Jason Stephens | February 1, 2020 | Personal Injury
Personal injury lawyers handle a multitude of cases including transportation accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, product liability, worker’s compensation, and wrongful death. If you have been injured, it may be time to seek the advice of a lawyer to see if you have a case for a personal injury lawsuit.
You will need to do your research and meet with a lawyer who has experience with cases like yours. Just as you will be interviewing them, the lawyer will be also interviewing you. They will want to make sure that they want to represent you and that you have a good case. After meeting with you, it is possible that the lawyer could decide not to represent you. This can happen for several reasons including the following:
1) Difficult to Establish Liability
Liability in a personal injury lawsuit is a determination of who is at fault for the accident. This can depend on a multitude of factors including the circumstances of accident or injury, the parties involved, or whether there were extenuating circumstances. There may also be partial liability of other parties or even the injured – all of which can affect the outcome of the case.
The lawyer may not take your case if there is no clear responsible party for the injury. To be able to sue in court, you have to be able to establish a defendant. Meaning, there has to be someone or some company to sue. Each state has different laws about who you can sue and what you will need to be able to prove to be successful. If the lawyer thinks these issues will be too complicated in your suit, it is unlikely they will take your case.
2) There Are No Damages
Damages are the amount of money you might be awarded if your case is successful. Types of damages include medical expenses, lost wages from not being able to work, pain and suffering, or mental anguish. If the injury is minor, there will likely be little to no medical expenses or lost wages. The amount of money you may be able to recover will probably be too small and not worth a lawsuit.
Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer will only get paid a percentage of the total settlement amount or verdict if they are successful with your case. If there are little to no damages, the lawyer probably won’t take your case because they are unlikely to be paid enough for their services.
3) Too Much Time or Money is Needed
The lawyer may not take your case if it is going to take too much time or too much money. Lawsuits can be lengthy and expensive. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a case if you are rejected for this reason. Rather, it means that the lawyer has balanced out the costs of the case versus what the outcome could be and has decided that it is not cost or time effective for them to take your case.
It is also important to remember that attorneys usually take on multiple cases. The lawyer also may not take your case if your lawsuit could potentially make it impossible for them to take on other cases. If your case is too in-depth or complicated, it could take away the attorney’s earning potential of taking other, simpler cases.
4) You Have Met With Several Other Lawyers
A lawyer can usually tell if you have met with others about your case. They may not want to take your case if they can sense that you are shopping around for a lawyer who quotes the highest possible amount of damages.
It is also possible that you found a previous lawyer to take your case but that lawyer dropped or released you and is no longer representing you. This may make other attorneys hesitate to take your case. Clients can be dropped by a lawyer because they lied, have too high of expectations, or are difficult to work with. All of these reasons would make a lawyer question whether they should take your case.
5) There’s a Conflict of Interest
A lawyer may not take your case because they have a conflict of interest. Lawyers must follow professional codes of conduct and ethics. These rules are defined by both the American Bar Association and state bar memberships. The lawyer should not take your case if representing you would violate one of these codes.
For example, the attorney would be unlikely to take your case if they know the defendant or have represented them before. It also may be a conflict of interest for a lawyer to represent or sue someone who works for a company that they have a large financial stake in. Additionally, a lawyer can reject a case if they feel a personal, moral, or ethical objection to any person involved in the case or the circumstances of the accident.