Accident victims often have the right to recover compensation from the party who caused the accident. However, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer might be harder than you think. There are any number of reasons why a personal injury lawyer won’t take your case.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced Clearwater personal injury attorneys handle all types of injury claims.
If you’ve been turned down by other law firms, don’t give up hope–you can always call our law offices for a free consultation.
Read on to learn about some key reasons that a lawyer might have turned down your case.
You Waited Too Long to Call a Lawyer
Florida law only gives you two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Lawyers call this time limit the statute of limitations. State law used to provide four years to take legal action after a personal injury, but it was revised on March 24, 2023. Therefore, if your accident occurred after that date, you’re subject to the two-year statute of limitations.
Before you file the lawsuit, the lawyer has to put in significant work to establish vital elements of your case. Your lawyer will have to answer the following questions before getting started on the paperwork:
- What caused your accident?
- Who is responsible for paying damages?
- What was your role in the accident?
- What types of insurance coverage are available?
Your lawyer will have to investigate to find these answers. Unfortunately, if you wait too long, time can run out. Even if you’re seriously hurt and deserve compensation, there’s nothing any lawyer can do once the clock runs out.
That’s why it’s always important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case as soon as possible.
Your Injuries Are Minor
Not every injury justifies a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer might decline your case based on a lack of serious injuries alone–even if someone else’s careless actions caused you to get hurt.
Why? Lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming.
Even basic settlement negotiations with the insurance company can take a substantial amount of time. If your injuries are likely to heal quickly and your damages aren’t substantial, it might not be worth the lawyer’s time.
Injured people don’t pay anything upfront because personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Despite this, the lawyer has to pay to pursue your claim from day one.
Legal fees incurred by the lawyer include things like:
- The cost of hiring expert witnesses
- Court fees
- Filing fees
- Witness depositions
When the injuries aren’t serious, the settlement or verdict will be low. The defendant will probably move to dismiss the case. Further, if you were hurt in a car accident or motor vehicle accident, Florida no-fault insurance laws require that you prove a significant injury or wrongful death to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.
You Failed to Follow Doctor’s Orders
The at-fault party is typically responsible for paying the victim’s damages. In other words, negligent people are responsible for the damage their actions cause. That doesn’t mean the victim is completely without responsibility.
You have a legal duty to mitigate your injuries. That means you have to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. You also have to follow doctor’s orders to prevent your injuries from getting worse.
Insurance companies don’t simply hand over compensation. They’ll conduct their own investigation and challenge your right to compensation based on your failure to prevent the injuries from getting worse. That’s a lot of risk for a lawyer to take on–and some might shy away from your case because of it.
Your Level of Shared Fault
You will lose your right to compensation if you’re hurt in an accident that was over 50% your fault. If your level of blame is 50% or less, Florida’s modified comparative fault rules reduce your compensation award in proportion to your own degree of fault.
For example, if you were hurt in a bicycle accident that happened largely because you were texting and veered into the road, the jury might decide you were 51% responsible for the crash. In that case, you’d be entitled to nothing. However, if the jury decided you were 50% responsible, you’d be able to take home half of your court award.
Experienced lawyers often estimate your share of fault before agreeing to take on your case. If your level of shared fault is too high, the lawyer might refuse to take your case.
You’re Overly Focused on What Your Personal Injury Case is Worth
Nearly every accident victim wants to know what their personal injury case is worth.
That’s understandable–you might not be up for a legal battle that would only recover minimal compensation.
However, when you’re too concerned about the value of your case at the start, it can raise red flags for a lawyer.
Valuing your injury claim is one of the most difficult aspects of any personal injury lawsuit. Every single case is different–and no experienced lawyer can give you a dollar figure without putting in some serious work.
An experienced personal injury lawyer might think you’ll become a problem client later in the game if you insist on knowing what your case is worth too early in the process.
The Lawyer Has a Conflict of Interest
Lawyers in Florida are subject to a strict code of ethics. One important rule requires them to avoid conflicts of interest. If representing you would conflict with the interests of another client, the lawyer has to refuse your case.
For example, assume you were hurt in a slip and fall accident at a local grocery store. If the attorney represents the store in other legal matters, the law firm might be unable to handle your case. Providing legal advice that helps you win compensation would conflict with their existing client’s best interests.
Your Personal Injury Case is Especially Complex
Certain types of personal injury claims are relatively easy to prove. If a truck ran a red light and slammed into your car, most lawyers know how to get the evidence needed to establish liability in an auto accident.
Other accident cases can be much more complex and time-consuming. The lawyer is obligated to put in the time and effort your case deserves. Some lawyers simply aren’t interested in accepting difficult and challenging cases. Others don’t have sufficient time.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have a case, it just means that the particular lawyer doesn’t have the time or resources to help you pursue it. Often, an attorney can recommend another lawyer who might be better suited to take on your particular case.
You’ve Spoken With Too Many Lawyers
If you mention that you’ve spoken with many other lawyers, that can sound an alarm for an experienced personal injury lawyer. The lawyer will start to wonder why other attorneys refused your case.
It’s never a bad idea to shop around and learn more about your options when choosing a lawyer. That’s why most lawyers offer a free consultation. When you speak with more than a handful, it might show that you have unrealistic expectations or that you might make their life unreasonably difficult.
Remember, your lawyer should be dedicated to your case. Your lawyer can’t promise a miracle.
The Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Won’t Take Your Case Can Vary: Call Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to Learn More About Our Services
Finding an attorney can be tough. The reasons why a personal injury lawyer won’t take your case can vary widely.
If you still think you have a case, don’t let that stop you from calling an experienced Clearwater injury attorney at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers. We always give potential clients our honest opinion about all available legal options. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at (727) 787-2500.