Five Reasons a Lawyer Won’t Take Your Personal Injury Case
Bill Allen | October 4, 2020 | Personal Injury
When you contact a personal injury lawyer about your case, you generally expect the attorney to take your case. Whether it is a car accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or wrongful death claim, you expect the attorney to help you fight for compensation for your injuries.
However, there are situations in which an attorney might not accept your personal injury case. It might seem personal, but generally, there is a valid legal reason for the attorney to decline to represent a client.
Five reasons that a personal injury lawyer might not take your case are:
1. Conflicts of Interest
When an attorney agrees to represent a client, the attorney has a duty of care to act in the client’s best interest. For a personal injury attorney, that usually means doing everything under the law to hold the person responsible for causing an injury liable for the client’s damages. It also means fighting for maximum value for damage.
If the attorney has a conflict of interest, the attorney cannot take the case. A conflict of interest might arise if the attorney represented the other party in a previous cause or represents the other party in the current case. Because your best interests would be in direct contrast to the other party’s best interest, the attorney would not be able to fulfill his duty to you.
2. Statutes of Limitations
You have a limited time to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages caused by a boating accident, dog bite, or other personal injury claims. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the deadline, you cannot pursue legal action against the other party for damages.
If you wait too long to contact an attorney, the attorney might not be able to help you. Even if the statute of limitations has not expired, waiting too long to talk with a lawyer might not give the lawyer enough time to investigate the claim and prepare the lawsuit to file with the court.
3. You Are Partly to Blame for Your Injuries
Under Florida’s comparative fault laws, the compensation you receive for an accident claim can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for causing the accident. In other words, if you are partially to blame for the cause of the crash, you cannot recover the full value of your personal injury claim.
If your percentage of fault is high, the value of the claim could be significantly reduced. Therefore, an attorney might reject the cause if your percentage of fault would result in very little compensation for your claim.
The attorney could also decline to take your case if there is not sufficient evidence to prove fault. You must prove that the other party caused your injury before you can recover compensation for your damages. The attorney may not believe he can prove fault to win the case.
4. Insufficient Damages
An attorney may also decline to take your case if you do not have sufficient damages. Damages in a personal injury case include injuries, pain, financial losses, and emotional suffering. The value of your claim is based on the severity of your injuries, your financial losses, and other factors.
If you did not incur sufficient damages, the claim might not be worth taking on. An attorney has to spend a great deal of time and resources to pursue a personal injury claim. If the attorney receives a percentage of the compensation for his fees, smaller cases may not pay enough money to justify the attorney’s time and expense to pursue the case.
5. Type of Personal Injury Case
The attorney may not handle the type of personal injury case that brings you to his office. Some attorneys limit their practice to certain types of cases. Therefore, the attorney may refer you to another lawyer if he does not handle that type of law.
For example, some attorneys do not handle dangerous drug cases or other mass torts. If that is the case, you need to speak with another attorney. You always want to hire an attorney who has extensive experience handling cases similar to your case. Many times, an attorney who doesn’t handle certain types of cases will happily refer you to someone they know who does specialize in that area of law.
Always Ask the Attorney Why He Did Not Take Your Case
If an attorney says that he cannot take your case, ask the attorney why he is turning the case down. Understanding the reason can help you as you search for another attorney.
It is always wise to seek another opinion. Just because one attorney turns down your case, it does not mean that another attorney will not take the case.