An attorney is a valuable aid when it comes to a personal injury claim, and most importantly, they are available to everyone. However, there are situations in which the victim of an auto accident is unrepresentable. To ensure you don't find yourself in this category, learn more about some of these scenarios.
Statute of Limitations
The injuries a victim sustains after an accident might be lifelong, but the ability to file a claim for compensation is not. Every state has a statute of limitations, which is a period in which a person can legally initiate a personal injury claim. In some states, the timeframe is as short as one year and as much as six years in others.
If the statute has passed for your state of residence, an attorney will not represent you, as there is no legal course of action that can be taken for your claim. Remember, the claim does not have to be settled within this period, but it must be opened.
Each participant in a personal injury claim is expected to provide truthful information, including the plaintiff. Even if a victim has valid injuries, and is not at fault for the accident, if the victim gives knowingly false information, their existing attorney might drop their case.
Once this issue happens, the victim has a legal right to seek new representation, but it is highly unlikely that they will find someone to take on the case. Once the insurance company has you on record for telling a falsehood, they can question everything you say going forward, which will significantly lower the value of your claim.
A painful scenario some people face is that there is no responsible party available to cover their expenses. This scenario most often arises when there is a lack of insurance coverage and limited, or no, assets. If the victim of the accident sustained injuries, but there is no insurance company to file a claim against because neither driver had coverage and the at-fault party has no assets — there is no one to seek compensation from.
Unfortunately, there is no case for an attorney to assist the victim with. Even if the victim wanted to move forward with a suit and was awarded a judgment, there is no guarantee it would ever be paid.
Don't make any assumptions about your ability to be represented solely based on the above scenarios. Only an attorney can tell you if they can represent you or not.