Launching Legal Action Following An Accident

Common Reasons a Personal Injury Lawyer May Decline Your Case

When caused psychologically or physically injury by an entity or person, you're legally liable to claim for damages. You'll need to seek the services of a personal injury lawyer to represent your case in a court of law or for better negotiating power.  Depending on the nature of the case and your presentation, your preferred lawyer may either take the case or decline it. Here are the reasons a personal injury lawyer may decline to handle your case.


When you approach a lawyer for personal injury cases, the first issue that they will look at is liability. Just because you were injured doesn't mean that another party is liable. The lawyer must be able to confirm beyond reasonable doubt that someone else other than you is liable for the injuries you have sustained. A good advocate will hear and investigate your case to determine who is liable before accepting your offer. If you're liable for your own injuries, they'll definitively decline your case.

Associated Cost of Damages

The amount paid to the plaintiff is dependent on the damages that they have suffered. In this case, damages may include medical expenses, lost economical time, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, property damage and any pain or suffering caused. For example, a building lift may malfunction due to negligence from the owner, falling and causing your foot to break. You may be paid damages pertaining to lost economical time, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity if it affects your work and medical expenses.

Personal injury cases are usually handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning the lawyer is paid a percentage of your payable damages. Therefore, if the damages are low, the lawyer may not take your case, as it cannot pay off their expenses and time set aside for your case.

Comparative and Contributory Negligence

Depending on your state or country, comparative or contributory negligence may apply. Comparative negligence is when your negligence is less than 50%, meaning your damage award will be reduced by the amount of your negligence. On the other hand, contributory negligence means that you won't be paid any damage if you are found to have any percentage of contribution to your injuries. Therefore, lawyers will assess the level of negligence and compare it with the applicable law and choose to decline your offer depending on the results of their findings.

Case Complexity

The more complex your case is, the more time and resources your lawyer will spend on it. Some cases may require expert knowledge and opinions, meaning they have to be paid to perform these services.  Also, some may require several witnesses and party depositions, which are not only timely but costly. Your preferred personal injury lawyer may look into such issues and consider your case too complex to handle, declining your offer in the process.

The above laid out factors are just some of the things your personal injury lawyer may consider before deciding whether or not to take on your case. Lawyers and law firms may differ, therefore, always seek second and third opinions if your first is declined.