case, the at-fault party’s insurance company will not pay more than $50,000, no matter the total damages. Your lawyer can name all potentially liable parties so that you have their resources available to cover your damages and insurance claims.

Personal Assets of the Defendant

If the defendant’s insurance policy does not cover your injuries, then you can pursue their personal assets to get the money you deserve. An experienced accident attorney can help you navigate receiving the money that you need to recover fully. If you have been in a car accident and suffered injuries, call a personal injury lawyer in your area.

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay?How to get paid after car accident

If you receive a judgment for your injuries after a car accident, that is only the first step in getting the money you need to recover from an accident. In some instances, defendants cannot or will not pay a judgment. If you find yourself in a situation where you have not received the money awarded to you by a court, you have some options to help you collect your judgment.

Propose a Payment Plan

If you do not want to pursue a garnishment action, you can work with your attorney to negotiate a payment plan so that you receive the money that someone owes you. Typically, settlement judgments come in one lump sum or periodic payments.

If you must pursue payment from a defendant, it is unlikely that you will receive a lump sum payment. However, a court may create a payment plan. It will take longer to get your full settlement amount if you agree to periodic payments, but steady payments from the defendant may be a realistic way to receive your judgment.

File a Motion

If the defendant does not honor the payment plan, you can file a motion to enforce the judgment. Filing a motion to enforce does not require you to open a new case. Your car accident lawyer will likely help you file this kind of motion.

Garnishment

Depending on your state, you may have the right to pursue a garnishment if you do not receive payment on your judgment from a defendant. A garnishment is separate legal action from the underlying car accident lawsuit. Because a garnishment is a separate action, you must complete all procedural steps you did in the underlying action.

Garnishment allows a person that carries a judgment to receive a small amount of the defendant’s regular income until the judgment is satisfied. If you want to file a garnishment to collect your judgment, speak to a local personal injury lawyer.

Seize Personal Assets

Sometimes, a plaintiff must pursue the defendant’s assets to get paid for a car accident judgment. Going after a person’s assets can be legally complex, depending on the state where you live. If you need to pursue personal assets after a car accident judgment, it is wise to have an experienced collection lawyer help you.

Your car accident lawyer may also work in collections and take on your case. Your car accident lawyer may recommend a collections attorney if they do not take your case. Depending on the state, a collection action is a separate claim from the underlying car accident case.

How Do I Get the Most Money After a Car Accident?

You can put yourself in the best position possible to maximize your recovery amount.

To increase your chances of getting paid after a car accident:

Hire a Car Accident Attorney

Hire an attorney in your area immediately after the accident. A personal injury lawyer’s job is to protect your legal rights after an accident. If you hire a personal injury attorney after an accident, you can rely on the protection of the attorney.

Your attorney will speak to insurance companies, defense attorneys, debt collectors, and sometimes medical providers on your behalf so that you can focus solely on recovering from your injuries.

Get Medical Attention Immediately

Get medical help immediately after a car accident. One element that you must prove in a car accident case is causation. One way that causation is proven is by review of medical records.

Further, if you delay medical care, connecting your injuries with the accident becomes harder. You can avoid this issue by getting medical care right after the accident, even if you do not think you suffered an injury or have suffered significant bodily injury.

Stay Off Social Media

If you have been in a car accident, you must avoid social media. Insurance companies scour an accident victim’s social media accounts looking for statements made by injury victims. A court can consider as evidence anything you say on social media, including conversations in the comments. The insurance company and defense team will use it against you at trial.

Avoid Speaking to the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Coverage

Do not speak to the at-fault driver’s insurance company before speaking to an attorney. Keep in mind that the insurance company is a for-profit business that will protect its bottom line.

To protect company profits, they work hard to justify denying your claim. To deny your claim, an insurance company will try to lock you into a statement during the negotiations. Letting a personal injury lawyer speak on your behalf will help you avoid the traps of insurance companies.

Do Not Agree to Anything Without Speaking to an Attorney

Do not agree to any settlement terms offered by an insurance company before you speak to a personal injury lawyer. Sometimes accident victims do not realize how hurt they are when they settle with an insurance company. A minor condition can lead to the development of a severe injury down the line. If you settle too quickly, you will be left holding the bag for any future injuries.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Settlement Typically Take to Resolve?

Each personal injury case is unique, and there is no way to give an exact date when the insurance company or a court will settle your case.

Generally, most car accident cases follow this timeline:

  1. Your medical treatment is complete. The time it takes for your injuries to heal majorly contributes to how much time your case will take to resolve. Your injury lawyer will likely advise you to avoid settling until you reach maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is a status validated by a doctor when an accident victim has improved as much as possible.
  2. Your expert witnesses are available. If your case goes to trial, your expert witnesses may need to testify. Your expert witness will either testify by deposition or live at trial. If your experts and the other side’s experts will testify live at trial, both sides will work with the experts’ schedules. Expert witnesses are usually highly demanded professionals; therefore, they have tight schedules. It may take a while to find a time on the court’s calendar when an expert witness can testify live at trial.
  3. Negotiations may go back and forth. Although having a personal injury lawyer on your side stops an insurance company from stringing you along, there are some instances where it seems like an insurance company will settle but does not finalize the agreement. This will increase the time a car crash case takes.

What if I Cannot Afford a Lawyer?

If you have a potential car crash claim, do not worry if you cannot afford an attorney. Most car accident lawyers across the country work on a contingency fee basis.

A contingency fee agreement is a payment structure that allows a client to pay for legal services after their case resolves. This agreement is advantageous for car crash victims that think they have a case but do not pursue compensation because they fear the expense of attorney’s fees.

The terms of a contingency fee agreement must be reduced to writing and signed by the client and attorney. Like any other contract, the parties can agree to any detail and reduce their deal to writing. Two common terms of contingency fee agreements describe litigation costs and percentage for payment.

Litigation costs are expenses that arise during a lawsuit. Examples of litigation costs include filing fees, money for expert witness testimony, payment for copies, and postage costs. An attorney and their firm may agree to prepay for litigation costs. If your attorney and their firm agree to pay upfront for litigation costs, they will require you to reimburse them once the case is over. A client can choose to pay for litigation expenses as the case unfolds.

Contingency fee agreements must specify how much payment the attorney collects. The attorney and client usually agree that the attorney will receive 33 percent of the settlement amount as a contingency fee. In the case of a $90,000 settlement, the attorney will receive $30,000 plus any litigation costs. Make sure that you understand all terms of the contingency fee agreement before you sign.

Contact an Attorney Today

William Bowles
Bill Bowles, Car Accident Attorney

To get paid for a car accident, you must determine who is at fault for an accident. Sometimes it’s hard to determine fault after a car accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you build a case to maximize your compensation for your injuries.

Contact a personal injury lawyer if you want to pursue compensation after a car accident. A car accident lawyer is your teammate as you work to recover fully. Contact a personal injury lawyer today.

August 30, 2022

Recovery is personal.

We recover millions for our clients every month, but we know that every case is different and that recovery is personal.
stars
“Boohoff Law definitely stands behind integrity. Tatiana is not only a fantastic attorney in her expertise, she’s also down-to-earth – truly a people person.”
– Elissa M.
% star rating
“Really pleased with Boohoff Law! Received immediate responses when I had any questions. Treated amazingly by all staff … made this process a true breeze!”
– Caitlyn M.
5 star rating
“Everyone here is so helpful. They jumped through every hoop necessary to get me the settlement I rightfully deserved. They made me feel right at home.”
– Brandy K.

You're better off with Boohoff.