If you’ve recently been injured by the negligent actions of someone else, you’re likely wondering, do I have a case? Or maybe you’ve already tried to hire an attorney with no success and are trying to understand why.
Below are some reasons a personal injury attorney might turn down your case:
- Lack of substantial injury– If you have not been seriously injured, your financial recovery may be little to nothing. The law only compensates for real and measurable damages. The extent of an injury is the measure of damages when it comes to a personal injury case. Minor injuries are usually not compensated.
- The statute of limitations has expired– Laws provide very specific guidelines on time limitations. The majority of negligence cases must be filed in court within three years from the accident. Claims with your own auto insurance company can have time limitations as low as one year. Once a case has gone beyond this time, there is very little that a lawyer can do. Each state’s law is very specific about the time limitations an injured person has to file a lawsuit.
- There is no insurance coverage available– The majority of personal injury cases are filed against the insurers of the defendant, not the individuals themselves. An uninsured defendant might declare bankruptcy to avoid paying a claim, and thus are not a reliable source of recovery.
- No fault, no liability– The defendant is not at fault, and therefore not liable to pay. A serious injury is not enough, the defendant must have been negligent. This may be considered a liability problem. If a jury is likely to find that you are partly or mostly liable for your own injuries, most lawyers won’t take the case.
If you have recently been injured and think you might have a claim, you should talk to an attorney. Through a case evaluation an attorney can truly make the decision as to whether a claim should legally be pursued.