Can someone freeze a bank account without a judgment?
Question Details: A family member has just been awarded 50k in a personal injury lawsuit. She hasn't received her money yet but in the meantime someone who is on her car insurance plan was involved in an accident to which he was at fault, it was a 5 mph fender bender but the other person is not claiming that her and her 2 children are injured and has hired an attorney. Now that the she is about to receive her money can the person suing her go after that money and can her bank accounts be frozen even without any judgements at this time.
If someone claims they were injured due to your family member, they have the right to file a lawsuit--they may ultimately lose if they don't have good evidence of fault or of the existence of injuries coming from the alleged accident, but they do have the right to file the lawsuit.
It would take a court order to freeze someone's bank account. A person suing could potentially apply for and possibly get such an order if they can show that they have a likelihood of eventually winning the case *and* that there is reason to believe that if the money is not frozen or sequestered in some way, that it will moved or hidden and the plaintiff denied recovery, but this is very rare and difficult to do--courts will typically only freeze or restrain a bank account in advance of the resolution of a case is there is compelling evidence of the validity of a debt or pending judgment and of likely wrongdoing in terms of hiding assets.