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If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by another person, you may be interested in contacting an attorney to learn more about your legal rights. After an initial consultation, the attorney may or may not take your case. If an attorney does not take your case, don’t panic. There are a variety of reasons why an attorney may decide against taking your case, and there may be steps you can take to make your case more attractive to a lawyer.
If you have been injured in an accident and are interested in filing a claim, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
WHAT TO DO IF AN ATTORNEY WON’T TAKE YOUR CASE
Get a Second Opinion
You may have heard of getting a second opinion from a doctor. However, second opinions exist in the legal world as well. If, for whatever reason, an attorney refuses to take your case, you are always free to seek a second opinion from a different attorney.
Some attorneys may be hesitant to represent a client for a variety of reasons. Maybe the attorney simply doesn’t have the time to take on a new case. Maybe the attorney doesn’t think the case has any legal merit. However, it is important to remember that attorneys think differently. Just because one attorney declines to represent you doesn’t mean all attorneys will do the same. Thus, if an attorney will not take your case, don’t panic. Search other attorneys in your area and give them a call.
Find an Attorney Who’s Experienced in Your Type of Injury
Attorneys who are unfamiliar with a certain field of law may be reluctant to take a case in that field. For instance, a tax attorney may decline to represent the victim of a car accident. Similarly, a probate lawyer may decline to take on a dog bite case. Thus, it is important to keep in mind that your case may have been rejected only because you spoke to an attorney who does not practice the type of law that applies to your case.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligent or reckless acts of another person, you will want to contact a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers have experience handling injury-related cases and may be a better option to handle your case than a different type of attorney. Personal injury lawyers handle the following types of cases:
- Car accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Wrongful death
- Dog bites
- Products liability cases
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability
- And more
HOW CAN I GET AN ATTORNEY TO TAKE MY CASE?
As a general rule of thumb, the stronger the case is from the start, the more likely an attorney may be to accept the case. One way to increase the viability and strength of a case is to gather evidence and maintain a thorough record of all documents relating to the case. When you present this evidence to an attorney at an initial consultation, the attorney may be able to better ascertain the merits of your case and provide legal advice accordingly.
Although the specific types of evidence may vary depending on the circumstances of the case, be on the lookout for and try to collect the following types of evidence involved in most personal injury cases:
- Witness statements
- Accident reports
- Photographs of your injuries
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Medical bills
- Pharmacy bills
Lawyers appreciate transparency. This means being truthful with your lawyer and providing him or her with all material facts relating to your case. Being transparent with your lawyer from the initial consultation up until the resolution of the case may make it easier for the lawyer to best protect your rights. On the other hand, a lawyer who finds out that he or she has been lied to may decline to take your case.
Waiting too long to contact an attorney after being injured in an accident can be devastating to the strength and viability of your claim for many reasons. States have laws called “statutes of limitations,” which place legal time limits on a personal injury victim’s ability to file a lawsuit. Failure to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations means the victim is barred from litigating the claim in court.
The sooner you contact a lawyer after being injured in an accident, the more time the lawyer will have to analyze your case and determine what options may be available to you. Having more time to work with may make it more likely that an attorney will take your case.
WHY LAWYERS WON’T TAKE A CASE
One reason a lawyer may refuse to accept a new case is simply because the case has no legal merit. To prevail in a personal injury claim, the victim must be able to establish certain elements. If it is abundantly clear that an element of a personal injury claim cannot be established, a lawyer may reject the case. A lawyer may also reject a case if it is determined that the victim’s own negligence caused the accident.
It costs time and money to accept and resolve a case. Depending on the facts and circumstances involved, a lawyer may have to invest $25,000 to $100,000 or more in resolving a personal injury claim for a client. Such costs may involve gathering evidence, conducting depositions, hiring expert witnesses, and using accident reconstruction technology. A lawyer will not want to accept a case if the amount recoverable is less than the amount the lawyer will have to invest to try the case. Thus, for example, a lawyer may be reluctant to take a case where the victim suffered only minimal damages.
Statute of Limitations
As discussed above, a statute of limitations is a legal time limit that requires a personal injury victim to file a lawsuit in a timely manner. For most states, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two or three years. Failure to file a lawsuit within this period means the victim is no longer allowed to sue the at-fault party. Thus, a lawyer who is contacted after the applicable statute of limitations has expired will probably decline to take the case.
Conflict of Interest
Lawyers have an ethical duty to refrain from representing potential clients whose interests are adverse to those currently represented by the lawyer. For instance, a lawyer may decline to represent the victim of a car accident if the lawyer already represents the person that caused the car accident in another matter. Conflicts of interest may also arise in situations involving professional or familial relationships.
It’s Not Their Field of Expertise
Many attorneys focus on a particular area of law. For instance, some attorneys handle only patent or trademark cases. Even some personal injury lawyers may dedicate their practice to a particular subset of personal injury law. For example, an attorney may handle medical malpractice cases but not workplace injury cases. Another attorney may handle automobile accidents but not products liability cases. If an attorney does not handle your type of case, the attorney may decline to represent you.
SHOULD YOU GO TO COURT WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY?
Navigating a personal injury case by yourself is a complex task and handling your claim by yourself without an attorney in your corner may diminish your claim’s value. To best protect your legal rights, consider contacting an attorney before taking any formal actions such as filing a lawsuit. Having an attorney handle your case may provide several benefits. For example, an attorney may:
- Help you understand your legal rights and remedies
- File formal paperwork on time in the proper court
- Research the law that applies to your claim and formulate a legal argument
- Negotiate with multimillion-dollar insurance companies
- Use state-of-the-art resources to gather evidence to strengthen your claim
- Carry out any and all other legal responsibilities necessary to ensure that your legal rights are fully protected
CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP FOR HELP WITH YOUR CASE
At Zinda Law Group, our team of personal injury attorneys may help you navigate your claim. From the initial consultation up until the resolution of your case, our attorneys may provide fierce representation to help protect your legal rights. We work tirelessly to assist our clients in seeking compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That's our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.