4 Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case

If another party injures you due to negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to this end.

Injury lawyers will investigate your claim to gather evidence proving causation, fault, and liability. You cannot hold the at-fault party financially liable for damages without that evidence.

Most personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis, making it easier for accident victims to hire a personal injury lawyer. However, there could be some situations where a lawyer might not take your personal injury case.

Four Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take a Case 

You assume a lawyer will take your case if you want to hire them. However, there could be situations where a lawyer might turn down the case. Four of those situations include:

Expired Statute of Limitations

The Pennsylvania statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the injury date. While there could be some exceptions to this rule, the statute of limitations could bar you from filing a personal injury lawsuit. Failing to file your case before the deadline means you will lose your legal right to hold the at-fault party financially liable for damages.

Children may have longer to file a personal injury claim. Likewise, there could be cases where a person did not immediately discover they suffered harm because of another party’s negligence or wrongful conduct. In those cases, the person could have longer to file an injury case.

However, cases involving a government entity may have a much shorter deadline for filing claims. In any case, it is best to speak with a Lancaster personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Seeking legal advice promptly can avoid problems with the statute of limitations

Conflict of Interest 

Attorneys owe a duty of care to protect the best interests of their clients. However, a conflict of interest could prevent the attorney from fulfilling this duty of care.

A conflict of interest arises when an attorney represents or previously represented another client whose interests directly conflict with your interests. For example, suppose you fell while eating at a local restaurant. If the attorney represents that restaurant owner, it would be a conflict of interest for the lawyer to take your personal injury case. 

Lack of Damages 

Courts cannot undo a physical injury. Therefore, courts award damages to compensate an accident victim for losses related to an injury. 

Damages may include economic and non-economic damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Medical expenses and costs
  • Cost of nursing care and personal care
  • Reduced quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Rehabilitative services and therapies
  • Permanent disfigurement, disability, and impairment

Proving damages is an essential legal element of a negligence claim. If you cannot prove that you sustained damages, you cannot recover compensation from the at-fault party.

If you incurred a minimal amount of damages, a personal injury lawyer might not take your case. The attorney’s time and expenses investigating the claim could cost more than the attorney would receive as compensation. Therefore, it would not make sense for the attorney to take the case in that situation. 

Comparative Fault

A case involving comparative fault could result in decreased damages, which may not make it worthwhile for the attorney to take the case. 

Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws, your negligence for causing your injury could reduce the amount of money you receive for your claim. In other words, if you are partially to blame for the cause of an accident, you cannot recover full compensation for your monetary losses and other damages.

Let’s assume that you were injured in a red light accident. The other driver ran the red light and collided with your car. However, you were turning left on a yellow light at the time of the collision.

A jury may conclude that your actions contributed to the cause of the car accident. The jurors assign 30 percent of the fault for the crash to you. Therefore, the court reduces the amount of money you receive for your case by 30 percent. 

If the jury finds that you were 51 percent or more to blame for the cause of your injury, you are barred from recovering any money for your claim. Therefore, if your case appears to involve a substantial comparative negligence claim, it might not be worth the attorney’s time to accept the case. 

Don’t Give Up if an Attorney Turns Down Your Case

If an attorney refuses to take your personal injury case, ask the attorney for a specific reason. Then, seek a second opinion from another Lancaster personal injury lawyer. Another attorney may be willing to take your case or may not have the same issue that caused the other attorney to turn down your case.