If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident, you are likely to seek compensation. By hiring a car accident lawyer, you can improve your chances of getting the money you deserve. However, in some cases, the attorney may refuse to take your case.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we are ready to evaluate your case for free and provide a quick decision about our ability to help you. Even if you are sure that a lawyer will decline your case, call a law firm anyway. Experienced attorneys may still find a way to help.
Reason #1: The Potential Payout Is Too Low
The amount of your compensation depends on the extent of your injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages.
If your injuries are insignificant and take a short time to heal, the expenses for treating them are usually minor. Meanwhile, quick recovery often means that you can’t count on such damages as future medical treatment or lost wages.
For example, another driver rear-ended you in a parking lot. You suffered minor whiplash that subsided after a few days of taking over-the-counter meds. You missed a couple of days of work. To fix the car, you only need to repaint the bumper.
It doesn’t make sense for an attorney to spend time on your case if the potential payout is too small. Both of you will spend too much effort and resources to recover an amount that may not make a big difference.
In short, if the ROI (Return on Investment) of your case is minor, a car accident attorney may decide that it’s not worth the firm’s (or your) time.
Other reasons why the case may not be economically reasonable for an attorney include:
- The case may take too much time to complete – Some complex cases may take years to play out. Sometimes, an attorney isn’t ready to wait that long to get paid.
- Case expenses are too high – During the case, lawyers often handle some expenses like court fees, deposition, copying paperwork, and much more. If the case is big, some smaller firms may not have the resources to cover all the above.
- The defendant doesn’t have money – if the defendant doesn’t have insurance or any personal assets, it makes little sense to go through time-consuming legal rounds. Even if you win the case, you may not get the money.
A car accident attorney evaluates all the above possibilities before accepting your case. Sometimes, if the reason for refusing your case is financial, you could try shopping around for other law firms.
Reason # 2: Your Liability Is Too High
Nevada is a modified comparative fault state. It means that if you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you can’t count on compensation. If your fault is less than 50%, your payout depends on the percentage of your responsibility.
For example, driver A runs a red light and crashes into driver B, who is speeding. Both are injured and both file lawsuits for $100,000. The judge determines that driver A is 70% responsible for the accident while driver B is 30% at fault.
- Driver B recovers 70% of the proven damages – $70,000.
- Driver A doesn’t get any compensation because their fault is more than 50%.
An attorney may refuse to take your case after reviewing the evidence and concluding:
- The judge is likely to decide that your fault is more than 50%.
- The judge is likely to decide that your fault is less than 50% but still too high to result in a reasonable payout.
More often than not, car accident lawyers don’t refuse cases immediately based on the liability factor. Usually, these cases warrant further investigation.
An experienced lawyer can often collect sufficient evidence and present the case in court well enough for the judge to make a favorable decision about the percentage of your fault.
Reason #3: You Contacted the Attorney Too Late
According to Nev. Rev. Stat.11.190(4)(e), the statute of limitations (the time you have to file a lawsuit) for personal injury cases in Nevada is two years from the date of the accident. The exceptions to this statute include:
- Age – If the plaintiff is a minor, the statute of limitations starts working when they turn 18.
- Discovery – If the plaintiff discovers the injuries or dies some time after the accident, the clock starts running at the moment of discovery or death.
If you contact an attorney after the deadline, they are likely to refuse your case. When the statute of limitation is up, the judge usually dismisses the case almost immediately.
Sometimes, a car accident lawyer may still accept your case after the two-year deadline. That could happen if the attorney finds that you qualify for one of the exceptions.
Besides filing a claim on time, consider calling an attorney as soon as possible after the accident occurs to:
- Get instructions about collecting evidence.
- Allow the lawyer to start an investigation while eyewitness memories are fresh.
- Get advice on what you can and can’t say to other parties involved.
The first steps you take after the accident often prove to be highly important to the integrity of your case. If you have an attorney by your side, you can do everything possible to maximize the eventual payout.
Get a Free Case Evaluation from Pacific West Law
Even if any of the above reasons ring true, it doesn’t mean that an attorney will definitely reject your case. With thousands of nuances surrounding car accident cases, it’s easy to miss important information. That’s why an experienced attorney makes the final decision after a detailed case evaluation.
At Pacific West Law, we offer our potential clients a free case evaluation. Don’t make any rash decisions about the integrity of your case. Talk to our legal team first.