Georgia Auto Accident: Why Am I Having Difficulty Finding a Lawyer?
It can be very frustrating to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. It can be even more frustrating if you are having a hard time finding a lawyer to handle your case. There can be many reasons that a law firm does not take an auto accident case even if the law firm does not clearly articulate their reasons for declining to represent you.
You are always best served by seeking a consultation with another law firm if a firm you initially consult declines your case. However, sometimes clients will talk to law firm after law firm with each declining to take the person's auto accident case. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing clients injured and killed in auto accidents for over 25 years. We understand the frustration of not being able to find a law firm to handle your case and have provided some common reasons that a law firm may choose not to take a personal injury case. Here are just a few examples of issues that factor into a law firm's decision of whether or not to take a case:
Statute of Limitations: The time limit within which a lawsuit for personal injuries must be filed in Georgia is two years. HOWEVER, this is a general rule. There are a number of exceptions- and a determination of the correct time period that applies to your case is best answered by an experienced auto accident lawyer who analyzes the facts of your case. For example, when a government entity is involved the time frame can be much shorter!! In some situations the time frame can be longer than two years- due to it being "tolled" (a few examples are that it is tolled when a person is a minor and while someone is mentally imcompetent). It can be tricky to determine when that time expires. If the other driver receives a citation in the auto accident, for example, the time may be extended while the other driver's citation is being resolved. Once the statute of limitations or legal time deadline has passed, a case is barred completely. This is why it is important to seek immediate legal advice from an experienced auto accident attorney if you are injured.
Lack of Insurance Coverage: A judgment in your favor does not have much value if there is no defendant available to pay a judgment- or if the defendant does not have sufficient assets to pay a judgment or simply files bankruptcy. Sometimes a law firm will turn down a case because there is no insurance coverage. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, in situations where the other driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance, a Georgia auto accident attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining compensation from your own insurance if you did not decline uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. If the other driver is uninsured and you declined UM coverage, then the attorney must determine whether the other driver is a homeowner or has other assets that may be available to pay a judgment. If the other driver has no assets to pay a judgment an attorney will investigate whether anyone else may have been responsible for your injuries, such as a government entity who did not maintain a safe roadway or a part manufacturer on the other vehicle or even in your own vehicle in cases involving serious injuries. Where there is no other responsible party, there may simply be no viable defendant who has the means to pay a judgment.
Insufficient Damages: Sometimes a person suffers no injuries in an accident or only very minor soft tissue injuries, such as scrapes or bruises. If the injuries you suffer in a car accident are relatively minor, the cost of litigating the case may not make it economically feasible to justify the expense of litigation.
Difficulty Establishing Fault: There are auto accidents that occur where no one is really at fault or where proving fault may be extremely difficult. A lawyer must look at the facts of each case and assess them in light of the applicable law. The more difficult the task of establishing fault, the greater the chance of a defense verdict- meaning that there is no recovery. The personal injury law firm that handles your motor vehicle accident case will typically pay all of the litigation costs including court costs, deposition costs and expert costs, which can be expensive. The law firm must weigh the likelihood of success in the case against the time they are likely to spend on a case like yours, and the costs involved versus the size and likelihood of a potential recovery. This is a balancing process so if there are extremely serious injuries the size of the potential recovery may make it worth taking a case where fault is going to be more difficult to prove. However, if there are only minor injuries, meaning any recovery will be small, the cost of proceeding may not make it economically feasible to pursue a case where establishing fault will be extremely difficult.
At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we will be happy to take a fresh look at the facts of your case. Call Montlick & Associates today to see how we can help. Our Georgia car accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.