What To Do If An Attorney Claims That You Don’t Have A Good Case?

Last updated on: October 11, 2022

It is always a good idea to contact an attorney for a case consultation after you have been injured in an accident and believe you might have a personal injury claim. 

However, just because you meet with an attorney does not mean that the attorney will agree to take your case. Don’t panic if the attorney you met with declined to take your case; there can be many reasons for this, and there may be some things you can do.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call (888) 400-6637 for a free case consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group.

Reasons An Attorney Would Decline Your Case

The financial benefits of pursuing your case are insufficient

Pursuing a personal injury claim can be expensive and time-consuming. It might be the case that your claim has a decent chance of prevailing, but the compensation that would be awarded is not worth the time and effort that it would take to pursue compensation.

A lawyer may have to invest a significant amount of money into a case trying to investigate the circumstances of an accident, hire expert witnesses, and conduct depositions. If your claim is not worth the amount of money it would take to litigate, the lawyer will likely want to spend his time doing work for a more valuable claim. In addition, many of these costs would be passed on to you—if a claim is more work than it is worth, it isn’t good for you, either, because you could end up losing money after having to pay attorney’s fees even if you receive a positive verdict.

The attorney may not be capable of handling your case

Attorneys have specialized skill sets and practice areas. Some attorneys negotiate settlements but do not litigate claims at trial; some attorneys only pursue product liability claims and never take cases involving automobile accidents.

If a lawyer chooses not to take your case for this reason, it is because they do not feel they will be able to provide you the best possible representation due to your area of law. They may be able to give you the names of other lawyers in your area who do practice in the field that you require.

They deem your case not strong enough

Unfortunately, it’s possible the lawyer does not find your case strong enough to take to court. 

Professional rules governing attorney behavior prevents lawyers from bringing cases that are frivolous, or have no real merit. 

If there is no real argument to be made in your case, then a lawyer will be unable to pursue your claim as a lawsuit without risking disciplinary consequences.

They didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear

Receiving the news that your lawyer does not think you have a claim can be difficult. Your lawyer may explain that the details of your situation make it impossible for you to recover. 

In a few states, for example, a liable party cannot recover compensation even if they are the victim. Meaning even if you were hurt or injured and are seeking damages, if you are found in any way partially liable for the injury you could lose your case entirely.

In other cases, the statute of limitations may have expired and left you unable to pursue your claim.

The lawyer is dishonest or completely incompetent

In some situations, your lawyer might tell you you have no case as an excuse not to take your case. Your lawyer might also genuinely not believe you have a case, and is simply incorrect about this. 

In both cases, you are better off not associating further with this lawyer, as an incompetent or dishonest lawyer will only be an impediment to your case—but if you suspect this is your situation, you should get a second opinion from another lawyer on your case.

The lawyer won’t communicate

If the lawyer you have consulted will not communicate with you about the reason they are not taking your case, it is possible they simply don’t have time for the case, doesn’t think it is a winnable case, or any of the other reasons listed here. 

In almost all cases, lawyers have complete discretion over the cases they agree to take on. However, lawyers cannot discriminate based on factors such as gender or race. If you believe that this is the reason a lawyer has declined to take your case, you should discuss this with another lawyer, who will be able to tell you if there is a practical reason the first lawyer declined your case.

Can You Sue A Lawyer For Negligence?

It is possible to sue a lawyer for negligence. In every negligence claim, a plaintiff has to prove that the party who harmed them owed them a duty of care, they breached that duty of care, and the plaintiff suffered harm as a result of this breach of care. 

In the case of the legal profession, lawyers owe their clients a high duty of care, and they have an obligation to use the same level of skill and diligence that other lawyers in their jurisdiction would use in your case.

An example of lawyer malpractice that could result in a negligence lawsuit is a lawyer missing an important deadline to file a motion, resulting in the case being dismissed. In this case, another lawyer would not have missed the deadline and it was unreasonable of this lawyer to do so, and as a result of this harm his client suffered the injury of being unable to pursue their claim. 

