MITCHELL LATTOF | July 15, 2020 | Personal Injury
Being injured in an accident can have long-term consequences. Some accidents result in minor injuries that heal in a few weeks. However, other personal injury accidents can result in permanent impairments.
Victims may be unable to work for months. Some accident victims may be unable to work again. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you deserve to be compensated for damages caused by another party.
However, the insurance company may deny your claim or offer an amount to settle the claim that is far lower than you believe the claim is worth. It may be time to consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.
Why Won’t a Personal Injury Attorney Take My Case?
When you meet with an attorney to discuss your accident claim, the attorney may tell you that he cannot take your case. An attorney may not agree to take a case for many reasons. Four of the most common reasons that an attorney may not take a personal injury case include:
A Conflict of Interest
An attorney may not accept a case if a conflict of interest prevents the attorney from protecting the client’s best interest. For example, an attorney represented the dealer who sold you a defective vehicle or the driver who caused your accident. The attorney cannot ethically accept your case because the prior case could result in a conflict of interest.
Liability for the Accident is Unclear
Under Alabama’s personal injury laws, you must be able to prove that the other driver caused the accident to recover compensation for damages. A lawyer investigates a claim to determine how the injury occurred and to identify the liable parties. The attorney also analyzes whether you could be partly to blame for the accident.
In some cases, it may be evident that the other party was not negligent or liable for your claim. After an initial investigation, an attorney could determine that there is not sufficient evidence to prove liability. In those cases, the attorney may decline to accept the case because the chance of winning is extremely low.
Your Damages are Not Significant
Most personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. The attorneys’ fee is based on a percentage of the recovery in your case.
If the value of your damages is very low, the number of hours and the costs involved in pursuing a claim may outweigh the fee the attorney would receive. Also, after deducting the attorneys’ fees and costs, you might receive very little for your claim.
An attorney may advise you to settle your claim without an attorney so that you can receive more money. The attorney may give you some tips during the consultation that can help you improve your chance of recovering a fair amount for your claim instead of taking your case.
Statute of Limitations Problem
Alabama has Statutes of Limitations for most causes of action. A statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. For most personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury.
If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, the court is likely to dismiss the lawsuit if the defendant files a motion to dismiss. Therefore, if you waited too long to talk with an attorney about your case, the lawyer may not take the case because the statute of limitations has expired.
However, there are exceptions to the statutes of limitations. In some cases, a person may have more time to file a lawsuit for an injury claim. On the other hand, some exceptions can shorten the deadline.
It is usually in a person’s best interest to talk with a lawyer about a personal injury claim as soon as possible. Contacting a personal injury lawyer early in the case can prevent a statute of limitations problem, as well as other issues that could hurt your chance of recovering full compensation for your injuries and damages.
What Types of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?
Personal injury lawyers handle a variety of cases. Examples of claims that might result in a personal injury case include, but are not limited to:
- car accidents
- slip and falls
- truck accidents
- motorcycle crashes
- defective products
- premises liability accidents
- dog bites and dog attacks
- bicycle accidents
- defective medical devices
- medical malpractice
- dangerous drugs
- pedestrian accidents
- nursing home abuse
- workplace accidents
If possible, it is best to find a personal injury attorney who handles cases similar to your case. Attorneys who handle cases similar to your case have experience that can give you a better chance of winning your case.