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Phone: 703-260-6070
The Rohrstaff Law Firm

The Rohrstaff Law Firm

Call 703-260-6070
Fax 703-260-6305

Why did you turn down my Virginia car accident case?


Here are some reasons we are not able to take every case that we get calls about:

1.    There is some evidence that you did something that led to your accident. In Virginia, you can lose your case if you were a little bit at fault, even if the other person was MOSTLY at fault. That’s called ‘contributory negligence’ – that is, your negligence (fault) contributed (even a little bit) to the accident. You may really believe you did nothing wrong, but if there is proof that your actions may have helped cause your injury, we cannot help you.

2.    The time is (almost) up.  There are time limits on how long you have to make a claim or file a lawsuit. In Virginia, that limit is generally (but not always) two years. Obviously, if you wait until after the time has already expired, we turn down your case (because you no longer have one). However, we will also refuse to take your case if you have waited until too close to the deadline because it takes time to correctly get the case in order so it can be filed. We must do a proper investigation before filing the lawsuit to be sure (1) we have the correct person or company to sue and (2) what law applies to the facts. 

3.    You were not seriously hurt. Some lawyer TV ads make it sound simple to get a lawyer and file a lawsuit and get money. Unfortunately, that is not actually how it works. Health care providers charge fees for providing copies of medical records – and they are necessary to prove injuries. Doctor charge fees for their time when we speak to them, and their testimony is necessary to prove injuries. Lawsuits cost hundreds of dollars to file. After a lawsuit is filed, sworn testimony is taken of witnesses (including doctors) and the people involved. Costs of recording the testimony can easily costs hundreds of dollars. Effective trial exhibits cost money to create. All of these costs must be paid by you, so if you were not injured seriously enough to overcome the costs of bringing a lawsuit, we will turn down your case.

4.    You may have to pay your health insurance company most of what could be obtained on your behalf. If you are insured through your employer, there is a good chance that the plan requires that you repay it if you get money from the person who caused your injuries. It may not make sense for you to hire a lawyer if the compensation for your injuries is not much more than what you would have to pay back to your insurer. 

You cannot be sure about all these issues in your Virginia car collision case until you speak to a lawyer. Fill out the form on the right to find out about your case.


Sandra Rohrstaff
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Virginia Child Injury and Elder Abuse Attorney