Josh Myers | July 18, 2022 | Personal Injury
If you have talked to several St. Louis personal injury lawyers who have all refused to take your case, you may be wondering why. While you may have a viable personal injury claim, that does not necessarily mean that a lawyer is willing to take your case. Here we list some of the most common reasons a personal injury attorney may not take your case.
1. You Waited Too Long
Every state has a statute of limitations that establishes a time limit for filing a legal claim for certain causes of action. Per Missouri law, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is generally five years from the date of injury. The time limit may be shorter in some situations, such as if the defendant is a governmental entity.
If you have waited too long to take legal action or the deadline is quickly approaching, a lawyer may not be willing to take on the case.
2. You’ve Talked to Several Other Attorneys
Missouri law recognizes your right to select a lawyer of your choosing. However, if you have talked to several other attorneys before talking to the latest one, that lawyer may suspect there is a reason why the other lawyers have not taken your case.
They may also worry that you have spoken with a lawyer who may ultimately represent the defendant, in which case your communications may not be confidential.
Additionally, Missouri’s rules for lawyers prohibit a lawyer from talking to someone who is represented by an attorney. Therefore, if you have already retained one lawyer’s services, another lawyer may not be able to discuss the matter with you.
3. Too Much of the Blame Rests on Your Shoulders
Another reason a lawyer may refuse to take your case is that you are partially to blame for the accident. Personal injury law provides financial compensation to individuals who were injured by someone else’s negligence. If your own negligence caused your injury, you might not have a viable claim.
If you were partially to blame for the accident, the amount of compensation you can receive can be reduced by your degree of fault.
For example, imagine that you were driving on a highway and going ten mph over the speed limit. A vehicle turned left in front of you and hit the side of your vehicle. It is determined that the other driver is 40% at fault for the accident, and you are 60% at fault for the accident. Therefore, if you suffered $100,000 in damages, your possible compensation would be reduced by 60% or $60,000.
While a lawyer may be willing to take your case to secure $100,000, they might not be willing to take the case if the maximum they could recover would be $40,000.
4. It Doesn’t Make Economic Sense for the Lawyer to Take on the Case
Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they work for free until they recover compensation on their client’s behalf. There is no guarantee that they will get paid for their work – meaning there is a great deal of risk that these lawyers take on when accepting a case.
Personal injury lawyers will carefully consider factors to determine whether a case makes economic sense to take on, such as:
- How much time they will likely spend on the case
- Whether there are out-of-pocket expenses they will have to pay upfront
- The total amount of compensation you are seeking
- The applicable insurance policies in place
- Whether taking the case will prevent them from taking other cases
A personal injury lawyer will only want to accept a case that they strongly feel will be successful.
Take Advantage of a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer
To determine whether you have a viable claim, you can contact a lawyer for a free consultation. Most personal injury lawyers offer free case reviews to potential clients.
If you’ve been injured, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124
Creve Coeur, MO Law Office
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141