Brian White | March 31, 2020 | Personal Injury
One of the first steps to filing a claim is finding a lawyer to represent you. However, a personal injury attorney can decide to not represent you even if you have a good case. When you first meet with them, they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. They will listen to the facts of the case and decide if they want to represent you.
1) They are not comfortable taking on your case
They may also not take your case because it is not their expertise. Personal injury lawyers can specialize in different types of legal cases. For example, several law firms only handle medical malpractice or workers’ compensation cases. If you were in a serious car accident and try to hire one of these lawyers, it is possible that they will not feel qualified to represent you in your case.
No law states that a lawyer must take a case. It is the simple truth that a lawyer can turn down representing you for almost any reason. This can include factors like they get a bad feeling about you or they don’t think you are trustworthy. They may also not have the resources to take on your case. Costs of litigation can be high and they may feel that the return they will get is not worth the amount of money they may have to invest.
2) There are legal hurdles in the case
Before taking you on as a client, a Houston personal injury lawyer will look at all of the facts in your case. In doing this, they may find that there are one or more legal hurdles that would make your case almost impossible to win. A good example of this is if the statute of limitations has passed. The statute of limitations is a time limit set by the state to file certain types of claims.
If this limit has passed, you cannot file a case. If you were in a car accident five years ago and want to file a case but the statute of limitations is for two years, the lawyer will not take your case.
Other reasons they may not want to take your case include things out of your control. They may have a conflict of interest. This is when the lawyer would owe a duty to more than one person in the case. A lawyer’s job is to advocate solely for their client. They cannot do this if they have some sort of relationship with someone else in the case. An example of this would be a company defendant that the lawyer owns stock in or knows the owners.
3) They are too busy or don’t have a good history with your type of case
A lawyer may also decide to not take your case for their own personal reasons. They may just be too busy and have too large a caseload. If your case is complicated, it may not be something they have time to take on. They may also be looking for certain types of cases to increase their portfolio and expertise. It could just be that it is bad timing and they are not looking for a case like yours.
They may also have taken cases like yours in the past and lost. Lawyers can be concerned with their record of wins and losses. They may be hesitant to take on another case if they have tried a similar one and lost. Lawyers can get cold feet and anxiety too. They may be concerned with having multiple losses concerning the same type of personal injury.
4) Your case is hard to win
To win a personal injury case, your lawyer will have to prove that someone else was responsible for your injuries. Being responsible for your injuries is called liability. This can be hard to prove if the circumstances in your case are complicated. Your lawyer will also need to prove that the person or company you are suing was negligent in their duty to you. Again, this can be hard to prove. The lawyer may think that either liability or negligence will be too hard to prove if they take on your case.
Finally, even if liability is easy to prove, the lawyer may think your case is too hard to win for other reasons. These could include that you were also partially responsible for your injuries, you delayed treatment for your injuries, your injuries are not serious enough, or there are factual holes in your side of the facts.