Fiol Law Group|Posted in Lawsuits on May 27, 2020
Finding the right personal injury attorney can give you hope for the future. It can inspire greater confidence during a difficult time in your life. If the lawyer you prefer decides not to take your case, however, you could find yourself back to square one. Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve the odds of a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer accepting your case – starting with understanding common reasons for case rejections.
Many law firms are careful with how many clients they accept at a time. Rather than operating a mill-type law firm that places profits over personal client attention, smaller and boutique-style firms are often selective in their clients to keep caseloads manageable. If you try to retain a lawyer from one of these firms at a busy time, he or she may have no choice but to deny your case for the time being. In this situation, ask if he or she can refer you to another personal injury lawyer in the area. A referral from your top choice could connect you to an available lawyer that is also suitable.
Too Small of a Case
A common reason for a lawyer to reject a case is an inadequate amount of damages. A lawyer’s time is money. Many attorneys set a bar on the value of the claims they will spend their time litigating. A small case involving minor injuries or damages may not be worth the expense of litigation for the lawyer, leading to him or her passing on the case. If a law firm denies your case based on a minimal estimate of damages, you may be able to handle the small claims court process on your own. You could also search for a different lawyer that is willing to assist you with a small case.
Lack of Defendant Resources
In the early stages of your case, a lawyer will determine the identity of the defendant(s). The defendant will be the party allegedly responsible for paying for your damages. Unfortunately, not all defendants have the funds or resources to pay a settlement or judgment award. If an investigation finds a defendant is low-income or bankrupt with no insurance or means to pay, a lawyer may turn down the case with the belief that obtaining fair compensation is not possible. In this case, you may be able to search for another lawyer who finds an outlet for recovery, such as the original defendant’s employer or a third party. Otherwise, you may not have the ability to recover damages.
Trouble Establishing Liability
Holding someone liable for your damages in Florida takes proving the defendant owed you a standard of care, violated this standard, and caused your accident and injuries. Unfortunately, proof of a defendant’s negligence or fault is not always available. Sometimes, a case against the defendant can be too weak for a lawyer to feel comfortable accepting the client. In other cases, issues such as comparative fault could interfere with a lawyer’s ability to help. If a lawyer denies your case based on trouble proving liability, look for a different law firm that may have greater resources to investigate the matter.
What Can You Do If An Attorney Won’t Take Your Case?
Conflicts of interest, wrong legal specialty, expired statute of limitations, rejections from other attorneys and lack of a personal connection are other reasons a lawyer might not take your case. Speak to the lawyer openly, asking questions about the viability of your personal injury claim and why he or she will not accept it. Find out if the issue is something you can work out or if another lawyer might be a better fit.
Strengthen the odds of a lawyer accepting your case by acting quickly, gathering as much information about your accident as possible and researching the lawyer beforehand. Do not give up hope. Different lawyers and law firms have different strengths and weaknesses. Consult with multiple firms and lawyers for a second (and third) opinion before assuming you do not have a case. One rejection does not necessarily mean the end of your personal injury claim before it begins.