Personal Injury Cases: Moving on to Better Things

How Does The Defendant Pay In An Injury Suit?

When someone has suffered a serious injury, one of the biggest questions on their mind is about where is the money going to come from. Medical and everyday bills pile up, and money has to come from somewhere.

A personal injury attorney will explain that the goal is to make the at-fault party pay. However, this may leave a client wondering, "Where does the defendant get that kind of money?" Whether the expected compensation is thousands or millions of dollars, it generally comes from one of three possible places.


Your typical case is mostly about a personal injury lawyer dealing with an insurance company. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, this process might involve homeowner's insurance or commercial liability insurance.

In either case, the claim will be sent to the insurance company. They will appoint a claims adjuster who will evaluate the validity of the claim and make an offer if it appears to be valid.

Money for insurance claims comes mostly from the premiums collected from the insurance company's customers. For a personal injury attorney, dealing with an insured defendant is usually the ideal scenario because an insurance company has the resources needed to pay. Likewise, the insurance adjuster's job is to keep the company out of an expensive legal fight unless there is clear evidence of fraud.

An Uninsured Who Can Pay

The second scenario involves an uninsured or self-insured defendant with the means to pay. For example, some corporations are so large that it's sometimes cheaper for them to pay claims without insurance. The companies can and do frequently use adjusters, and the process is similar to dealing with an insurance firm.

You might run into an individual or a small business that can pay out an insurance claim. Usually, these cases require entering into a payment agreement.

Liens and Liquidating the Defendant's Assets

Finally, there is the scenario where the defendant is uninsured and can't afford to pay. The brutal reality of this situation is that the plaintiff will likely have to get a judgment from a court, and they'll also have to ask the court to enter a lien against the defendant's assets. Bank accounts will be emptied out, and assets will be sold. This will continue until either the judgment is paid in full or there's nothing left to take.

Bear in mind that the owner of a business is likely insulated from claims. This presumes they've set their company up to shield themselves from liability, such as with an LLC. Only business assets can be taken.

For more information, contact a personal injury attorney.