Why a Personal Injury Attorney in Richmond, VA, Will Not Take Your Case
It might discourage you if a Richmond personal injury attorney does not take your case. If someone rejects your case, no one can blame you for thinking that there is something wrong with it. However, don’t let a lawyer not taking your case dissuade you from pursuing your claim.
The rules are pretty cut and dry: if someone else’s negligent actions injure you, they are liable for the associated damages. This fact remains unchanged regardless of whether a given attorney decides to take up your claim.
There Are Many Reasons to Not Take a Case
If a lawyer rejects your claim, your claim might have a flaw. But there could be other reasons. Lawyers have to assess each claim that prospective clients bring them to determine whether to take it.
The number of reasons lawyers have to accept or reject a given claim is practically infinite. Many of the reasons have little, if anything, to do with the quality of a claim.
To figure out why your claim was rejected, your best option is to ask the lawyer. Barring that, however, consider a few of the many reasons why personal injury attorneys do not take certain claims to see what might apply to your case.
You Are Liable for the Injury
This reason not to take a given case has everything to do with the quality of a claim. If a personal injury attorney looks into the facts and circumstances around a given claim and believes the claim has little or no chance of success in court, they will likely reject it.
For example, a lawyer might reject your personal injury case because you are trying to hold someone else liable for an accident that you are at fault for.
Lawyers, particularly personal injury lawyers, are reluctant to take on losing cases. Many personal injury attorneys work on the basis of contingency fees. This means they only receive payment if they win or otherwise settle a case.
Thus, if a case has a very limited chance of success, a personal injury lawyer who works on that case has a very limited chance of seeing payment. Law firms are businesses like any other; without revenue they cannot continue to operate successfully.
There Was No Negligence or Intent Involved
A person who causes someone else to injure themselves is not always liable for the relevant damages. In fact, there are four cumulative requirements to demonstrate civil liability in personal injury cases:
- A duty of care exists at the time of the incident;
- Someone breaches that relevant duty of care in the incident;
- There is a causal link between the breach of duty and subsequent injury; and
- The injury/incident leads to real damages.
Essentially, the first two elements represent one concept as a whole: negligence or intent. Someone acts negligently when they fail to uphold a duty of care that they owe to someone else. A duty of care, for example, exists between all drivers on the road.
All drivers have a duty of care to follow the rules of the road and avoid driving in an unsafe manner. Someone breaches that duty of care when they are careless or disobey traffic laws.
Without negligence or intent, a personal injury case falls apart. Thus, if a lawyer listens to your story and determines that the at-fault party did not act negligently, they will likely reject your case.
They Have a Full Caseload
If a Richmond personal injury lawyer will not take your case, they may have a full caseload already. Like other businesses that provide services, there is a limit to the amount of services law firms can provide.
Each lawyer has a finite amount of time, so they cannot take every case that a client brings them. Having a full caseload may be the only reason a personal injury attorney in Richmond, VA, rejects your case.
Your Damages Are Insufficient
Some personal injury lawyers only take cases that involve damages that exceed a set number. If the estimated damages fall below that number, they will not take the case.
Some personal injury attorneys use this practice to maximize profit, while others use it because their expertise lies with catastrophic injuries specifically. In addition, some lawyers will use this strategy to elevate their law firm’s reputation.
By only taking big cases, these firms hope to differentiate themselves from others in the area by demonstrating their ability to litigate the biggest cases around. If the total damages in your personal injury case are below a certain amount, some personal injury attorneys will reject your claim.
The Lawyer Has a Conflict of Interest
Sometimes a personal injury lawyer will reject your claim due to a real or potential conflict of interest. A conflict of interest arises when someone has a vested interest in one outcome that conflicts with their vested interest in another outcome.
The American Bar Association prohibits its members from allowing their own interests to adversely affect their representation of a given client. The best way for attorneys to avoid conflicts of interest is to avoid any situations with potential conflicts of interest.
Thus, if you consult with a personal injury attorney and they foresee a potential conflict of interest, they might reject your case. Such a situation may arise, for example, if the attorney you consult with already has the responsible party as a client.
It Is Too Late to File a Claim
If you can no longer file a claim for your personal injury, any lawyer you consult with will likely reject your case. There is always a time limit to recover damages after a personal injury.
Once the time limit, known as a statute of limitations, expires, you cannot legally file a claim to recover damages. If the claim goes to court, a judge will reject it.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Virginia is two years. Thus, you have two years from the date of your personal injury to file a claim to recover damages. Virginia’s personal injury statute of limitations carves out an exception for minors and incapacitated persons.
If someone is under 18 or incapacitated when their injury occurs, the limitations period does not start to run until the injured person reaches 18 years of age or regains their mental capacity.
Are You Looking for a Personal Injury Lawyer in Virginia?
Whether we are the first personal injury lawyers you speak with or the fourth, Lantz and Robins can help right the wrongs of your injury. If other firms will not take your case and you want to know why to get in touch with us at Lantz and Robins.
Our team of adept Richmond personal injury attorneys will review your case in a free consultation and do everything we can to help you recover the damages you suffered. Most importantly, if we cannot take your case for one reason or another, we will tell you why.
You are already in a tough situation due to your injury, so trying to figure out why your claim was rejected is the last thing you need on your plate.
At Lantz and Robins, we know that we succeed only when our clients succeed, so we do everything in our power to make that happen. Call us today for a free consultation, and let us know how we can help you!