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Can You Sue Someone Who Has No Money in New York?

If you are planning on filing a personal injury lawsuit against someone in New York, you might be concerned about whether or not they actually have enough money to pay for your damages. This is especially concerning if they have no insurance, or if they are an “average New Yorker” who just so happened to cause your injuries by acting in a reckless manner.

In certain cases, it might be immediately obvious that someone has enough money to pay for your damages. For example, a property owner or a business entity obviously has the cash available to cover your damages. But what about an uninsured driver or a pedestrian? According to the Insurance Information Institute, 6.1% of drivers in New York are uninsured. So, what happens if you sue someone who clearly does not have much money to hand over?

Be Realistic

First of all, it is always a good idea to be realistic when filing a suit. In 2014, it was reported that a man in New York was suing the City of New York for two undecillion dollars. That amount of money does not exist on the entire planet, let alone in New York. This suit was filed after the man was bitten by a dog on a bus. Obviously, this man should have known that what he was requesting was ridiculous, and you should always strive to request an amount that can actually be paid by the defendant.

How Can I Tell How Much Money They Have?

If you are concerned about a person hiding their assets in an attempt to pay less money in compensation, you can rest easy. The defendant will be asked questions about their assets under oath. The court can also demand that they show evidence of their wealth by producing financial documents. Even if a defendant attempts to conceal funds, the court usually has ways of finding out.

What if They Really Have No Money?

If a defendant genuinely has no money, there may be other assets that can be liquidated to pay for your compensation. For example, they might own real estate property. The court can order them to sell this property and use the proceeds to pay for your settlement. Even if they attempt to transfer this property to a family member, the court can order that their family sell the property, as well.

And that is not all. The court can order the defendant to sell pretty much everything they own in order to pay for your settlement. This includes their car, their personal assets, and more. With all that said, the final decision is at the court’s discretion. They can decide whether or not to order a defendant to sell off everything they own.

Get Help From a Qualified Attorney Today

Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent individual is much easier with the help of a qualified, experienced attorney. Reach out to The Glassman Law Group at your earliest convenience, and we can help you take your first steps towards justice. We have a wide range of experience with all kinds of different personal injury cases, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.


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