Why a California Personal Injury Lawyer May Not Take Your Case
Thousands of California drivers experience traffic accidents each year.
Car accidents can leave drivers injured, with expensive medical bills, and unable to work.
If you suffered an accident due to someone’s negligence, you may be able to sue for damages.
Sometimes your insurance policy and the other’s driver’s insurance pay your accident costs.
Other times, the insurance company may not agree to pay what you deserve, leaving you hurting both physically and financially.
A personal injury lawsuit can help you recover compensation for physical injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering. However, personal injury lawyers can’t take every case.
Keep reading to learn why a personal injury lawyer might not accept your case. Then we’ll let you know how to improve your chances of getting a lawyer to take your case.
The Statute of Limitations Has Expired
In California, the statute of limitations states that you have a limited time period in which to file a personal injury lawsuit. How long you have to file your accident lawsuit depends on the circumstances of your accident:
- For a personal injury lawsuit, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident;
- For a wrongful death from accident injuries, family members can file up to two years from the date of the person’s death;
- For a lawsuit over vehicle damages, you must file within three years from the date of the accident; and
- For an accident caused by a government employee, you must file a lawsuit within six months.
If you consult a personal injury attorney after the statute of limitations expires, then the attorney won’t be able to take your case. This is because the court will dismiss a personal injury case filed outside the statute of limitations. So if you’re experiencing the frustration of “No lawyer will take my case!” ask if the statute of limitations has expired.
The Lawyer Can’t Afford Your Case
When you meet with a personal injury attorney for a consultation, the attorney will discuss your legal options. In that process, the attorney will determine how much your case is worth. The attorney will advise you of a reasonable settlement request, but you’ll have the final say on accepting any settlement amount.
At the same time, the attorney will evaluate how much it will cost to litigate your case. Most personal injury cases are litigated on contingency. This means that the law firm funds the cost of litigation and gets paid only when your case reaches a successful settlement or trial award.
If you’re wondering how to get an attorney to take your case, you’ll need to find the right firm. When your case requires extensive investigation and lots of expert consultation, litigation expenses might be too much for a small firm. If you have a smaller case, it might not be a good match for a big firm. In either situation, the attorney might refer you to a firm that is a better fit for your case.
You Don’t Have Enough Damages
If you’ve experienced a personal injury accident, you probably feel like someone should pay. However, in a legal sense, a negligent defendant must pay only when you have suffered injuries that can be compensated. These injuries, which can be physical, financial, or emotional, must amount to a sum that is worth litigating.
The attorney costs and court fees of the legal process can be expensive. That’s why our firm, Starpoint Law, takes personal injury cases on contingency. We don’t want you to have to pay legal fees upfront. However, if you only have slight harm from your accident—like a scratched car or a bruised arm—a lawsuit could cost more than your damages are worth.
How to Get a Lawyer to Take Your Case
To get a lawyer to take your case, first set up a consultation. Most personal injury firms offer free case evaluations so they can get to know you and your situation before determining if they can help.
Organize Your Documents
To make this consultation productive, remember that the lawyer is likely busy. Come to the meeting well organized, with any accident documentation you have on hand. Answer the lawyer’s questions clearly and truthfully. You should have a chance to ask the attorney questions as well.
Don’t Assume Your Case Is Too Small
Don’t assume that your case is too small or big for the lawyer. Instead, present the details clearly, and let the lawyer give you a professional opinion. During the consultation, the lawyer should tell you what settlement amount would be appropriate for your case. Then you can decide whether it’s worth pursuing legal action.
Call Starpoint Law for a Free Consultation
To get a free evaluation of your personal injury case, contact Starpoint Law. We’ll listen to your experience, advise you of your legal options, and let you know if your case is a good fit for our firm. If we can help you, we will, negotiating with the insurance companies and advocating for the money you deserve.