And Tips to Make It More Likely They’ll Accept It
In my column from a couple of weeks back, I mentioned how frustrating the process of filing a claim can be if you’re not entirely sure of the steps you should be taking to assemble a strong case. But just imagine how frustrating it would be if no lawyer will take you on as a client in the first place.
A Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer might turn down your case for a variety of reasons, some of them more valid than others.
Even if you believe you have a strong claim, there is absolutely no requirement that any motorcycle accident lawyer accept it. And if several turn you down, it may be an indication that your claim isn’t as strong as you think it is.
Obviously, I cannot speak to exactly why another law firm might reject a case, but I can give you a few reasons I’ve turned down potential clients in the past.
If you are wondering if you have an actionable case, call Lee Gaber, at 888-292-5352, 365 days a year.
Why an accident lawyer might reject your case
- It’s outside his or her area of expertise – Injury lawyers are typically not generalists. In other words, most of us have an area of expertise, and we try to work within that area as much as we can. I handle motorcycle accident injuries. While this is obviously a subset of traffic accidents, I generally only take auto accidents when they are referred by prior motorcycle clients.
So be sure to check out a law firm’s website prior to calling them. Many lawyers will accept a motorcycle accident case, but few specialize in them, as I do. Even fewer are as passionate about prosecuting motorcyclists’ interests as I.
- Issues with liability – As I’ve written about in the past, liability refers to the “fault” aspect of your case. Let’s say you’ve been involved in an accident, and reach out to a Pennsylvania motorcycle attorney. After discussing your case, if he or she feels as if you are likely to be found partially or wholly responsible for the injuries you’ve sustained, they may turn you away. An exception is possible if you could have significant damages (over $100,000 is a good cut-off) even after being held held partly liable.
Even if you have a suspicion that you may be found partially liable, it is probably still worth a call to a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer. For example, I offer no-cost initial phone consultations (888-292-5352) during which i can help you determine how likely you are to be found at fault.
- No medical treatment received – In typical motorcycle accident claims, medical records and bills constitute proof that you were injured, and how serious those injuries are. So if there were no injuries, or if you were injured but elected not to see a physician, or not to attend all of your appointments and visits, a motorcycle injury lawyer may turn down your case. You may also be rejected if you cannot produce documentation of your bills and visits.
These records constitute some of the most important evidence in any personal injury case, which is why my regular readers know that keeping receipts and bills organized after an accident is one of my best pieces of advice.
- Low level of damages and losses – Let’s say you are involved in an accident, but only suffer minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises. While even minor injuries are painful and inconvenient, an accident lawyer may decide a case with this level of injury is not worth pursuing because the damages recovered may not be enough to cover her time as well as legal expenses such as court filing fees, finding and hiring expert witnesses, and the costs of recovering and producing medical records.
A reputable firm will help you determine whether or not your injuries are serious enough to warrant a claim.
- Lack of insurance coverage – In this case I’m referring to the coverage of the at-fault party in your accident, not to your own. If they are uninsured – or if you have not purchased uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage – there may not be a realistic means by which to compensate you for your damages. In fact, uninsured motorists are likely to be people of fairly limited means, and often file for bankruptcy in order to avoid paying out the potentially thousands of dollars in damages.
Purchase UM/UIM coverage. Life is unpredictable and you obviously can’t count on anyone else to look out for your interests. So if the unthinkable happens, it is better to be sure your bases are as completely covered as possible.
- Accident attorney shopping – Don’t go from law firm to law firm asking what is the biggest award you can get. Doing some research to get an idea of what your claim is worth is a good idea, but if you give the sense that that you’re just kicking the tires to find the so-called “highest bidder,” they will rightly turn you down.
A reputable firm will not promise you a win in any case.
It all comes down to so-called lawyer’s discretion
As you can see, there is no shortage of reasons for a lawyer to decline to represent you.
So if you have to make a little effort before you even make the call to shore up your case by double checking your insurance coverage, organizing your medical bills, receipts and paycheck stubs, it is most likely worth your time.
If you can make a convincing case up front to your potential lawyer, he or she will be better able to argue your claim with passion and conviction down the road.
Do you have more questions about how to build your strongest case?
Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney Lee Gaber, Esquire is happy to take your call at 888-292-5352 for PA and NJ accident consultation. Remember, consultations are free, and there’s no fee until we win.