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Why an Attorney May Not Take Your Personal Injury Case

You’ve been injured and you feel confident that you have a substantial claim. However, when you meet with an attorney, you’re told that you don’t have a strong enough case. You don’t understand how that can even be possible. Surely, the lawyer in front of you must be overlooking the crucial facts, because you have a legitimate injury.

With personal injury attorneys, each potential case is looked at objectively, and a number of factors are considered prior to accepting or declining to represent a client. Occasionally, an attorney will decline a case for reasons of which the injured individual may not be aware. This blog post will give possible explanations as to why an attorney declined to take your case.

  To begin, it’s important to understand that the majority of attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. Typically, the attorney will advance all costs involved in pursuing your claim. Those costs, in addition to the attorney’s fee, will only be recovered if a recovery is made in your case. The expense involved in pursuing a personal injury claim can be quite high, so attorneys carefully evaluate several factors upfront, before committing.

Factor #1: Liability

An attorney will look at the issue of liability. Who is going to be responsible for bearing the responsibility for the injuries? If another party is not legally responsible for your injuries, an attorney will decline your case.

Factor #2: Significant Injury with Medical Treatment

Appropriate medical treatment should follow a significant injury. If you’ve received little to no medical treatment, it will be difficult for an attorney to prove your injury in court.

Factor #3: Statute of Limitations

Even you have a good case, an attorney cannot proceed if the statute of limitations has expired.

Factor #4: Inadequate Amount of Damages

The potential amount of money awarded to a case is based upon damages to the injured party. These damages can include pain/suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. If the award amount is expected to be low, an attorney may not be able to justify their time and resources in taking your case.

Factor #5: Inadequate Resources of the Defendant

If the party you’re suing doesn’t have sufficient resources to pay the claim, then pursuing the claim is a moot point. Often, insurance coverage is in force, but, if it isn’t, then the defendant’s ability to pay a claim is taken into consideration.

Factor #6: Expense and Time Required

An attorney may assess the outlay of their costs until the case is resolved, plus the amount of time it might take, then decide to pass on the case. Their decision to pass may not be reflective of the strength of your case, it may simply mean that they prefer to allocate their money and time to cases they anticipate will have less expense and/or a shorter duration.

Factor #7: Conflict of Interests

The bar association requires attorneys to adhere to a strict set of ethical guidelines. An attorney may reject a case due to conflict of interests for a number of reasons. For example, the attorney may have formerly represented the party you intend to sue, or another attorney in the firm may be representing your proposed defendant.

To conclude, attorneys may decline your personal injury case based upon a number of factors. Rest assured that, if your case was not accepted, the attorney gave it due consideration. In situations involving conflict of interest, or reasons personal to the attorney, you should seek out another attorney and have them assess your case.

If you would like our office to evaluate your personal injury claim, please call:

Frank Jenkins Law Office

(859) 389-9344