Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.
This means they don’t get paid at all unless you get paid.
If they know the odds of winning your case are low, they’ll tell it to you straight and avoid wasting everyone’s time.
Are you considering reaching out to a lawyer for the first time? Have you already been turned down by one? Are you afraid the whole process is pointless? We know the aftermath of a car accident is a scary, stressful time, and we’re here to help you know what to expect as you move forward.
Below are seven possible reasons a car accident lawyer might decline your case.
#1. The statute of limitations has passed or is coming up soon.
The legal deadline for pursuing a car accident case is called the “statute of limitations.” These time limits can vary widely from state to state. The statute of limitations for car accidents in Texas is two years. This means you have two years from the date of your Texas car accident to file a claim.
Two years may seem like a long time, but remember: your car accident lawyer needs plenty of time to investigate, collect evidence, and strengthen your case!
If the deadline has passed, the courts will reject your claim entirely. If you’ve waited too long and the deadline is approaching soon, your attorney will not have enough time to do their job to the best of their ability.
#2. You were mostly responsible for the accident.
Texas is a comparative fault state, meaning if someone is found to be more than 51% at fault for an accident, they cannot recover any damages at all. If evidence points to you shouldering most of the blame for the accident, an attorney may turn down your case.
On the other hand, if you are hurt in a Texas car accident and are found to be less than 51% responsible for the accident, you can still collect money from the at-fault driver and their insurance company. However, be aware the settlement may be reduced by your degree of fault.
#3. You broke a law.
If you broke a law at the time of your accident — for example, if you were driving without car insurance or driving without a license — it may be difficult to find a lawyer who will take your case. Don’t let this scare you, however. You should still reach out to a car accident lawyer for an initial consultation and learn about the options available to you.
#4. There are gaps in treatment.
If too much time has passed after your car accident and you have not visited a doctor — or if you saw one but did not follow their instructions, declined physical therapy, or skipped follow-up appointments — a car accident attorney may turn down your case. This is because insurance companies are tricky and will latch onto any mistake you make. If you did not seek proper medical care, they will claim you weren’t really injured!
We understand there are many reasons a victim may hesitate to go to the doctor. Many people are afraid they can’t afford it. The good news? If you call our car accident lawyers ASAP after your accident, we can connect you to the medical care you need, at no upfront cost.
#5. The other driver was uninsured.
Generally, car accident attorneys will seek compensation from the insurance provider of the driver who hit you. If the negligent driver did not have auto insurance, your options become limited.
However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) on your policy, you might be able to get financial relief by dealing with your own insurance company. After you’ve met your deductible, PIP will cover some of you and your passengers’ expenses up to a certain limit.
The minimum amount of personal injury protection varies from state to state, but in states with the most comprehensive PIP coverage, you could be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
#6. The other driver fled the scene.
It’s pretty difficult to file an insurance claim if you don’t know which insurance company to contact… or even the name of the person who hit you.
Some sleuthing may be in order here: your first step should be to check if any surveillance cameras or bystanders captured footage of your accident.
It can be tricky, but if they do decide to take your case — and if you have the proper auto insurance coverage — a car accident attorney can also help you recover damages from your own insurance company in these situations.
#7. There’s a lack of evidence.
No matter how hardworking an attorney is, they can’t compensate for a lack of supporting evidence. If too much time has passed from the date of your accident, important evidence might’ve been lost.
To build a strong case and secure compensation for their clients, car accident attorneys commonly use photos from the scene, police reports, witness testimony, medical records, and more.
If you did not call the police, there’s no police report to cite. If you did not seek prompt medical treatment, there are no medical records to prove your injuries happened as a result of the crash. This is why it’s essential to connect with a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident and get quality legal advice every step of the way. Don’t sabotage yourself!
Don’t Take Chances. Take Action.
Some of these reasons for rejection are just bad luck, but some of them are entirely avoidable.
To get connected to medical treatment, to get help determining liability, to promptly collect evidence, and to avoid gaps in treatment and expired statutes of limitations, there’s only one answer: reach out to a car accident lawyer immediately after your car accident.
We offer free consultations, 24/7.
It’s important to know your rights, and it’s equally important to know how to protect them!
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.