There are a handful of types of car accident cases that I, and many other Virginia lawyers, will just refuse to take on. These are typically cases that I know will not be beneficial to the claimant and/or myself. If your case fits into one of these categories, it may be difficult to find a lawyer who will accept your case:
- Cases with minor impact. Bumps and scratches on your rear bumper do not make for a good case in Virginia.
- Cases with less than $2,000 of expected total medical bills and lost wages. Cases with lower damages than this can usually be settled on your own. In calculating your medical bills, look at the full amount charged by your doctor, not the smaller amount actually “allowed” by the insurance company.
- Cases with a significant pre-existing injury in the same body part. If you have had three shoulder surgeries before your accident, then the chance of a jury awarding you a substantial amount of money for your shoulder injuries here is very low.
- Cases where the statute of limitations will soon expire. The time limit for a car accident case is two years. If you have to wait one year and ten months to contact an attorney, you are probably out of luck.
- Cases where you were charged with the accident. In Virginia, if you were at fault for the accident you cannot recover damages from the other person.
- Cases where you assumed the risk of your injury. If you were taking unnecessary risks that resulted in the accident, then most attorneys won't take your case. Car accident cases are sometimes heard by a jury, and juries are fairly fickle. If they believe you put yourself in danger willingly, they will not reward you damages for your car accident.
- Your case has already been filed by another attorney. We like to do things our way.
- Cases where you have a significant prior criminal history.
Of course, if you are unsure of whether or not your case will be accepted, there’s no harm in asking.