Learn the common reasons why a Florida car accident lawyer might not be able to take your case.
Florida drivers experience around 400,000 auto accidents a year.
With all those crashes, one or more drivers are at fault. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning a driver’s insurance must pay for their injuries regardless of fault. However, even in a no-fault state, the driver who caused the accident can still face a lawsuit.
A Florida driver’s legally mandated personal injury insurance only covers 80% of their medical costs and 60% of lost wages. The personal injury insurance caps benefits at $10,000 for medical and disability benefits and up to $5,000 for wrongful death.
Because medical bills and lost wages from a car accident usually exceed those limits, the injured party is likely to sue. The driver responsible for the accident (or their insurance company) should pay for the injuries they caused.
If you experienced a car accident, we recommend consulting with a Florida car accident lawyer. Over the past 30 years, our car accident attorneys have represented over 20,000 injured victims and won millions of dollars of compensation.
However, car accident lawyers can’t take every client. Here are the most common reasons why a Florida car accident attorney may not be able to take your case:
REASON 1: Why a Florida Car Accident Attorney Might Reject Your Case
Your Own Negligence Played Too Big a Role in the Accident
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Florida law on comparative negligence explains, “contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately…for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault, but does not bar recovery.” (Florida Statutes Title XLV. Torts § 768.81)
This means that even if you contributed some fault to your car accident, you can still recover for your injuries. You recover the portion of damages that corresponds to the other driver’s fault. For instance, if you were 20% at fault for the accident, you could recover 80% of your damages from a personal injury lawsuit.
At some point, this sliding scale pushes out the economic feasibility of a lawsuit. For instance, if you were 90% at fault, a Florida car accident lawyer probably wouldn’t accept your case. A plaintiff who is 90% at fault for an accident doesn’t seem very persuasive to a judge or jury. Plus, it’s not likely worth the cost of litigation to sue for only 10% fault. However, this equation all depends on the settlement amount at stake.
REASON 2: Why a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Might Reject Your Case
The Statute of Limitations has Expired
After an accident, you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations, and your Florida car accident attorney must abide by this law. The statute of limitations varies depending on the reason behind your lawsuit and the state law.
Lawmakers create statutes of limitations because they don’t want victims to sue years after an accident. Judicial efficiency requires lawsuits to proceed soon after the accident. Also, witnesses and medical exams are likely to be more accurate and persuasive soon after your accident. For these reasons, statutes of limitations make sense, even if they don’t seem fair to victims.
In Florida, a statute of limitations applies to car accident injuries. This means you can’t wait too long to file your lawsuit, or a judge may toss your lawsuit out. To avoid the Florida statute of limitations, contact a Florida car accident attorney soon after your accident.
REASON 3: Why a Florida Accident Lawyer Might Reject Your Case
The Accident Didn’t Take Place in Florida
You’ll want to consider where your accident took place when choosing a law firm. That’s because tort law differs from state to state. In the United States, we have federal law and state law. Federal law governs things like civil rights, tax fraud, and copyright violations. However, state law governs most aspects of personal injury cases, like the statute of limitations or non-economic damages caps.
Also, you must file a lawsuit in the proper jurisdiction, which means the court allowed to hear the case. In general, you should file your lawsuit in the state where your accident took place. Other options include filing your lawsuit in the defendant’s home state or in your state if certain exceptions apply. You can sue in federal court if you have at least $75,000 in damages, and you and the other driver are from different states.
Our Florida car accident attorneys are experts in Florida law, where we have decades of experience. If your accident took place in Florida, we can explain the Florida laws that apply to your accident injury.
Whether you were injured in Florida or another state, give us a call, and we can discuss your out-of-state car accident case.
REASON 4: Why a Car Accident Lawyer Might Reject Your Case
Your Injuries Are Not of a Serious Nature
Car accidents are terrible, and if you walked away from one without serious injuries, consider yourself lucky. However, that good fortune means that you might not have substantial damages for a lawsuit.
Lawsuits take time and money to negotiate or bring to court. So, a Florida car accident attorney evaluates your case to make sure you can get enough money for your effort. This requires an attorney to calculate all possible damages from your car accident.
In Florida, personal injury damages come in three different categories.
Economic damages reimburse you for actual expenses resulting from your lawsuit. This includes things like medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages. A Florida car accident attorney adds up your receipts (or estimates) and presents them to the defendant’s attorneys. These damages are usually simple and straightforward.
Non-economic damages can be a little more challenging to calculate. These damages cover your emotional injuries, such as the pain and suffering that you experienced because of your accident. Pain and suffering can show up in forms like anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Loss of companionship also fits into this category. This means that people in your life can’t enjoy activities with you like they did before your accident.
Punitive damages aren’t awarded as often as the other forms of damages. Punitive damages exist for times when the defendant deserves punishment for bad behavior. For instance, if you were hit by a drunk driver, the court might award punitive damages.
