Top 5 Reasons a Personal Injury Lawyer Won't Take My Case

by Kent McGuire on Jul. 15, 2020

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: This article covers the top 5 reasons a personal injury attorney may decide to not take your case including statute of limitations, the value of your claim, and fault.

If you are injured in an accident caused by another party, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Insurance companies handle many of the personal injury claims filed after an accident. You are not required to hire a personal injury lawyer to settle injury claims related to car accidents, slip and fall claims, or other accidents.


However, having an experienced attorney fighting for your right to fair compensation can be extremely helpful. Most attorneys offer a free consultation so that the attorney can learn more about your claim. You can also use the free consultation to ask questions and decide if you want to hire the attorney.


Why Won’t a Personal Injury Lawyer Take My Injury Case?

After meeting with a personal injury attorney, he may tell you that he cannot take your case. You are confused because you believe you have a strong case against the person who caused your accident.


Unfortunately, there are some situations in which an attorney may refuse to take your case. Five of the most common reasons for an attorney to turn down a personal injury case are:


1.  The Statute of Limitations Has Expired

Statutes of limitations limit your time to file a personal injury claim. The statutes of limitations set deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The deadlines to file injury claims vary by state and case type.

Once the statute of limitations expires, there is nothing the attorney can do for you. Therefore, if you wait too long to talk to an attorney about your case, you may lose your right to file a personal injury lawsuit.


2. The Attorney Does Not Accept Cases Like Your Case

Some attorneys limit their law practice to certain areas of law. For example, a personal injury lawyer might specialize in motor vehicle accidents and premises liability claims. However, your injury claim involves medical malpractice.


An attorney may turn down your medical malpractice case, but the attorney may refer you to a medical malpractice attorney in the area. If the attorney does not offer a referral, ask the attorney who he would choose to represent him if he had an injury claim similar to your claim.


3.  The Value of Your Claim is Very Small

In some cases, the cost for the attorney to handle the claim is higher than the value of the injury claim. Depending on the case, an attorney may need to invest thousands of dollars to investigate the case. The attorney may also need to hire experts to help prove liability.


If the attorney cannot recover his investment and attorneys’ fees, he may decline to accept your personal injury case. You may want to obtain a second opinion from another attorney before attempting to handle the claim without a lawyer.


4.  You Contributed to the Cause of the Accident

Each state has laws governing contributory negligence or comparative fault. If you contributed to the cause of the accident, the value of your claim could be reduced significantly.


In some states, a party who contributes to the cause of an accident by more than one-half is barred from recovering any compensation for an injury claim. A small number of states have laws that bar a party from receiving any compensation for a claim if the party contributed in any way to the cause of the accident.


An attorney may not take a case that involves contributory negligence if there is a high chance that you may not recover any compensation or very little compensation because of your fault for the accident.


5.  The Attorney Has a Conflict of Interest

Attorneys owe a duty to their clients not to represent another client who may have an adverse interest. Conflicts of interest may arise from a variety of situations.


For example, the attorney may be related to a party to the case. The attorney may have represented a family member or associate of the other party. There are many ways a conflict of interest could arise.


Ask for a Reason if the Attorney Turns Down Your Case

If a personal injury lawyer declines to take your case, ask the attorney for a reason. The attorney should be able to provide you with a valid reason for turning down the case. However, be aware that an attorney may simply turn down a case for personal reasons.


You are free to seek advice from another lawyer if you are not satisfied with an attorney’s advice or answers to your questions. You can also meet with several attorneys so that you can choose the attorney that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

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