If you were injured in a car accident, you might be debating whether you need to hire an attorney. Before making a final decision, you should interview multiple car accident attorneys. Not every attorney is going to be the perfect match for your case.
Some firms may even decline to take your case. It may surprise you to know that personal injury lawyers don’t take every single client that walks in their door. Here are a few reasons why a car accident attorney might not take your case.
Table of contents
- You Didn’t Suffer Injury
- You never saw a doctor
- The Case Is Too Complex for the Firm
- Your Accident Was in Another State
- The Statute of Limitations Expired
- The Accident Was Your Fault
- Other Attorneys Rejected the Same Case
- The Attorney may feel you will be a problem client
- How to Get an Attorney to Take Your Case
You Didn’t Suffer Injury
If you sustained little to no injuries in your car accident, there are no damages for an attorney to build a case. While you may deserve compensation for your small amount of medical bills, the claim doesn’t necessarily warrant an attorney’s involvement.
If there was no injury, or medical bills, there isn’t a personal injury case. The insurance company likely won’t dispute your claim, and you will receive only a small settlement, so why lose a portion of that to an attorney?
You never saw a doctor
Some clients claim they are hurt after an accident. However, they never go see a doctor to confirm their injuries. On the other hand, some clients don’t want to go see a doctor even though they are hurt. Time constraints and life just get in the way.
You really dont have much of case for a personal injury lawyer to take, if you never seek medical treatment. Injured clients see doctors that help them recovery from injuries suffered in car accidents. If you are not one of those people, and attorney will not take your case.
The Case Is Too Complex for the Firm
Not all car accident lawyers can take on very complex claims. If your accident involves multiple defendants, complex legal questions, a need to hire experts, etc., a sole practitioner or boutique firm may pass on your case.
Complexity can come in many forms. Your case may require extensive litigation and the cost associated with that. Defendants, such as trucking companies may reside in other states from you. You may need to look at larger personal injury firms with multiple attorneys and additional financial resources to represent you.
Your Accident Was in Another State
Applicable personal injury laws will vary from state to state. An attorney in the state where the accident happened will be more familiar with the laws there. Further, if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit in the other state, you would need to retain another attorney anyway.
Attorneys do not maintain a license to practice in every state. If you live in Colorado and get into an accident while on vacation in Nevada, you need an attorney licensed in Nevada. Some attorneys can still settle your case if the defendant resides in another state. However, if suit has to be filed, it will have to be done by an attorney that is licensed in the state for which the defendant resides.
The Statute of Limitations Expired
If you wait too long to pursue a claim for damages, it may be too late. Each state has a statute of limitations that says a lawsuit must be filed within a specific time frame. For example, in Colorado, you must file a lawsuit within three years for an auto accident and two years for other personal injury accidents.
Failure to file a lawsuit before the deadline expires means the court will not accept your claim. There is no reason for an attorney to take your case, as there is no legal standing to pursue compensation. The only possible exception is if there are certain extenuating circumstances for why you missed the deadline. In those specific situations, some attorneys may be willing to consider taking your case.
The Accident Was Your Fault
To collect compensation for your damages, you need to prove the other party was at fault. Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means if you are 50% or more fault, you cannot collect anything for your damages. If the attorney thinks you will be found at least 50% at fault, they will decline to take your case.
On the other hand, i have seen attorney still take a case for which you were found at-fault. They make arguments for which the other party is partially responsible. Therefore, getting you a settlement for at least part or all of your medical bills.
Other Attorneys Rejected the Same Case
If you’ve already met with four or five attorneys, any other attorneys may decline to take your case if that many other attorneys passed on it. It can raise red flags, as the other attorneys might have identified possible problems with your case.
Be sure to ask why the attorney passed on your case, so you can let other attorneys know. Some attorneys may need to pass due to a conflict of interest or lack of time and resources.
The Attorney may feel you will be a problem client
What the heck is that, you may say. A problem client may be someone who calls multiple times a day, or emails everyday inquiring about their personal injury case and how it is proceeding. Most Attorney can tell just by speaking with a client if they may be a problem. Problem clients just don’t wreak havoc on the office staff, but also can file frivolous bar complaints.
Examples of problem clients
- Calls repeatedly before an attorney accepts your case
- Demands things out of the ordinary
- Has no understanding of how a case proceeds
- No understanding of the time limits involved
- Takes advantage of free attorney consult
- Has no intention of follow up treatment
- Attorney feels the potential client is lying
How to Get an Attorney to Take Your Case
To reduce the risk that an attorney will not take your case, be prepared at your initial consultation. Bring all relevant documents, and don’t leave out any details when discussing the facts surrounding your accident. If an attorney thinks you are withholding information or embellishing particulars, they may decide to pass on your case.
If you’ve met with multiple attorneys and no one is interested in your case, it doesn’t mean you should give up entirely. You still might be able to hire an attorney for your case.
Unless you have missed the statute of limitations or are primarily at fault for the accident, you can still present a claim to the other driver’s insurance company.