March 18, 2019 in Personal Injury
No matter how valuable you believe your personal injury claim may be, an attorney has several reasons why they might refuse to take your case. But just because one attorney turns you down, doesn’t mean another attorney will.
Why A Louisiana Lawyer Won’t Take Your Case
While your case may not be considered valuable to one law firm, it may not be necessary for you to give up your search for representation.
If you’ve already been turned down by a law firm, hopefully, they explained why. In any case, it may help you to understand an attorney’s reasons for refusal because it’s important to be realistic when searching for a personal injury attorney. Viewing your case through a prospective attorney’s eyes may improve your chance for financial recovery when you’ve been physically or psychologically impaired because of another’s wrongful act.
Top 4 Reasons Why An Attorney Won’t Accept Your Case
#1 When an Attorney Views Your Case As Impossible to Win (or Unlikely)
When an attorney hears your story, they take into consideration many factors that you may not have thought about. For a personal injury claim to be valid in Louisiana, it must meet certain requirements as follows:
Percentage of Injury Responsibility You must have sustained a serious physical injury and/or financial loss caused by the negligence or recklessness of another. Under Louisiana personal injury laws, if you contributed 51 percent or more to the incident that caused your accident or illness, the other party cannot be held civilly responsible. An example of an injured person being predominantly responsible for their injuries might be that they were intoxicated when the accident occurred.
The significance of Financial Loss Incurred If there are no significant monetary damages associated with your case, an attorney won’t be interested in pursuing it. For instance, if you suffered an abrasion that required no medical treatment other than antibiotic cream and a band-aid, there is no compensable financial loss that would warrant a lawsuit no matter who or what caused the injury.
The Statute of Limitations Expired You can’t pursue a personal injury case if you missed Louisiana’s one-year statute of limitations deadline. Though there might be some exceptions that allow for an extension beyond a deadline, such exceptions are extremely rare.
#2 When the Attorney Won’t Make Any Money
Most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis and cover all negotiation and litigation costs up-front which may include hiring high-priced investigators, accident re-constructionists, and medical experts. That means they don’t get paid in full (or at all) unless they win a settlement substantial enough to cover the attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses. So, understandably, they won’t be interested in your case.
#3 When A Conflict of Interest Is Inherent in Taking Your Case
The Louisiana State Bar Association’s ethics rules bar an attorney from handling a case when they have already agreed to represent another party associated with your claim. Or if an attorney has previously represented someone you want to sue, the same ethical issues of conflict of interest may apply. Because the Bar Association code of ethics’ violations could cause an attorney to lose their license to practice law or subject them to disciplinary sanctions, they will turn your case down.
#4 When the Cause of Your Injury is Not the Attorney’s Practice Area of Expertise
Many personal injury attorneys only represent injured people for certain causes of accidents or illnesses and have developed expertise in those areas. For instance, a personal injury attorney may only handle product liability cases but not vehicle accidents. If your case doesn’t fall under their practice area(s), they may refer you to an attorney who does.
Ask Gordon & Gordon About Your Personal Injury Case for Free
Although we can’t accept every personal injury case presented to our law firm, even if other attorneys have turned down your case, we may be able to help.
For a free, friendly assessment of the merits of your personal injury case, the tenacious, knowledgeable attorneys at our Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield offices can determine if you have grounds for a substantial monetary action against the person or entities who were responsible for your injury. But the statute of limitations deadlines is strict. So, it’s important to act quickly. Call the Gordon & Gordon legal team at 318.716.HELP (318.716.4357), and we’ll listen to your story attentively and respectfully.
Or if you’d rather send us a confidential message, use our contact form here. And if you’re too injured or sick to visit one of our three offices, we may be able to meet you at your home, hospital, or treatment facility.