When you’ve been hurt by the careless or wrongful act of another person, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses. But what if that person is what the law considers “judgment proof”? For example, what if you were injured by a person who has no insurance and who has no assets. You may be able to get a verdict, but have little hope of ever collecting on that judgment.
One option is to look for other potentially responsible parties. Let’s look at some situations where that might apply:
- The person who caused your injuries was working at the time of the accident—Under the concept of respondeat superior, if a person causes injury while in the course of his or her employment, his employer may potentially have some liability. For example, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident by someone who was on a work-related errand, that person’s employer may have responsibility.
- You were hurt by someone in a borrowed motor vehicle—Under the law of most states, insurance (and often liability as well) attaches to the owner of the vehicle, as well as the driver.
- Your injuries were caused by a minor—Most minors don’t have the resources to satisfy a personal injury judgment. However, their parents can have potential liability, under two different theories. If the parents knew of the child’s propensity to drive carelessly, for example, they could be responsible for negligently entrusting the family car to the minor. Additionally, if the parents sent the child on an errand, the concept of vicarious liability (similar to respondeat superior) may be used to bring an action against the parents.
- Your injuries were the result of a dangerous or defective product—In a product liability claim, you can hold anyone in the chain of distribution responsible for negligent design, manufacture or marketing of a product.
- You can demonstrate third-party liability—It might be the failure of a municipality to maintain a roadway or the failure of a subcontractor to properly train or monitor employees. If you can show a breach of the duty of care, a causal link and actual loss, you can bring a lawsuit to recover damages.
We offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact our office online or call us at 973-241-7468. We will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.