4 Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case
May 25, 2022 | J.L. King
If you sustain an injury because of another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, financial losses, and other damages. Hiring an experienced Tifton injury lawyer can improve your chances of recovery.
However, there are certain reasons a personal injury lawyer may decline your case. Each personal injury case is unique. An attorney may decide to reject your case based on the facts and circumstances of your accident. Or, they may just have too many cases and cannot take on another one.
Four common reasons that an attorney might give you for not taking your case include:
1. Statute of Limitations Expired
Each state sets deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The deadlines vary by state and by the type of tort.
Most personal injury lawsuits have a two-year filing deadline. Examples of personal injury cases that have a two-year statute of limitations in Georgia include:
- Car accidents
- Premises liability
- Pedestrian accidents
- Wrongful death
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Product liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Bicycle accidents
There are exceptions to these rules. For example, medical malpractice claims and product liability claims have a statute of repose, which could extend the time to file a lawsuit. The time to file a lawsuit might not begin until the person discovers the injury caused by a defective product or medical negligence.
However, some exceptions shorten the time to file. For example, lawsuits against the State of Georgia or another government entity have a very short statute of limitations. Therefore, you could have as little as six months to file a claim.
If you do not file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you cannot pursue a legal claim. It is always best to talk with an injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident or injury.
2. Your Shared Fault For the Accident
Georgia has a comparative fault rule for accidents involving multiple at-fault parties. Georgia’s comparative fault law sets a 50% bar date for liability. If you are 50% or more at fault for the cause of your injury, you cannot recover any money for your claim. However, if you are less than 50%, you can recover a portion of your damages.
A handful of states have pure contributory negligence laws that bar an accident victim from receiving any money for a claim if they contribute to the cause of the accident. Being 1% at fault bars the person from recovering compensation.
Other states have a pure comparative fault law that does not bar victims from recovering compensation regardless of their level of fault. A victim could be 99% at fault and still file a personal injury claim.
A lawyer might not take your case if you share too much responsibility for the cause of the accident.
3. Your Damages Are Minimal
Georgia personal injury laws allow victims to seek compensation for their economic damages. Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Decrease in earning potential
- Nursing care
- Personal care and household services
Victims can also seek compensation for their non-economic damages or “pain and suffering” after an injury or accident. Non-economic damages include your physical pain and emotional distress. They also include permanent impairments, diminished quality of life, and disfigurement.
Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis. They receive a percentage of your settlement amount or jury verdict as their attorneys’ fees. Therefore, if your damages are minimal, there might not be enough money to pay the costs of pursuing the case.
4. The Lawyer Has a Conflict of Interest
A lawyer may need to turn down your case because of a conflict of interest. When a personal injury lawyer accepts your case, they owe you a duty of care to provide competent legal services. Part of that duty of care is always acting in your best interest.
The attorney cannot represent two clients whose interests might be adverse to each other. Any action the lawyer takes could help one client and harm the other client. Therefore, the attorney cannot take your case if he represents a party that could have adverse interests to your interests.
Do Not Give Up if a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Yor Case
What do you do if a personal injury lawyer will not take your case? First, ask the lawyer to explain why he will not or cannot take your case.
Then, do not get discouraged. Instead, schedule an appointment to get a second opinion from another personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers provide free consultations, so talking with another lawyer about your case should cost you nothing.
While one personal injury attorney may reject your case, another may decide to take it on. Therefore, there is minimal risk in seeking out additional options if an attorney rejects your case.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact The King Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
3317 Fayetteville Rd, Griffin, GA 30223
Or if you would prefer to reach out to us online, please visit our contact us page.