Experts In This Article
- Michael T. Gibson, Esq., Lead Attorney & President at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, Catastrophic Injuries Expert and Licensed for 17 years
- Todd Curtin Esq., Partner & Lead Trial Attorney at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney and Licensed for 8 years
- Amit Jhalli, Esq. Attorney at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney, Personal Injury Pre-suit Investigation & Brain Injury Expert and Licensed for 9 years
Although lawyers may want nothing more than to sign up every person who walks through their door, the truth is that these attorneys do not accept every case that comes their way. In reality, there are several reasons why a law firm may decide not to take on a legal matter.
This should never dissuade you from reaching out to a lawyer after an accidental injury. Many injury victims don’t know whether they have a case, because they might not know the law. The best way to know if you can someone liable for your injuries is to seek a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
The consultation is an important opportunity for you to learn about your rights – and for an attorney to determine whether they will take your case. Even though an injury lawyer might turn your case down, never hesitate to have them evaluate your situation. Further, one attorney might have reasons for turning a case down when another attorney might have the experience and resources necessary to handle your claim.
Below is some additional information about whether lawyers take cases they cannot win and what you can do to make your case more desirable.
Why Do Lawyers Refuse to Take a Case?
If you suffered injuries in an accident because of another person’s wrongful or intentional actions, you may believe that retaining a lawyer should not be a problem. However, this is not always the case. There are many reasons why a lawyer may refuse to take on your claim.
It Is Too Late to Bring a Legal Claim
The statute of limitations is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time you have to bring legal action following an alleged offense. If you do not bring your suit within that allotted time, the law bars you from collecting compensation for your injuries and losses.
As a result, if a lawyer reviews your case and determines it is too late to bring legal action because the statute of limitations has expired, they will likely refuse to take on your case.
The Case Is Too Hard to Win
Even if a claim involves significant injuries and the liability is clear, there still may be many issues that can end up derailing your case and stopping a law firm from representing you.
- If you delayed getting medical treatment for your injuries or did not follow your doctor’s recommendations
- If your perceived credibility is in question
- If you contributed to the accident
- If you posted pictures of yourself on your social media looking injury-free or made comments indicating that you may have caused the incident.
As a result, if the attorney believes they cannot win your case, they generally will not take it. This is because law firms usually put a lot of money and time into taking on a case, and they don’t want to waste resources on an unsuccessful claim.
In addition, lawyers have concerns about their reputations and how they appear to the court and other potential clients. Consequently, they do not want to seem desperate by taking on every case that comes into their office even when they know they will lose.
The Attorney Is Looking for Different Types Of Cases
Even though personal injury law involves various cases, some attorneys prefer to take on only specific personal injury claims, such as product liability accidents, medical malpractice incidents, or car crashes.
If your case does not meet one of these specific categories, the lawyer may decide to pass on representing you.
There Are Not Enough Resources to Take on the Case
Personal injury cases usually require money upfront for hiring expert witnesses, court filings, copying documents, and even postage. However, if the case is more complex, the cost of litigation can often exceed thousands of dollars. Consequently, if the lawyer does not have the funds to cover these costs, they may not take on your suit.
On the other hand, some lawyers may have the money needed to take on these cases. Still, they do not have the time because they already have a heavy caseload and do not have associates available to help them take on other cases.
There Is a Conflict of Interest
In the legal profession, there are specific ethical guidelines that lawyers must abide by. This means that an attorney has an ethical duty not to represent a client with adverse interests. For instance, if a lawyer is related to a party in a case, it can be seen as a conflict of interest, and the lawyer will probably have to reject the claim.
While an initial consultation is a great way to determine if the lawyer is a good fit for you, during this time, the attorney may get a sense if you and your case are a good fit for them. During this meeting, the lawyer will determine your motivations behind this claim and your overall situation. As a result, if you seem challenging to work with, or it appears you are desperate for revenge, the attorney may decline your case.
They Will Not Make Any Money
If the potential recovery for your claim is small, it may not be worth your lawyer’s time to take it on, no matter how likely they will win. Depending on the case, a lawyer may invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in pursuing a claim. If these costs exceed the expected possible return, a lawyer will probably not accept the case.
For example, if you were involved in a car crash, but the defendant has no insurance, the policy limits are meager, and they have little in assets, even if you succeed in your case, collecting the judgment no matter how big it may be, can still be a lost cause
That is why, for an attorney to take on a legal matter, the case needs to have the potential to recover more money than the attorney will have to invest in it.
Other Lawyers Have Rejected the Case
If other lawyers have repeatedly dropped your case or rejected it, the next attorney may think twice before taking it on, usually from an unreasonable expectation perspective or a liability perspective.
In some instances, if a client appears they are shopping around for a law firm based on the feedback they received on the potential value of their case, the lawyer may also decide not to waste their time on the legal matter.
Don’t give up looking for a lawyer after a few rejections. Numerous lawyers sometimes pass on a claim because they all missed an important detail that makes it an excellent case.
There Is Not Enough Evidence
To have a successful claim, a lawyer needs reliable and detailed evidence proving what happened and who was at fault for the accident. Consequently, if the evidence presented to them is not clearcut or disputable, many attorneys may not even touch the case.
The rationale for this is usually two-fold. First, from a financial perspective, it will not be worth it to take on the case, and two, from an ethical obligation standpoint, lawyers must prevent their clients from filing frivolous lawsuits.
There Is Nobody Liable for the Accident
Following an accident, you must determine who you will sue before you can pursue legal action. However, not every accident has a responsible party who can face a lawsuit. Typically, unless a person owed you a legal duty of care and then breached this duty, you likely will not have a case.
You Can Make Your Case More Desirable for Your Lawyer
Although you cannot change the facts of your case, there are certain things you can do following an accident that may make an attorney more willing to take it on.
Gather Evidence to Help Build Your Case
After an accident, gathering documents and evidence for a potential legal case may be the last thing on your mind, but taking prompt action after this incident can help you position your case for success, especially from a lawyer’s perspective. For these reasons, you should try to gather as much evidence from the accident as possible.
For example, if you were in a car crash, you want pictures and videos of your visible injuries, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, the vehicles involved, their placement on the road, skid marks on the street, traffic signs near the scene, and any other evidence that can show what happened.
In addition, you will also want to make sure a doctor examines you as soon as possible following the incident. Their diagnosis can provide your lawyer with a complete picture of the extent and nature of your injuries.
It will also help you to gather contact information from witnesses to the accident, prepare a timeline of the events, and obtain copies of your medical and police records.
Reel in Your Expectations
Every individual wants to win following an accident and get recouped for the losses they had to endure. However, if you show up at a law firm with huge expectations, it can create major red flags because the attorney will know that can make settling a case more difficult or lead to disappointment even if they succeed.
For these reasons, set reasonable expectations:
- Do not expect your lawyer to respond to you within minutes of sending an email.
- Do not expect a daily status report of your case.
- Do not expect that the attorney will settle your case for millions.
Tell Your Attorney Everything That Happened and Be Honest
Leaving things out to make your case more worthwhile may seem like a good idea, but in the end, it can end up costing you. This is because lawyers will find out if you’re lying or not telling them everything about your accident. When they do, they will not represent you effectively to get you the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
Leave It to the Attorney to Handle Your Case.
Some clients believe they can handle a case and will often try to tell the lawyer what they need to do. While it may be the client’s case, the lawyers are experienced professionals who know what it takes to take on these complicated claims.
That is why you decided to hire an attorney in the first place. You need to leave the legal matters to your lawyer for these reasons. They know how to file your legal documents, what evidence they need to gather, and how to deal with the insurance company. They do not require you to tell them what they can and should not do.
Do Not Wait to Get Legal Help: Reach out to an Experienced Attorney Today
Generally, if you want to succeed in your claim, it does not help to wait to see a lawyer. Too many things can happen over time that can impact your case and your chance of winning.
That is why, following an accident, you should reach out to a skilled and knowledgeable injury attorney as soon as possible.
You lawyers can:
- Discuss the accident with you in detail, evaluate whether you have a viable claim, and determine if they can take on your case.
- Figure out the legal options you can pursue and answer all your questions regarding the incident and the legal process.
- Investigate the accident and secure the evidence needed to prove fault and damages.
- Obtain experts such as accident reconstructionists to substantiate your claim.
- Take on the negotiations with the other side, including the insurance company, and fight for the just settlement you need.
- If necessary, take your case to trial, and go after the maximum damages you deserve.
If you believe you have a legal claim following an accident, do not wait any longer to secure the legal help you require. Instead, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today for a free case evaluation, and find out what they can do for you.