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Is it Legal Not to Pay a Personal Injury Judgment?

When an injured plaintiff gets a favorable court judgment, this is generally not the last battle he or she has to face. This is true whether the case is won as a result of a trial or through a confidential settlement agreement. In fact, collecting on some judgments can be difficult. This could be due to a defendant’s inability to pay. On the other hand, a defendant may try to avoid liability, even if this means being held in contempt. Below are some options for a plaintiff who is chasing after a defendant.

Ways to Get Your Money

A defendant’s failure to pay a court ordered judgment within a reasonable amount of time can cause financial strain on a personal injury plaintiff. The reason why an injured victim brought a lawsuit in the first place was to recover monetary compensation for expenses relating to his or her injuries, which were caused by the defendant. This may include recovering money for medical expenses, lost wages, and daily expenses. A few tools available to an injured plaintiff for recovery of a judgment include:

  • Incorporating collections into the settlement – when a plaintiff reaches a confidential settlement agreement with a defendant, structured payment plans can be put in place so that liability is paid down over time;
  • Use a writ of execution to go after property – a plaintiff with a court judgment can request a writ of execution, which gives him or her the authority to possess certain specified property owned by the defendant;
  • Garnish their wages – if the defendant is working, his or her wages can be garnished by the court so that a portion is withheld, up to a statutory maximum, to pay off the judgment; and
  • Put liens on property – while an injured plaintiff may not be able to force a defendant to sell his or her primary home to pay off a judgment, a lien may be placed on property so that a sale cannot happen without satisfying the judgment.

Do Not Wait Too Long to Collect

Many people have heard of, and have a basic concept of, the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time frame within which legal action can take place after an event has happened. Even if someone has filed suit and won a court judgment, it is important to understand that if arrangements to collect and enforce the judgment do not happen within a certain amount of time, the judgment can become “expired.” 

In the state of Nevada, a court judgment expires six years from being issued by a judge or a Justice of the Peace. Once a judgment expires, it is not legally enforceable. That being said, an expired judgment can be renewed in Nevada if certain requirements are met. Do not let yourself be in a position in which your court judgment has expired.  

Legal Help in Nevada

The Las Vegas attorneys at Matt Pfau Law Group have years of experience handling personal injury claims across Nevada. Our attorneys will work closely with you and fight to recover the maximum compensation you deserve. If you have been hurt and are seeking to recover compensation, or you have a judgment that needs to be satisfied against a defendant, contact us today.

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