Dodging a lawsuit in the United States of America is not simple by any means, especially when you know what assets can be taken in a lawsuit and you own them. A lot is at stake in the case of losing a case. Being a highly litigious society, there are up to 40 million lawsuits filed each year in America. Those who are hooked into a legal battle in a court of law due to unfair settlements are vulnerable to losing not just a hefty amount of their savings but also their movable and immovable assets, car, and property.
There have been instances when a breach of contract between the property owner and their laborers has turned even minor settlement issues into massive property owners’ losses. For instance, a landowner once failed to pay $ 3,500 to a roofer as per the contract signed between the two; the roofer filed a lawsuit against the homeowner. At the time of judgment, the owner had to pay the dues.
However, that was not sufficient for the roofer. He also claimed his attorney’s fees which amounted to be more than ten times the actual amount, $35000 to be more precise. Therefore, a lot of legal proceedings in the United States can be unpredictable. To such an extent that even a seemingly minor legal problem can escalate into a potentially serious issue, in such cases, the losing party’s assets can be confiscated in a lawsuit. The question is, what kind of assets are exactly at peril in case a legal proceeding takes place? and what assets can be taken in a lawsuit?
Let’s discuss them below:
Yes! That is true, especially if you are under scrutiny for causing a personal injury in case of a car accident. An automobile accident is also one of the most common kinds of liability lawsuits in which people can again lose other essential assets other than their vehicle. If your car is uninsured, you can easily come under the scanner and even end up losing other assets.
Your House or an Apartment
According to some experts, if the judgment comes against you, you can lose your home, especially if you also have a second home. However, the rules, in this case, are a bit more complicated. In most of the instances, a lien is filed against the house. The lien has to be paid off if you want to sell your home.
All your hard-earned money parked as life savings in your bank account can be taken too, other than these possessions:
- Personal property
- Art objects
- Partnership agreements
- Records of partnership
- Trusts and timeshares
- Safety deposit vaults
Or any other asset to satisfy the claims of the party that filed a lawsuit. There is not much a defendant can do if a verdict comes against them.
How does the Court know about Your Assets?
Generally, a creditor demands your appearance at the Court for an asset hearing. The creditor may ask you under oath about all your assets and ask you to provide your wealth’s legal documentation. Failure to appear in the Court for an asset hearing can make you susceptible to be taken into custody. Therefore, if you are thinking of not revealing all your assets to the creditor, forget about it. You can get into more legal trouble if you resort to fraudulent activities.
How can You Protect Your Assets from Being Taken in a Lawsuit?
Every problem has a solution. Luckily, in this case, you have a viable option to protect your assets from getting confiscated. It is through liability insurance. It is a way of paying others when you have accidentally damaged someone else’s property. You can avail of it as liability car insurance, and it covers these:
- Bodily injury
- Damage to property
- Personal injury
- Defense costs in the Court of law
Liability insurance is a crucial way of protecting yourself against any legal proceeding. Just imagine, you have just retired, having saved up to $ 1 million, and out of nowhere, you find yourself under legal scrutiny? Besides, such cases have the potential of taking away all you have built. Hence, liability insurance is an integral aspect of protecting yourself. If you do not have it, you will be responsible for injuries and damages.
What not to do if you are sued?
Facing legal proceedings is a nightmare. It does not only takes your precious time away, but it also causes financial catastrophe. However, with life being unpredictable, you can expect anything even when everything seems going your way. In case you are up against such a tragedy, you must always avoid these common mistakes that people make:
Do not admit your fault – if you are not sure who is at fault, let your attorney know about it but not the person who has sued you. Admitting your guilt makes it easier for the Court to hold you responsible. However, make sure that you reveal everything to your lawyer as hiding anything will only make their job harder.
Do not discard any documentation you have related to your case – you do not throw such essential documents away when you need them the most. Still, it is likely that you just put some of them out, not realizing what you are doing. You may even end up erasing them from your computer unknowingly to free some space. Always remember that in any legal case, the more documentation you have, the more are your chances of defending your claim. It is better to organize all your documents and keep them ready. If possible, take photos of every paper as a backup. Remember, every minute detail related to your case can save you from trouble.
Do not pay money expecting that you will be reimbursed – if you are insured as a contractor, never agree to pay. Allow your insurer to probe the matter in a legal way to identify who is actually at fault. If you decide to pay without taking your insurer into the loop, you will not be reimbursed later and lose your money.
Never assume that you have to go to the Court – some matters can be resolved without approaching a court. If your attorney is confident of settling the case out of the Court, do not hesitate to contact the aggrieved party. It is the best option since it saves your time as well as your assets. The amount you may need to pay could be much lower than in the case of the Court’s intervention.
If the Court has summoned you, do not be emotional – emotions are natural, but when facing a judge in the Court of law, they can exacerbate your position. Feelings seldom help because the judge is used to of accused screaming in their defense. The best approach is to remain as calm as possible, no matter what. Quite understandably, it is complicated but better than showing frustration.
Additionally, people often lament when going through intricate health-related procedures like the root canal or facing traffic while driving. Still, it is better than facing perils related to legal issues. It can be a worse nightmare because it can exhaust almost every financial security you have managed to build to live a stress-free life post-retirement.
In a nutshell, awareness of the law is imperative for everyone. Being aware of legal matters’ pros and cons can be handy, especially when you are on the brink of getting your assets taken in a lawsuit. It can help you protect your rights and avoid serious issues.
In the age of modern technology, it is no longer difficult to learn about the law and the details of what assets can be taken in a lawsuit. All it takes is a few minutes to read about the rules of law. As a responsible citizen of the United States of America, there are certain things that you must know. They include:
- How to hire an attorney?
- What an attorney generally requires when defending a case?
- How specific laws differ in your state?
- What can you do to settle an issue without going to Court?
- What to do when you are up against difficult people who have wrongly accused you?
- How does liability insurance can save you?
- What to do if you want to sue someone?
- Should you approach the Court of law or settle scores outside?
- What kind of documents should you always have to protect you?
- What to do if you are falsely accused?
- How long does a legal battle take before the final judgment?
- Ho to carry yourself in a court of law?
We hope you enjoyed reading. You can go through some more information about the lawsuits in the United States of America on our website.