How Do You Collect on a Civil Judgment in North Carolina?

When you sue someone, your goal is to either settle the case or get a judgment. If you’re lucky enough to settle your case, you should have your money within several months. Of course, some cases take a lot longer to settle. But, overall, more than 95% of all personal injury cases do settle. So the odds are in your favor. If you do need to go to trial, your personal injury attorney in Charlotte, NC is going to work hard to win your case.

At trial, your attorney will demand that you receive damages. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Property damage

If you sustain serious injuries in your accident, your damages may be quite high. While some cases are only worth about $10,000, many others are worth more than $100,000. Keep in mind, this will likely include a good amount in medical bills. You’ll have to pay back the medical providers before you get to keep any of the money. However, this is only possible if your judgment is paid.

Often times, you get a judgment and the defendant doesn’t pay it. If this is the case, your Charlotte injury lawyer will need to collect a civil judgment. There are a few ways to do this. Here, we’ll discuss these options. We’ll also talk about what you need to do if your judgment goes unpaid.

What Happens if You Can’t Settle Your Case?

There are times when a settlement just isn’t in the cards. If the defendant has an insurance company, there’s a much better shot at getting your case settled. Your Charlotte personal injury attorney can negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjustor. Or, even if the defendant doesn’t have insurance, your lawyer can work with their lawyer to resolve the dispute. However, if you can’t do this, then you’ll have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit.

In North Carolina, you have three (3) years to file your lawsuit. This is because of the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, your case will be dismissed and you won’t be able to go after the defendant. Thankfully, your North Carolina injury attorney knows this and won’t let that happen.

How Do You Collect a Civil Judgment in North Carolina?

If you win your case, you’ll get something called a judgment. This is a legal order that tells the defendant they need to pay you a certain amount of money. However, the judge can’t force the defendant to pay this judgment. Your attorney will have to help you do this. When you collect a civil judgment in North Carolina, you have a few options:

  • Lien against property – If the defendant owns real property, you can have that property seized and sold to pay your judgment. Keep in mind, this is a last resort. The courts will often allow the defendant to set up a payment plan with you instead of selling their home.
  • Bank levy – If you can find your defendant’s bank information, you can ask the sheriff to levy their account. Keep in mind, however, once you do this one time, the defendant will find a way to change their account.

Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in Charlotte Today

Technically, you are allowed to handle your own personal injury case. You can go down to the local county courthouse and fill out all the paperwork. However, you may find that you’re in over your head. As much as you don’t want to have to pay a lawyer a third of your settlement, 2/3 of something is a lot better than all of nothing. This is why you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Charlotte right away. They’ll review your case and explore all of the ways you can be paid.

Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. Sit down and talk to a lawyer who’s handled cases like yours before. They can let you know how the legal process works. They can also let you know if your case is worth filing. If they can see right out the gate that the defendant has nothing, they may not want to take your case. They only get paid if you get paid. This is why they will be upfront and honest with you. Call today and set up a date and time that works for you. You don’t pay a dime until your case is resolved.