What happens if a defendant is insolvent or doesn’t exist ?

With some types of personal injury, the injury may be latent and can take many years to become apparent – the classic case lof thus being asbestosis.

In these situations, the defendant may no longer exist or may be insolvent, and many claimants worry about this.

However, in the vast majority of cases, either via compulsory insurance such as employers or public liability, any settlement amount or amount awarded at trial is in fact paid for by insurers. The same general principle, according to Bradley Bloom, a specialist insolvency lawyer at J E Baring, applies where the defendant is insolvent.

This is reassuring news but doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the right insurer – as Bradley explains “perhaps the biggest issue is in finding whoever is now responsible for a company, whether it’s a private liquidator or Government appointed one, and getting that individual or firm to access the right paperwork to get the right information about insurance”. Unfortunately, however important the matter is to you, it isn’t going to be high on their agenda, especially if they have closed their files and been paid perhaps years before. In terms of redress, frankly, you really don’t have any in these situations, so you need to be patient yet persistent.

There is no public database to check public or employers liability and frankly there should be.

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