5 Reasons an Attorney Might Refuse Your Injury Case
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Wayne D. Parsons with Wayne Parsons Law Office.
If you were injured by another person’s negligent or intentional actions, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims or lawsuits consist of the victim or “plaintiff” filing a complaint with the court against the allegedly negligent party, or “defendant”. Two parties may then choose to negotiate a settlement or take their case to court where the results can be decided by a judge or jury. Whenever another party’s negligence results in serious physical or financial injuries, it might be wise to consider filing a claim with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. A good personal injury attorney will not take every case that comes their way. Instead, there are a variety of qualifications a potential case must meet for an attorney to feel confident taking it on.
5 reasons a personal injury attorney might refuse your case include:
- The injuries are relatively minor. Filing and litigating a personal injury claim is a lot of work, making it difficult to file claims for every minor injury that comes along. As a general rule of thumb the injury needs to be significant or must result in long-lasting consequences for a victim’s life to be considered strong enough to build a case around. If your injuries didn’t require medical attention or time away from work, attorneys may choose not to take your case.
- The statute of limitations has expired. Every state has a different statute of limitations or window of time for different types of injury cases, after which the injury victim is no longer eligible to file a claim. For example, Hawaii has a two-year statute of limitation for car accident injuries. This means that after two years have passed from the date of the accident, there isn’t much an attorney can do to help your case.
- The case is too complex. Cases may be complex for a variety of reasons; if it’s hard to figure out how many parties are involved and where liability lies, this could make the case too difficult to de-tangle. Similarly, if the evidence is extremely difficult to obtain and/or interpet, the case may be considered too complex. However, this largely depends on the law firm. Some firms may be more willing to take on a complex injury case than others.
- There is not enough evidence. Unfortunately, some personal injury claims are perfectly valid but lack the necessary evidence to prove it. For example, if a good deal of time has passed since the initial injury, evidence might have dispersed naturally with time or even been destroyed by the negligent party fearing liability. An attorney will typically hunt out any additional evidence they can think of before judging whether or not there is enough evidence to give a case a chance.
- There is no negligent party. If the injury occurred due almost entirely or completely to choices made by the injured person themself, there may be no negligent party to litigate against. For example, someone who suffered an injury while playing soccer may not be eligible to file a claim for their damages, unless they can prove that their injury occurred as a result of another party’s negligence and not the known risks associated with playing soccer.
To learn more about what makes a case eligible for litigation, or to have your own situation evaluated by an attorney, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.