Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Won't Take Your Case

When you meet with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer for a free consultation, you expect to learn about your legal options and whether you want to hire an attorney to help with your case. However, there could be a reason why a personal injury lawyer won’t take your case even if you want to hire them. 

Understanding why an attorney might not take your personal injury case in St. Louis is crucial. 

Conflict of Interest 

A St. Louis personal injury lawyer must act in your best interest in all aspects of your personal injury case. If an attorney has a conflict of interest, they should not take your case.

A conflict of interest is a situation that may prevent an attorney from zealously representing your best interests. For example, the attorney may represent one of the defendants in your case or previously represented a defendant. 

The Statute of Limitations Has/Is About to Expire

A statute of limitations sets the deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you file the lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, the court can dismiss the lawsuit. Missouri has a five-year statute of limitations for many personal injury cases, but there are exceptions.

If the statute of limitations is close to expiring, an attorney may not have sufficient time to prepare a lawsuit. It depends on the factors in your case and the amount of time left to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Liability for Your Injury Is Not Clear 

Injured parties must prove the legal elements required to establish liability for a personal injury claim. 

Generally, the elements required to prove liability in a personal injury case are:

  • Duty – The defendant had a legal duty to use reasonable care to avoid dangerous situations that could harm someone.
  • Breach of Duty – The defendant’s conduct failed to meet the standard of care for a specific situation. 
  • Causation – The defendant’s actions or failure to act were the proximate and direct cause of your injury.
  • Damages – The plaintiff incurred economic and non-economic damages cause of the defendant’s breach of duty

In your case, you might be injured, but it may be unclear who is responsible for causing the injury. The attorney may believe hiring experts and conducting an exhaustive investigation to determine who is responsible for causing your injuries would be too costly or time-consuming. 

Lack of Serious Injuries

All injuries should be taken seriously. An injured victim should seek immediate medical treatment to avoid causing their injuries to worsen. Prompt medical treatment can improve the chances of a full recovery.

However, minor injuries may not justify hiring a lawyer for a personal injury claim. The injuries may not be severe enough to result in a large settlement amount. 

For example, suppose you hurt your hand at the store. You see the doctor who advises you to use rest, ice, and a wrap to treat the injury. You do not miss any work, and you do not have any other damages.

In this case, it would cost the attorney far more money to pursue a claim than they would earn.

You Are Partially to Blame for Your Injuries 

Missouri adopted a pure comparative fault standard for personal injury cases. You are not barred from receiving compensation for your damages if you are partially at fault for causing your injuries. However, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault the jury assigns to you. 

In some situations, a personal injury lawyer won’t take your case because you are too much to blame for the accident. If you are 70% to blame for causing a car accident, you would only receive 30% of your damages award in a jury trial. The attorney would not earn a sufficient fee to justify the time and expense of going to court.

You Express an Aggressive Stance for the Amount of Money You Must Receive

Experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyers are skilled at determining how much a personal injury case is worth. However, they are honest with their clients about their chances of recovery. Even the best personal injury attorney in St. Louis cannot guarantee you will receive a specific amount for a personal injury claim. 

Therefore, if you are overly aggressive and demanding about the amount you must receive for settlement, the attorney might not take your case. They may infer from your conduct that you may not be happy regardless of the result the attorney obtains or how hard the attorney works to get you the best possible settlement for your case. 

A Government Entity Is Involved in Your Case 

Governments are protected from most lawsuits by sovereign immunity. You cannot sue the government without its permission.

Even though the Missouri Tort Claims Act may give you the right to sue a government entity for a personal injury, it does not mean the process is easy. Government claims are complex personal injury cases with different rules and requirements. A personal injury attorney may refuse to take your case because they do not have sufficient experience handling these types of cases. 

The Case Involves an Out-of-State Claim 

An attorney must be admitted to practice with the state bar to represent someone in a legal matter. The attorney might not be admitted to practice in the state where your claim is located. Even though the attorney could work with in-state counsel or apply for approval to handle your case, the attorney may not feel comfortable taking an out-of-state claim. 

It Is Too Costly for the Attorney to Take the Case 

St. Louis personal injury attorneys work for a contingency fee. They receive a percentage of the amount they recover for your damages. The percentage for a contingency fee depends on many factors, including the attorney’s experience and reputation, the type of personal injury case, and whether the case goes to trial or settles. 

Therefore, if an attorney takes your case, they feel confident they will recover sufficient funds to pay them for their time and expenses. However, an attorney may turn down a case if pursuing the case would be too costly for the attorney. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers

If an attorney refuses to take your case, talk with our attorneys at Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers. There could be a reason why the other attorney could not take your case that does not apply to our law firm. Contact us online or call (314) 400-0000 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers at Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers.