Why Personal Injury Attorneys Must Satisfy Their Due Diligence by Conducting an Asset Search.
For those of you who are employed in the personal injury profession, conducting a thorough asset search is critical in protecting yourself from a potential lawsuit from your own client someday. Many times there may be insufficient insurance to make your client whole. Before you settle their claim, a quick asset search can satisfy your “due diligence” to ensure that there are not additional assets that are readily available to attach or secure a judgment on behalf of your client when insurance falls short. This article deals with why it is imperative to conduct an asset search from a reputable asset search company in order to satisfy your due diligence on behalf of your client regarding the above-mentioned.
Personal injury attorneys are the group most susceptible to a lawsuit by their clients if they fail to satisfy their due diligence by conducting an asset search on behalf of their client who was injured. If the insurance coverage is insufficient or unknown to satisfy the damages in your case, the Plaintiff’s attorney has an obligation to his or her client to at least recommend that an asset search be conducted to determine if there are additional assets that the defendant owns that can be attached to satisfy and compensate the client for their injuries. The client must be informed as to what an asset search provides, how much it costs, and how it could be beneficial to their case.
Most asset searches cost between $ 165 to $ 350. So the cost is minimal compared to the gravity of your client’s injuries. At Asset Searches Plus, Inc., www.assetsearchesplus.com , for example, a nationwide asset search on an individual costs $ 185 per subject and a corporate asset search costs $ 165. If the client is unwilling to pay this cost for the search, then the attorney has covered their butt. This can speed settlement negotiations with the client as well when the client asks if there is any way that they can receive more you can show them. Another uptake is that since there is usually a contingent fee agreement in place, the more the client can recover the more the attorney will be paid for their services. Lesson to be learned is that it makes prudent sense to conduct a search as part of your routine practice.
Moreover, since most asset searches provide not only assets but also include the liabilities of your subject, the attorney and their client are able to discover at the outset of their case whether it would be cost effective to bring a lawsuit against the defendant personally in addition to seeking a claim against the insurer. These liabilities include, but are not limited to; state and federal tax liens, bankruptcies, uniform commercial code liens, judgments and other lawsuits. Even if your subject has assets, their liabilities may far exceed any assets. So it pays to look before you leap.
And aside from locating a person’s real estate, recent deed transfers, automobiles, aircraft, watercraft, patents, trademarks and professional licenses, a thorough asset search will also provide what entities are associated with your subject that could also be holding assets. Entities such as trusts, limited partnerships, and corporations. More important, if title to the assets is held jointly with another party, their identity will be revealed as well.
Finally, asset searches today can provide a wealth of information on a subject other than what their assets and liabilities are all about. They can provide a correct and verified address and phone number of your defendant, as well as information on whether your subject is in the armed services; who they are employed with; whether they are a director or officer of a publically traded company; civil or criminal records; driving records; family members and neighbors and the geo-economic surroundings of the subject.
These are just of a few of the many good reasons to conduct an asset search and in doing so, you have CYA and have added value to your client’s case while at the same time, eliminated potential headaches.
For more information on conducting an asset search, please call us at 1(800)290-1012 or visit our site at www.assetsearchesplus.com. You can also download our free eBook on conducting an asset search by clicking http://www.assetsearchesplus.com/download-our-free-ebook/