Use an Asset Search to Determine the Defendant’s Ability to Pay
If your client sustains injuries from an accident at a business premises or on private property, their bills can stack up. In addition to medical bills, your client could face lost wages and the cost of physical and psychological rehabilitation due to pain and distress. With so many costs resulting from an injury, how do you support your client to become whole without pursuing an expensive case that may not deliver results? It is important to perform your due diligence to see if the case is worth it for you and your client.
Small business owners and homeowners often have some type of insurance, but it may not be enough to cover the damages that your client is seeking. Depending on the policy and the preparedness of the business, general liability without other forms of insurance will not cover everything. Insurance could refuse to pay out. The business might already be struggling, and the business owner could have debts or other judgments against them that make it difficult to pay out.
Likewise, a homeowner may have no homeowner’s insurance or inadequate coverage. The insurance could refuse to pay out or offer the limit which may be insufficient to make your client whole. Your client’s injury does not go away despite the finances of the party at-fault. How do you satisfy your “due diligence” when advising your client what settlement is realistic?
A quick asset search at the outset of the case can save enormous amounts of time, money, and energy. A nationwide asset search is inexpensive and can cost as little as $185 dollars and can turn around in 1-3 days. Asset searches can provide the assets and liabilities of a homeowner and can also uncover the value of any business interests, the existence of any debts, bankruptcies, or judgements against the individual or business. Asset searches can also uncover real estate, deed transfers, trusts, and limited partnerships. It can locate property such as motor vehicles, boats and aircraft and patents, trademarks, and professional licenses.
Rather than embark on the risk and expense of discovery, you can use a simple tool to do your due diligence in a slip and fall case. An asset search can help you and your client to get a better picture of the assets of the at-fault party early in the process. In addition to determining whether it is worthwhile to go to trial, establishing parameters based on realistic facts makes a successful negotiation more likely and a favorable settlement more attainable for your client. Please get in touch to learn how we can help and do a quick asset search in your personal injury case.
To access our “free guide” to conducting an asset search, click here.