10 Reasons Why A Personal Injury Attorney Might Refuse To Take Your Case
If you were recently injured, you might have started consulting personal injury attorneys to take on your case. If you are finding that several of the attorneys you have consulted refuse to take your case, they may have a valid reason for doing so. This article will discuss some of the potential reasons why personal injury attorneys may choose not to take on specific cases.
- There is difficulty establishing liability. The first issue that a prospective attorney will look at in any given case is the issue of liability. In Florida, personal injury cases are based on the theory of pure comparative negligence, meaning that if a plaintiff was responsible in any way for his own injuries, his damage award amount will be reduced. If the facts show that the other party is not legally responsible for the accident, the attorney will deny the case.
- There is an inadequate amount of damages involved. The amount of money that a personal injury case can be awarded is based on the damages that the plaintiff suffers. Personal injury cases are usually handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the attorney receives a certain percentage of the total settlement or verdict. As such, if the potential damage award amount is expected to be low, an attorney may decide that the case is not worth his time.
- The defendant has limited resources. A personal injury attorney may reject a case if he believes that the defendant does not have the proper resources to pay the damages. Likewise, if the attorney believes that there will be difficulty collecting on the judgment, he may be unwilling to take the risk of pursuing the case.
- The case would be too expensive to litigate. If an attorney works on a contingency basis, he is only paid when he collects on the judgment. If an attorney believes that the expenses that are required for him to properly litigate the case are too much, he may deny the case.
- The case would require too much of the attorney’s time. A personal injury attorney must analyze how much of his time a case is likely to require. If the case is expected to take a long time, the attorney may not receive the money that he invests in the case. Additionally, if the case takes too long, this may prevent the attorney from taking on other cases.
- Your case involves a novel issue. If there is a complex and novel issue involved in a case, the attorney may not feel that he has the necessary experience to properly handle the case. As such, he may choose to deny the case.
- There is a conflict of interest. Attorneys must adhere to a strict set of ethical guidelines; if they violate these guidelines, they may lose their professional license. As such, an attorney may reject a potential plaintiff if he previously represented the prospective defendant in question.
- The attorney has poor rapport with the client. Sometimes a personal injury attorney may reject a case if he does not have good rapport with a particular client. For example, if the attorney feels like the client does not trust him, the attorney may refuse to take the case.
- Other attorneys have already rejected the client. Sometimes a client who has already been rejected by previous attorneys may raise red flags that a new attorney may want to avoid. For example, if the client has fired several attorneys, the new lawyer may perceive that the client has difficulty with attorneys in general.
- The statute of limitations has expired. An important reason why a personal injury attorney may reject a client’s case is that the relevant statute of limitations has already expired. Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a) states that a plaintiff who was injured in Florida must bring a personal injury claim within 4 years of the date that the accident occurred. This means that even if the client has a good case, if the statute of limitations has expired, an attorney cannot proceed with the case.
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