It is not unusual to experience refusal by some lawyers to accept personal injury case. While the merit of the case is an important factor that helps lawyers to decide whether to take up the case there is another angle to it. Personal injury cases are of so many different types that lawyers practice within specific niches and set different standards for the kinds of cases they handle. The value of the claim is also another factor because some personal injury lawyers set a certain value for cases to work with.
Refusal by some lawyers does not always mean that your case does not have enough merit, but it could be that it is just not their cup of tea. Although lawyers do not cite reasons for refusal, you can knock at some other doors and get a lawyer who is ready to work for you. Just ensure that you talk to a Brain Injury Attorney Los Angeles even if you are seeking compensation for a fractured hip because both are personal injuries. If you get injured in some accident or event for which you can hold someone else responsible, there is always a case for claiming compensation for personal injury.
On going through this article, you will understand what attorneys consider when taking up personal injury cases.If you find it challenging to make attorneys accept your case, you willthen know what could be the reasons for it.
Weighing the risk and reward
Unless a lawyer finds enough incentives to pursue a case, he or she will not take up the case. The motivation or reward is the remuneration the lawyer receives which is payable only on satisfactory settlement of the lawsuit because personal injury lawyers work based on a contingency fee. Moreover, lawyers must pay from the pocket to meet the ongoing expenses for the case, which they stand to lose in case the outcome is not favorable. Naturally, they weigh the risk and reward first before deciding to take up any case. Unless the anticipated compensation justifies their efforts as well as money spent, they will not accept any case. Lawyers who take a high risk might handle cases with higher anticipatory reward while if the reward is low, it might not justify the efforts and results in a refusal.
In addition, there are some other reasons why a personal injury lawyer might not be interested in taking up a case.
Liability is a big factor
The success of personal injury cases depends on the prospects of establishing liability which in simple words mean who is responsible for the accident and injury. The liability must be amply clear failing which the chances of reasonable or good settlement are quite low and may discourage lawyers to take up the case. The cost and efforts would be more than the compensation and not seem attractive at all to lawyers. Moreover, even if clients feel that there is enough liability to prove the case, lawyers may differ. For example, in a slip and fall case on a wet spot in a shopping complex, it might seem easy to establish the liability of the store personnel, but the reality could be otherwise. Unless you can prove that the store personnel was negligent by not cleaning the place despite being aware of it, you cannot hold them liable.
Comparative negligence and contributory negligence
The state laws on personal injury vary in the concept of judging negligence. Some states adopt the concept of contributory negligence which means that there must not be any negligence on the part of the plaintiff. If the plaintiff was even slightly negligent that caused the injury, it would bar him or her from making a recovery from the defendant. Under the concept of comparative negligence, the plaintiff can claim for compensation if his or her negligence does not exceed 50%. However, during settlement, the plaintiff receives less amount of money for damages depending on the extent of his or her negligence. Therefore, the laws of the state could be a reason for a lawyer refusing to accept your case.
How complex is the case
Complicated cases can be quite expensive and, and lawyers weigh how much it would be worthwhile to take up the case that can be quite difficult too. The case might require several depositions by experts and witnesses that can take a lot of time and asking experts for their time would entail high expenses. Medical malpractice cases are examples of complex personal injury cases, and it can mean spending thousands of dollars and devoting many months to drive the case. If the recovery does not justify the efforts and expenses, it is likely that lawyers would refrain from taking up the case.
Viability of claims
Legitimacy is not the only factor to judge if a claim is viable or not. The impact of some states imposing capping on damages in medical malpractice cases and some reforms of tort law have rendered many legitimate claims unviable. There are too many hurdles to cross to make a claim and the hindrances discourage lawyers to pursue the case. In most cases, it ends up spending more money than what you expect to recover. The lawyer would evaluate the impact of tort reform on the case to judge the extent of risk involved in it and might finally decline it.
Severity of injury
Chances of a high verdict are more for cases in which injuries are more severe. But the potential of high verdict comes with its share of high risk that many personal injury lawyers might feel more than what they would be comfortable with. However, it is important to establish the severity because what seems severe to you might not be that much severe to the average lawyer. Unless the lawyer is confident of substantiating the injury to everyone else that matters, he or she will not take an interest in the case.
Most personal injury cases have the potential of out of court fair settlement. If the client is too keen to take the case to court, then there is enough reason for lawyers refusing to take it up.