However, malpractice claims against lawyers can be difficult to win because the plaintiff must prove that their lawyer’s misconduct was what caused their case to be lost or otherwise damaged, and this is a very high standard of proof—in the past, even things such as a lawyer being intoxicated in the courtroom did not persuade the court that the trial would have gone differently had the lawyer been sober.

What To Do If Your Lawyer Is Not Helping You

If you do not feel helped by your lawyer, the first step is to communicate these concerns to your lawyer directly. There may be a difference in communication styles which is influencing your feelings—for example, your lawyer may be doing significant work on behalf of your case, but rarely gives you updates, leaving you feeling as though things are not progressing.

After you have communicated your concerns to your attorney, if nothing has changed, it might be time to look for a new attorney.

If You Are Concerned About The Lawyer’s Work

If you have concerns about what your lawyer is doing, you should communicate these concerns to your lawyer and ask for an explanation. The legal system can be complicated, and your lawyer may be doing things that are ultimately important to the outcome of your case even if they do not seem important to you. For example, you may wonder why your lawyer is taking so many depositions instead of just interviewing one or two eyewitnesses, but the more evidence is available in a case, the stronger it will be in the long run.

However, the objectives of your case are ultimately up to you, and not your lawyer. This means that while your lawyer may have more expertise and can choose how to go about accomplishing your legal goals, you are the one who gets to set the legal goal. If your lawyer is going against your wishes, for example, seeking a settlement when you have decided to go to trial, then he is overstepping his professional bounds.

If you would like to dispute things that your lawyer is doing on your case, be sure to do this in writing and to keep copies of this correspondence. Consider consulting with another lawyer if you are troubled by your lawyer’s work on your case, and if you feel your lawyer is breaking professional ethics rules or the law, you can file a complaint with the discipline agency in your lawyer’s state.

Strategies To Get Results From A Less Than Helpful Lawyer

If you do not feel helped by your lawyer even after communicating any concerns you may have, remember that you can ask for your client file and have access to whatever information your attorney has on your case. 

If you have questions or concerns about what is contained in your file or things your lawyer is doing on your behalf, you could try to research these areas yourself, or get a second opinion from another lawyer.

Getting Compensated

It is unlikely that even if your lawyer is committing misconduct, you will be able to recover compensation from him for that fact alone. Most state disciplinary bodies for attorneys do not offer compensation; their purpose is to punish the lawyer for his misconduct. 

However, bringing a lawsuit against an attorney who has committed misconduct has the potential to secure compensation, as lawyers are generally required to have malpractice insurance; as stated above, though, it can be difficult to bring a successful malpractice claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do attorneys turn down cases?

Attorneys can turn down cases for many reasons, but the most common ones are money (the case is not worth what it would cost to pursue), time (the lawyer has too many clients or too high of a workload already), and the case being weak (the circumstances do not satisfy statutory requirements; technicalities such as statutes of limitations being past).

What should you not say to a lawyer?

You should never lie to your lawyer about the circumstances of your case. This will only cause problems in the long run and could get you in serious trouble. 

In addition, you should never offer to lie about your case in court or to others while consulting with a lawyer. Every lawyer is aware of their professional obligations, and of the consequences of helping a client break the law; no honest lawyer will want anything to do with someone who communicates a willingness to bend the truth.

How often should I hear from my lawyer?

How often you hear from your lawyer depends on your and your lawyer’s preferences, but if you feel you are not hearing from your lawyer enough, you should speak to them about it and outline how often you would prefer to hear from them.

Contact Zinda Law Group Today

At Zinda Law Group, you don’t need to wonder if your lawyer has your best interests at heart. The lawyers at Zinda Law Group have secured compensation for numerous clients. What’s more, Zinda Law Group operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning that unless they secure a favorable verdict in your case, you will not pay a thing.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call (888) 400-6637 for a free case consultation with the personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group.

Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.