Skip to main content

I won a lawsuit for a car accident . How long do I have to collect the money.

Kirkwood, IL |

My lawyer was supposed to file for garnishment and never did. He told me it was a lost cause . I would never see the money for my car. My insurance had lapsed

+ Read More

Attorney answers 7


I do not understand your post.


I would suggest that you ask your attorney to explain why it is a lost cause.

By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.


If you are trying to collect a judgment from an individual, there are many ways they can be "judgment proof," such as exemptions, filing bankruptcy, or just plain not having jobs or assets. In short, when you get a judgment against an individual, instead of someone who was insured (in which case you're really going against their insurance, although not directly), you are pretty much not counting on ever collecting a dime except when you get lucky enough to find someone with assets, employed, honorable, etc.

I suggest talking to your lawyer for a better explanation, but that is why YOU should always have insurance--because idiots without insurance can cause damage and are impossible to call to the carpet!
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


Apparently, your lawyer has appraised the situation, and does not want to continue working for no compensation.


Have your lawyer explain why it is a lost cause, as nobody here would know

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman


All we can do is guess. My guess is it is an individual. If the judgment debtor is an individual, it is hard to collect, as explained above.


I am assuming you have a final and enforceable judgment. Under Illinois law, a judgment may only be enforced for 7 years from the date of its entry, or the date of its last revival (a revival proceeding must be initiated before the end of the judgment’s 20-year life). Sit down and discuss with your attorney. If he or she has not done so, it may be that you want to have a certified copy of the judgment (or a memorandum of judgment) recorded, and the judgment debtor examined under oath along with the production of documents pursuant to a citation to discover assets. Good luck.

Robert T. Kuehl
Kuehl Law, P.C.
Chicago, Illinois


If your attorney assessed the defendant to be judgment-proof, how did he justify his fee?

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links:

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer