Petrov Law Firm | June 7, 2022 | Personal Injury
If you’ve suffered an injury and another party was to blame, it’s natural to want to seek compensation for the damages. It can be disheartening to have your case — and hopes for a payout — dashed when a personal injury lawyer refuses to take on your case. It can also be confusing.
But it’s important to remember that a case that’s wrong for one lawyer may be right for another. Below are four common reasons why a personal injury lawyer might not take on your case.
1. Liability Isn’t Clear
For a personal injury attorney to succeed at winning your case, they need to be able to clearly demonstrate that you were the victim of another’s negligence. In some cases, this is straightforward. In others, it is not.
State laws differ regarding how to prove negligence for a personal injury. If it’s unclear that the other party was completely at fault, it can create a messy legal situation. If the other party can claim that your own actions contributed to the injury, it’s harder for your lawyer to win your case.
Some states, like California, recognize pure comparative negligence. In this situation, both parties may share responsibility. You can be assigned a percentage of the fault, and this percentage will be deducted from the final compensation value.
Comparative fault can significantly reduce a potential payout and also make a case more complex for a lawyer to take on.
2. Not Enough Evidence
In the realm of law, evidence is everything. You may have a case of negligence on your hands that could bring you millions — but only if you have the evidence for a strong enough case.
When a personal injury lawyer holds a consultation, they’re not just considering your side of things. A good lawyer anticipates what the opposition will say in court and how to sufficiently prove your claims.
Legal issues are complex, which means there are many ways in which the evidence you have to bring to court may simply not be enough to reach a winning outcome. If a personal injury lawyer feels they can’t produce the evidence needed to win, they may feel compelled to deny your case.
3. Damages Are Low
The purpose of taking legal action over a personal injury is to gain compensation. The law is clear about exactly how this can be achieved. In a personal injury case, you can seek either economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages are financial losses or costs you have evidence of, like medical bills. Non-economic damages are for other matters, such as emotional anguish. If an injury hasn’t resulted in significant damages, a personal injury lawyer may be unlikely to take on your case.
Some types of cases are also subject to damages caps, meaning there’s a legal limit on how much money you can receive in a personal injury case. Legal proceedings require a lot of work, and if the payout is small, a lawyer may not consider a case to be worth the effort.
4. Ethical and Legal Concerns
Finally, lawyers are bound by a great many laws that govern how they conduct business. Sometimes, a lawyer simply can’t accept a case, even if they want to.
Common legalities that can prevent a lawyer from accepting your personal injury case include:
- There is a conflict of interest
- Out-of-state litigation is involved
- The statute of limitations has passed
There are additional, more complicated reasons that can prevent a lawyer from taking on a personal injury case. If your case is against a governmental entity, the body you hope to sue may be protected by laws like the Federal Tort Claims Act.
One thing to know is that a personal injury attorney may not always clearly inform you of why they don’t want to take on your case. If an attorney has declined to take on your case, it’s smart to get a few more opinions before giving up on possible compensation.
Contact the North County Personal Injury Lawyers at Petrov Law Firm for Help Today
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