"Even with a legitimate reason, having a gap before initial medical treatment will inevitably hurt your injury claim."
There can be many variables that contribute to a personal injury attorney not taking your case. In this article, we examine the top five reasons our law firm may decline to represent someone in an injury case.
- Liability isn't clear.
- One of the first and most crucial aspects of any potential injury case is whether or not the injury was caused by someone else's negligence.
- An attorney is not going to accept your case if the one-year statute of limitations has expired. Even if the statute of limitations has not expired, waiting too long to consult with a personal injury attorney can make it difficult for you to find one who is willing to accept your case. There are many time-sensitive steps that are critical to the success of your claim, including seeking the appropriate medical treatment for your injuries, preserving evidence and contacting witnesses. If you wait several months after the injury before consulting an attorney, these critical steps may not have been done, making an attorney less likely to accept your case. (Side note: this is not a hard and fast rule at our law firm. We have accepted auto accident cases where our client first contacted us only one day before the statute ran. However, that is not always the case, and it depends on the particular facts and parties involved.)
- Failing to seek treatment.
- If you are injured in a car accident, but you fail to seek any medical treatment for your injuries for several months, it is much less likely that a personal injury attorney will accept your case. We understand there are extenuating circumstances that keep people from pursuing treatment after a car accident, even though they were truly injured. Common reasons include lack of health insurance, the financial burden of co-pays and deductibles, and family or work obligations that make seeking treatment difficult. Even with a legitimate reason, having a gap before initial treatment will inevitably hurt your injury claim, whether the value is determined by an adjuster or at trial.
- You have been represented by several lawyers already.
- This is a red flag to most personal injury attorneys.
- Your case would be too expensive to litigate, and your damages are minimal.
- Personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. This requires the lawyer to make a business judgment on each case they agree to handle. The amount of time that the lawyer will have to spend on the case and the out-of-pocket expenses, such as filing fees and expert fees (including doctor's depositions), have to be considered in light of the expected recovery for the client. It does not make sense for the client or the attorney to litigate a case where the case expenses will eat up all or most of the client's recovery.