You probably see half a dozen commercials a day where lawyers are advertising that they’ll get you tons of money for your personal injury case. And, for the most part, lawyers do work very hard to get you as much money as possible for your injuries. However, there are times when legal action just isn’t the best idea.
Competent and honest lawyers won’t tell you what you want to hear. If your case is only worth a few thousand dollars, they’ll tell you it’s only worth a few thousand dollars. And, if you don’t have a case, any lawyer worth their salt will tell you the truth.
There are lots of reasons why an experienced personal injury lawyer in Crestview won’t take your case. It doesn’t mean they don’t want you to recover. It simply means that there’s a good reason why they have to turn the case down. It's business – it's not personal.
When you meet with your personal injury lawyer for the first time, they’ll review your case. They’ll you all the pertinent questions. They’ll even answer any questions you may have. At the end of your meeting, they’ll let you know if they’re willing to handle your case.
Usually, if you have a valid claim for damages, they’re going to want to represent you. However, there are times when a lawyer will tell you that they’re not able to represent you. Here are just a few reasons why an honest personal injury attorney in Crestview may choose not to accept your case.
Your Case is Not Winnable
When we get injured in any sort of accident, we want revenge. We want justice. Even if part of us knows it was our fault, we want the other driver to pay. We think that their insurance should pay for our injuries. We figure our personal injury attorney in Crestview will agree.
When you first meet with your attorney, they’re going to ask you what happened. They need to know the details of your car accident before they decide what it may be worth. Some of the information they need includes:
- Where the accident took place
- The police report
- Whether or not you were at fault
- How serious your injuries were
- Whether or not the other driver has insurance
- The reason why your insurance claim was denied
After reviewing the above information, your attorney may decide that you case just isn’t winnable. If you were at fault, it’s going to be hard to convince a jury to award you damages. The same is true if you can’t prove that you were injured.
Some attorneys will take any case and hope they can settle it for a few thousand dollars. An experienced car accident lawyer in Crestview knows which cases are winnable and which ones aren’t. There are certain red flags that will convince your lawyer that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to win your case. Some of these are:
- You weren’t injured. You didn’t go to the hospital and your doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with you.
- Your claim was denied by the insurance company because they determined you were at fault. Even if the other driver was partially at fault, it may still be hard to prove liability. Florida follows the comparative negligence rule. According to this rule, if you’re less than 50% at fault, you can still file a claim for damages. However, if you’re more than 50% at fault, you won’t recover anything.
- You were involved in a hit and run and the other driver can’t be identified.
- You have a history of filing fraudulent insurance claims.
If any of these apply to your case, there’s a chance your injury lawyer will determine it isn’t winnable. If this is the case, they’re not going to take your case. Personal injury lawyers are paid on a contingency basis. This means, if you don’t win, they don’t get paid. This is why they won’t take a case that isn’t winnable.
The Costs Outweigh the Compensation
Remember what we mentioned earlier – personal injury lawyer work on a contingency basis. This means they get a percentage of your settlement or recovery. If you get nothing, they get nothing. The same is true if your settlement will be less than what it will cost to file suit.
Every personal injury case costs money to file. Your Crestview personal injury lawyer may ask that you cover some of these costs. Some of the costs include things like filing costs, personal service, and postage.
There are some expenses, however, that your attorney will cover and then be reimbursed when you settle your case. These expenses include:
- Experts to testify at trial
- Costs associated with subpoenas, depositions and affidavits
- Costs for mediation
- Court reporter fees
These things costs thousands of dollars. If your attorney doesn’t think you’re going to recover enough to reimburse these costs, they’re not going to take your case.
For example, let’s say you have a claim against a trucking company for a truck accident. Your injuries were minor. However, your medical expenses are still high because of all the tests and doctor’s visits involved. Your vehicle was also totaled in the crash.
Your Crestview personal injury attorney already knows that the trucking company’s insurance company likes to settle these claims. However, they settle for bottom dollar. They have a history of pushing cases to trial if they can’t settle them quickly.
Your attorney believes your settlement will barely cover your medical costs. They know that, once these are paid, there won’t be enough to cover the expenses of trial. They also know they probably won’t see a dime since the whole settlement will be eaten up by medical bills.
If it’s going to cost your lawyer money to handle your case, it wouldn’t make sense for them to accept your case.
The Defendant Has No Insurance and No Assets
You may have the strongest case in the world. However, if the defendant has no insurance, you’re going to have a hard time getting paid. Even if you have uninsured motorist insurance, these policies rarely pay more than around $25,000 to $50,000. This may be less than what you owe in medical bills.
The only other option is to file suit against the defendant. Your Crestview injury attorney is going to review the defendant’s demographics before they file suit. They’ll check to see if they own property or other assets. They’ll also look to see if they have prior judgments against them.
It’s very hard to collect a judgment in Florida. There are so many limitations on things like wage garnishments and bank levies. The defendant may be, essentially, judgment proof. This means your judgment won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.
If this is the case, your lawyer may not want to take your case. Even if they can win it for you – you'll never see a dime and neither will they.
It’s Just Not Their Specialty
Just because someone’s a lawyer doesn’t mean they know how to handle a car accident case in Florida. For example, someone who does workers compensation law may not be familiar with personal injury. Or, you may ask your divorce lawyer to handle your car accident lawsuit. If they don’t practice this kind of law, they shouldn’t take your case.
This is why you should always do your homework before choosing an attorney. Make sure the attorney you meet with actually handles car accident cases. There are plenty of experienced car accident attorneys in Crestview, Florida. Just make sure you pick one that can properly handle your car accident lawsuit.
If you choose a lawyer who doesn’t know how to handle your type of case, you’re going to run into a lot of problems. Some of these include:
- They don’t know how to negotiate with an insurance adjuster
- They don’t know the statute of limitations and file your case too late
- They underestimate (or, overestimate) the value of your case
- They settle for much less than they should
- They aren’t familiar with how to prove causation
You don’t want something like your choice of lawyer to cost you the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Crestview, Florida
If you’re injured in a car accident, you want to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Crestview, Florida. They can review your case and give you an accurate estimate of what it’s worth. They can also answer any questions you may have.
Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. You can sit down with a skilled attorney get an honest opinion on your case. If it isn’t winnable or simply isn’t worth their time or money, they’ll let you know. You don’t want to be strung along only to find out a year or two later that your case has no merit.
The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.