Seeking Legal Help Unsuccessfully
If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered injuries, you may have decided to retain an attorney to help you recover compensation for your damages. After a few frustrating calls to personal injury lawyers that told you they would be unable to help, you may be wondering – why is it so difficult to find an attorney to take my case? Most of the time, there are valid reasons. There are a lot of things that a California personal injury lawyer must consider before making the decision to sign up a new client. Sometimes, further investigation into the facts of the accident must be done, but often enough information can be gathered over the phone for an attorney to make that decision. Let’s examine some of the reasons why a personal injury attorney may be unwilling to take your case.
Difficulty Finding an Attorney? Potential Reasons
There is a myriad of reasons why a particular attorney may not take your case, and many that will preclude most attorneys from undertaking representation. Below we look at some common reasons.
- An expired statute of limitations. Sometimes during the course of the initial phone call, it is revealed that the incident that would be the subject of the case happened more than two years earlier. In California, personal injury lawsuits must be initiated within two years of the date of the incident that caused the injury. If the party being sued is a government entity, the time to act is even shorter – six months. If the deadline to file has passed, it may be impossible for an attorney to help you.
- Liability issues. For a case to be successful, it must be proven that the other party acted to cause your injury. Sometimes, there is not enough evidence to prove that. Under those circumstances, there is no way for you to receive money for your injury claim. In other cases, you may have a percentage of fault assigned to you under California’s pure comparative fault rules. If the percentage of fault assigned to you is too high, an attorney may not want to take the case. Your percentage of fault will reduce the amount of money you will be able to receive, and there may not be enough of a recovery to pay the lawyer.
- Conflicts of interest. An example of a conflict of interest is if the attorney represented the person you will be suing in a prior matter. This inability to represent you is meant to protect your interests, and if your case does not have any of the other problems listed, you should be able to find an attorney who does not have a conflict.
- Few or no damages. In order to receive compensation after an accident, there must be evidence that you sustained damages. The settlement amount is based on your losses and damages – injuries, medical bills, income loss, etc. If there are no damages, your potential case does not have much, if any, value.
- There is no way to collect. There must be a source of recovery. If the defendant is not insured and does not have a lot of personal assets, even if you end up with a court judgment in your favor, there may be no way to collect the money. The judgment will be essentially worthless, and neither you nor the attorney would ever receive any money.
Watch the YouTube video. A trustworthy attorney will give you straight facts about your potential case, even if they are hard to hear. Below is a short video about choosing a Northern California personal injury attorney you can trust.
Personal Injury Lawyer – Stockton, California
Hello, and thank you for reading. I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury attorney in Stockton. Though there may be certain circumstances under which my law firm cannot undertake representation for your automobile accident case, we are always willing to offer free and friendly advice. Call us today at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400, or submit your questions via our online form.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/man-talking-on-the-phone-smartphone-1582238/
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