As you can see, your injuries alone don’t form the total basis for your claim. We can help you calculate other damages and determine if you have enough damages to pursue a lawsuit.
REASON 5: Why a Florida Auto Accident Attorney Might Reject Your Case
Your Case Presents Medical Care Issues
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, you might need long-term medical care. For instance, your injuries might require extensive physical therapy or a live-in nurse.
Long-term medical care can mean enormous medical bills. These medical bills significantly impact a settlement. Your personal injury attorney should request full compensation for all medical costs that result from your accident.
Because our attorneys value transparent relationships with our clients, we only take cases that we think we can win. If long term medical care issues concern you, we will discuss our expertise in settling those expenses before you hire us.
Long term medical care is stressful enough without adding financial burden. You need a Florida car accident lawyer who will make sure you don’t have financial worries on top of your long-term injuries.
REASON 6: Why a Car Accident Attorney Might Reject Your Case
You Are Shopping Around for a Lawyer Who Promises the Most Money
Our Florida car accident attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. However, we value honesty and integrity, and these values prevent us from deceiving clients.
After hearing your story, we conduct a free case evaluation. We calculate possible damages and let you know if you have a strong case. We don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver.
For that reason, you may find other Florida car accident attorneys who promise you more money. These lawyers may or may not be able to deliver on that big figure. We can’t guarantee victory in every case, either. However, we only take your case if we think we can win it. We don’t charge you anything until we successfully settle your case.
We work promptly as we aggressively negotiate with insurance companies to get the most money possible in the shortest time. With ten attorneys and 40 legal staff, we have the resources needed to move your case quickly to settlement.
However, we won’t promise inflated settlement amounts to get your business. If you want honest, skilled legal representation, call our Florida car accident lawyers for a free consultation.
REASON 7: Why a Car Accident Lawyer in Florida Might Reject Your Case
You Refuse to Take Your Lawyer’s Advice
You need a lawyer you can trust. After all, you’re hiring someone for professional advice, and you have a lot of money on the line. If you can’t trust your lawyer’s advice, then you probably need a new attorney.
Here are a few things you should know about our Florida car accident attorneys’ advice:
- We offer a free consultation. We’ll review your case and let you know if it’s something we can handle.
- All our communications are confidential. Our discussions are protected by attorney-client privilege, which means the court cannot force your attorney to disclose your confidential communications.
- Attorney “work product” is protected from discovery as well. This means your attorney doesn’t have to hand over documents that detail thoughts or legal theories about your case.
- We may not always tell you what you want to hear, but we’ll tell you the truth. We base our legal strategies on decades of experience with cases like yours.
- You have the final say. You hire us, and we serve you. This means that you have the final say on any settlement agreement.
When you’ve experienced an injury due to someone’s negligence, it becomes harder to trust others. We understand that and welcome the chance to show you we have your best interest in mind. We’ll listen with compassion and respond with expert legal advice.
REASON 8: Why a Auto Accident Lawyer Might Reject Your Case
You Have Unrealistic Expectations About the Value of Your Claim
You probably feel pain and outrage over your injury. We aim to get you a maximum dollar amount to compensate for that pain.
However, we know that the sky is not the limit. Our 30 years of personal injury experience show us how much money you’re likely to receive for a particular injury. Holding out for an unreasonable amount may hurt your chances of receiving a fair Florida car accident settlement.
So, we are honest with you from the beginning of your case. We give you recommendations for a reasonable damages calculation. It’s up to you to approve that amount. As always, you have the final say.
If you shop around, you might find an attorney who will promise you inflated damages amounts. That kind of talk seems exciting at the beginning of a case but ultimately leads to disappointment. We keep things realistic from the first time we meet you.
REASON 9: Why a Florida Accident Attorney Might Reject Your Case
Your Case is too Financially Risky to Pursue
Sometimes the risk of a case is not worth the reward. If you don’t have a strong case, we may not want to risk our legal resources on it.
We take this position because we work on contingency. This means that you pay nothing unless we win you money. You also pay us nothing while we work on your case, no matter how long it takes. If we lose, we absorb all the legal costs of preparing for trial. This financial commitment means we only take cases that we think we can win.
To be clear, we have 30 years of experience handling almost every type of personal injury you can name. We’re not intimidated by any type of case. We have the resources to fight big insurance companies in headline-grabbing cases.
However, we’re practical. Our Florida car accident lawyers tell you right away if we think your case is unwinnable. That’s only fair to you and us.
Call Us to Discuss Your Florida Car Accident Injury
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you owe it to yourself to find excellent legal representation. We’ve helped thousands of clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 30 years.
We can’t represent everyone, but we help everyone we can. Call us for a free consultation. We’ll review your case and let you know if we can give you the legal representation you deserve.