After you’ve suffered a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s always wise to seek out the opinion of a personal injury or accident attorney about your next best steps. In doing so, however, you may be surprised to find that a lawyer does not recommend moving forward with your case, or may just be unwilling to help you do so themselves.
There are a variety of reasons why a personal injury attorney might deny taking on your case, and if they do, it’s often for a good reason. But just because the first attorney you approach doesn’t take on your case, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue exploring your options.
Common Reasons a Lawyer May Not Take Your Case
Jurisdiction: When it comes to a legal case, jurisdiction can refer to a few different things, including the type of accident that occurred, where the accident occurred, and who all is involved. If the lawyer you’re seeking doesn’t have experience with your specific type of injury accident, they may deny it because they simply can’t adequately represent you. Alternatively, if your accident occurred somewhere the lawyer isn’t licensed, they legally cannot take your case. And if there are certain players involved in your accident that the lawyer doesn’t feel comfortable with taking on, they may also tell you no.
Statute of Limitations: A statute of limitations is a law that limits how much time an injured person has to file a lawsuit. It often depends on the cause of the lawsuit and the state in which the incident occurred. In Florida, the statue of limitations on personal injury lawsuits is most often four years from the date of the incident. So if you approach an attorney with your case when it’s nearing the end of your statute, they lawyer may deny taking it on because they don’t believe there’s enough time left to give you the result you’re seeking.
Time or Resources: If a law firm is too busy to give your case the adequate attention it needs, it’s much more professional of them to be up front with this fact than to try and take on the additional load. You don’t want a lawyer who doesn’t have time for your case, because then they don’t have the bandwidth to pursue it to full capacity. That could leave both parties with time, energy, and money wasted.
Liability Issues: One of the most common reasons a personal injury attorney may not take on your case after thoroughly reviewing it is because they don’t believe they will be able to adequately prove that the other party is entirely liable for the accident. Though they may believe that you played no role in causing the accident, their job is to be able to prove as much. If they look at your accident scenario and don’t feel confident in being able to do that, they may deny taking you on.
Insurance Recovery Limitations: It’s possible that a personal injury lawyer may look at your case and determine there’s no way to recover a meaningful amount of compensation from the insurance company involved. For example, if the at-fault party has minimal or no insurance coverage for your particular type of accident, then they’ll have no means to pay anything to you after a lawsuit.
What to Do When a Lawyer Won’t Take Your Case
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is a big decision. As such, you should never leave it entirely up to the first opinion you receive. If you have a personal injury lawyer look over your case, and they deny you for one reason or another, that doesn’t mean you should just give up. It’s always recommended to seek out a second or third opinion on the viability of your case.
But be aware of any patterns that arise during the process. If multiple lawyers deny taking on your case for the same reason—especially if those reasons have to do with things like an approaching statute of limitations or deeper liability issues—then it may very well be that your case is generally not strong enough to take to court. But if the first lawyer denies you because your case is out of their jurisdiction, and the second lawyer denies you because they’re too busy, then don’t give up. You may just not be contacting the right lawyers.
If, however, after three, four, or even five consultations, you’re still receiving similar messages from lawyers about your case not being strong, then you may have your answer. Most personal injury lawyers know that the injuries you’ve suffered are nothing to take lightly, which is why they often don’t want to put you through the drawn-out stress of navigating a case that likely won’t get the results you both want. An honorable lawyer should be upfront and honest about their abilities, your case, and what makes sense for both of you to take on.
After facing denials and finally deciding to let pursuing a lawsuit go, it’s time to focus on healing from your injuries and getting your life back on track. It may be hard to make some of the necessary adjustments, but it would be even harder to do so after going through an extended legal battle that you end up losing on the other side.
How to Trust a Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s an unfortunate reality that the legal industry has its share of scammers. There are many personal injury attorneys who are in the profession for the sole purpose of making a lot of money off their clients—whether they win or lose the case for them. For this reason, you may come across some law firms who agree to take your case on even when they know your chances of winning are slim.
The best way to make sure you’re not being taken for a ride is to seek out a lawyer who works on a contingency basis. This involves you paying absolutely no upfront fees, costs, or retainers for the firm to work your case. Instead, they are only paid for the work they do if they help you win or receive a feasible settlement amount. Part of this process should also involve offering a free initial consultation. If a lawyer works on a contingency basis and is confident about taking on your case, it’s often because they see the potential to find success at the end of the road, and aren’t as afraid to take the risk of signing you as a client.
It’s also important to do your own thorough research on the attorney you’re considering. You want to make sure they have ample experience with your type of accident case, the level of your injuries or other damages, a winning record both in court or in settlement scenarios, and that they have good reviews and recommendations from previous clients. A lawyer can agree to take your case on contingency, which is great, but if they don’t have a history with your type of case, they may be doing so just because they have “something to prove.” And that doesn’t always bode well.
If you decide to research The Whisler Law Firm, you’ll discover we have decades of experience serving clients who have suffered an array of personal injuries, and a winning record to go with that experience. We also work entirely on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay us anything unless we win. This includes the very first moment we meet and review your case during an initial consultation. We also promise to be entirely upfront with you about your case during that consultation—whether we think it’s a strong case we can take on, or we’re not quite the right team for the job. And that’s because we value your time and wellbeing above everything else.
Call our office at 833-529-5677 or fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation, and we’ll let you know how viable we think your personal injury case is, as well as if we believe we’re the right people to help you with it.