It would be a miracle if each person who negligently or carelessly caused a bad accident with injuries had plenty of insurance.  But they don’t.  Sometimes my clients get a settlement offer for the full amount of the insurance policy and want to do an asset search before deciding to accept the insurance and drop the claim.

There is a lot of bad information about asset searches.  From my experience, they are not worth the money, not accurate or reliable.  First of all they cost several hundreds of dollars.  The validity of the search is misleading.  Why:  Because the search leaves out a whole tun of stuff.  It is impossible to know if the Defendant has a big trust, bank accounts, or stock brokerage accounts, or jewelry.  Those types of assets are not public record.  Deeds to real estate can be found, but who knows where to look?  An asset search in Flagler County will not reveal deeds owned in Volusia County.

Getting the Defendant to sign an affidavit disclosing assets is also unreliable.  Even if they agree, how can you REALLY know the defendant is telling the complete truth?

Also, if you insist on finding out the true assets, it may take  a final judgment before you can get subpoenas issued to know what the defendant owns.  Getting a final judgment may take a year or two.  During that time you do not have the use of the settlement, and are stressing out over a trial. Is it really worth it?  Unless you are suing Donald Trump, I don’t think so.

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