Reasons Why We Might Not Take Your Personal Injury Case
We at Herbert E. Maxey, Jr., PC, try to help everyone we can. Sometimes the best help we can give is to tell someone injured in an accident they don’t have a valid personal injury case or they might have such a case but we can’t help them with it. As difficult as the situation may be, it’s a reality that both we and those seeking our help sometimes need to face.
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident you should want help. If you call our office or fill out our online contact form you can schedule a free consultation so we can talk about your situation. Depending on your needs we can talk on the phone, in our office or at your home. This is your opportunity to tell your story.
It’s also an important step so I can tell you about negligence and insurance law and can ask you questions to learn about what happened.
You’ve run out of time
You don’t have forever to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Virginia you generally have two years, which may sound like a long time but you shouldn’t wait before speaking to an attorney. This statute of limitations generally bars lawsuits that haven’t been filed in time. In very rare situations, under extreme circumstances, you may have an excuse for taking more than two years, but you don’t want to put yourself in this situation so act before it’s too late.
If you talk to me after two years passed since your injury there’s probably nothing I can do for you. When it comes to speaking with a personal injury attorney after an accident, the sooner the better. The more time I have to investigate your claims, the better the job I and my staff can do.
The decision to take a case may be a strictly business decision. It has nothing to do with your character or your truthfulness. I may not take your case because there’s too great a risk the case won’t be successful or if it is successful, the recovery will be too small to justify litigation.
Like other professional service providers, a lawyer needs to be profitable to support his practice, his staff and his family. I work on a contingency fee basis. I get paid if you are compensated through a settlement or jury verdict. Given the time and effort needed in personal injury cases, it is important the case has a good chance of success.
Conflicts of interest
Lawyers in Virginia are required to comply with a set of professional ethical rules and regulations. They protect the public, potential clients, clients and attorneys. Under the Virginia professional ethics code I can’t take on a new client if that would create a conflict of interest with current or past clients.
Depending on the circumstances, some conflicts of interests can be avoided if certain disclosures and agreements are made between myself, the future and past clients. These may involve ethical gray areas and I normally avoid any issue that could present a possible ethical problem.
The defendant is not at fault or you may be partially at fault
To bring a successful personal injury case you must be able to show evidence that the defendant caused the accident, the resulting injuries and costs. If a defendant was not at fault, or you’re unable to prove in court the defendant was at fault, your case will be dismissed. If based on the facts of a case I feel your case will probably be dismissed I won’t take your case.
A personal injury case is normally based on a negligence claim. You would argue the defendant wasn’t acting reasonably and made a preventable mistake which caused the accident and injury. Under Virginia contributory negligence law if the defendant can show you’re at least partially at fault for the accident your case may be dismissed. If it’s clear from the facts you to some degree caused the accident I won’t take your case.
Want to learn more? Contact our office
If you have suffered an accident caused by someone else in or around Lynchburg, or within the state of Virginia, Mr. Maxey can help you. You don’t have to struggle to get by or feel like your story has not been heard. Call Mr. Maxey at 434-394-0956 or toll free 1-800-248-1950 today to get a professional on your side.