Five Reasons a Personal Injury Lawyer Won’t Take Your Case

By Peter DePaolis

After suffering a serious Fairfax personal injury, an attorney could help you fight for fair financial compensation. Partnering with a law firm can help you feel safe, protected and cared for. It could also educate you on your rights after a negligence-related accident, such as the right to hold an at-fault party liable. To retain an attorney, however, you will have to convince one to take your case. This could be difficult depending on your situation. Learning the top reasons a lawyer may not take your case could improve your odds of securing representation.

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Minor Losses

You typically do not need an attorney if you only suffered minor losses in an accident. If your injuries cost less than $10,000 in medical bills, for example, a Fairfax car accident lawyer may not agree to take your case. You may be better off representing yourself. The amount of time and energy spent on representing you may not be worth the amount the lawyer could receive in legal fees for a case involving only minor losses. Most lawyers will only accept cases that are foreseeably worth their while. A lawyer’s time is too valuable to spend on a case that is not worth much money. From your perspective, it may also not be worth it to spend money on an attorney if you only suffered minor losses.

Not the Right Fit

Most attorneys know whether they are the right fit for a case. An attorney with little to no experience handling catastrophic injury cases, for example, might be ill-equipped to take on your case if you lost a limb or have a spinal cord injury. An honest attorney will reject your case if he or she knows the firm is not the right fit. The lawyer may instead refer you to another attorney or law firm better suited to represent you. Find an attorney that makes you feel comfortable, with experience handling cases similar to yours.

Missing Case Elements

Although each lawyer may see things differently, one attorney may review the details of your case and decide there is not enough evidence for a valid claim. In general, your personal injury case must involve a party that owed you a duty of care, breached this duty and caused your accident and injuries. If your case does not involve duty, breach, causation and damages, your attorney may decide you do not have all the necessary elements of a claim. This could lead to the personal injury lawyer rejecting your case.

Low Odds of Success

Even with all four elements of a personal injury claim, you might have made mistakes that decrease your odds of a successful lawsuit. A lawyer may notice signs of a high-risk case and politely decline to take you on as a client. You may have a high-risk injury claim if you admitted fault, were acting negligently or recklessly at the time of the accident, contributed to your own injuries, failed to go to a doctor right away, did not follow your medical treatment or were otherwise at fault for your injuries. Maryland is a comparative negligence state, however, meaning even if you contributed to your injuries, you could be eligible for compensation. This could increase your odds of retaining an attorney.

Missed Statute of Limitations

Sometimes, an attorney cannot help you even if he or she wants to – most likely because you missed your deadline to file, or statute of limitations. Personal injury claims come with strict time limits. If you wait too long to contact a lawyer, you might have already missed your statute of limitations. You have three years from the date of your accident to bring a lawsuit in Maryland. This is true for most cases involving personal injuries, product liability, property damage, medical malpractice and wrongful death. A lawyer will most likely reject a case that has already missed its statutes of limitations unless an exception to the rule exists.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.