It is disappointing, to say the least when you believe you have a legitimate personal injury claim, but personal injury lawyers reject your case. Yet, it's essential to know that there is a valid reason behind the decision and several factors that went into it.
That doesn't mean you don't have options. If a personal injury lawyer refuses to take your case, it's best to consult other specialists.
Don't let a refusal discourage you. We have a reputation for taking on cases that other attorneys didn't think they could represent and going on to win those cases. We will thoroughly investigate your case and let you know if filing a claim is in your best interest.
Personal Injury Lawyers Turning Down Clients
Let's look at some different scenarios, as it's important to evaluate your case potential through the eyes of lawyers who may accept or decline to represent you:
A. You Don't Have a Personal Injury Case
Perhaps your case is not a personal injury case, or it requires representation by an attorney specializing in a specific practice area.
- For example, you want to fight a red-light ticket. To fight a ticket, you'll want to hire an attorney who handles traffic matters or let your insurance company take it. If you do get sued, your insurance company will provide you with a lawyer. Nothing that happens in court for a ticket is relevant to a personal injury lawsuit. Should one eventuate, the court's findings are not admissible.
B. The Case Is not 'Winnable'
Lawyers will turn down cases with very little or no chance of winning. If a lawyer files a claim that they know - or should know - has no merit, then the court could sanction the lawyer or face a lawsuit for the costs and fees the opposing side had to pay to defend the frivolous suit. If a lawyer rejects your case because it's not winnable, but you believe strongly in the merits of your claim, then it may be worth it to reach out to a few more lawyers to hear what they say. If they all reject your case for the same reason, then it's safe to assume that you should not bring your lawsuit.
- For example, a lawyer will reject a case where you missed the statute of limitations, the deadline by which you must file the lawsuit. The statute of limitations prescribes a specific period during which a claimant is allowed to file. If that term is overdue, once you approach a law firm, they'll tell you that there is nothing more they can do. In such cases, you are eligible in filing a claim only if there is sufficient proof to demonstrate the other party's negligence.
- Consequently, lawyers won't accept a case where there is clearly no viable legal basis for holding the other person liable because you don't have sufficient grounds to file.
C. The Attorney Does Not Have Enough Experience in a Particular Type of Personal Injury Case
You should not hire attorneys inexperienced in handling the type of claim being pursued. If the case ends up being dismissed for lack of merit or because the attorney is inexperienced, this can backfire severely with potential cost assessments or sanctions being levied by the court against you, counterclaims being filed, and possibly even abuse of process claims being pursued.
Miami Personal Injury Lawyers - What Justifies Declining Cases?
You Don't Have a Strong Case
Attorneys evaluate your personal injury case's potential and their costs and ability to represent you well. After that, they determine whether the claimed damages justify the economic risks. Certain cases lend themselves well to contingency fee agreements, where the lawyers only get paid if the case is successful. In our case, these fees range from 34%-40% and are produced from the total amount. Other cases do not. If you consult multiple attorneys that regularly handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis, and they all decide not to take your case, that may be a good indication that your case may need to be more solid. If multiple lawyers tell you your case isn't worth it, you can consider filing the claim in small claims court.
- If the level of damage is insignificant, you might be turned down by certain law firms. Why? The damage is the first thing lawyers look into when assessing a claim's potential. Filing and pursuing a lawsuit, copying, and coding documents, and stenographers for depositions, in the end, just filing a lawsuit costs money - postage alone can cost a few hundred dollars - not just time. In a major lawsuit, lawyers will probably involve expert witnesses, whose fees start at a few hundred dollars an hour.
- Your case may not be worth pursuing if you never saw a doctor or your injury is minor. In a contingency case, the lawyer often absorbs most or all costs. For example, most personal injury lawyers rely heavily on medical records to prove claims.
- The other person does not have insurance coverage. Not only must lawyers analyze liability, but they must also analyze the defendant's ability to pay. In the case of corporations, that's relatively easy. In the case of individuals, not so much. A judgment that takes four years to obtain can be wiped out in an afternoon with a bankruptcy filing.
- Sometimes a lawyer may believe your case has merit, but they cannot afford to take it based on their current caseload and resources. Try contacting another firm with the resources to handle your case in this situation.
There's a Conflict of Interest
If the lawyer has a personal relationship with a party involved in the accident, they will likely turn down the case. An attorney may turn down a client if they previously represented the defendant. If the attorney is morally or intellectually at odds, they may perceive a conflict and reject the case.
It's a Lawyer's Discretion
In deciding whether to undertake contingency fee representation in a case, attorneys may be highly selective concerning the character and integrity of the client since the judge and jury will scrutinize those qualities if the case ends up being tried.
Injured in Miami - Building a Strong Case
An accident is an overwhelming experience that raises two major questions:
- Who's responsible for what happened?
- Am I entitled to receive compensation for my damages?
For many injured individuals or surviving families, a legal claim is the only hope of recovering losses. But the truth is that it's difficult to answer these questions in the absence of a concrete accident case evaluation. The underlying facts and circumstances of each injury accident will play a role in an attorney's decision about whether or not to represent you. We'll provide you with some general guidelines that will help you understand whether you have a personal injury claim or not.
To find out if you are entitled to file a claim for personal injury, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Only a legal expert can tell you if it's worth pursuing a claim after they examine your case. Typically, there are three conditions you have to meet to be able to file a claim:
- The accident caused your injuries
- The other party's reckless behavior caused the accident
- The damages you suffered led to financial loss
How Can Miami Attorney Sean M. Cleary Help With Your Personal Injury Claim?
At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we strive to help the injured victims of personal injury accidents find the compensation they need.
Our Miami-based attorney will closely evaluate your case and see if there is any way we can help you get the compensation you need for your injuries and damages.
Sean Cleary has often accepted to work on cases that were previously declined by other lawyers, managing to recover rightful compensation for claimants.
Call us if you are not sure whether or not you have a personal injury claim or you have been turned down by other lawyers.