Why Did the Lawyer Not Take My Case?
Many injured Floridians approach personal injury lawyers each year, in order to determine if they have a valid case against those who caused them harm. In many cases, however, attorneys must turn them away. When this happens, it can leave people feeling like the attorney doesn’t care or is simply incompetent. In the vast majority of case rejections, this is not the case.
To help you understand why an attorney may reject your personal injury case, here are just 4 quick reasons why a lawyer may have rejected the case.
Just because you were hurt does not mean you can prove it. The law of negligence is called “tort law.” A tort is when someone fails to meet some basic duty they owe you, and that failure hurts you in some way. To prove a tort in Florida, you will have to prove several key elements. If you fail to prove any one of them, you cannot succeed:
- Defendant owed you a duty
- Defendant breached that duty
- You were actually harmed by the breach
- The breach was the direct reason for your injury
- You suffered measurable damages (physical injuries, economic losses, etc.)
#2 Injuries Not Severe Enough
Let’s get one thing straight, it would be horrible if a restaurant owner left hair in your salad or if a doctor called you names instead of treating your illness. But neither one is likely to be actionable. Something that’s merely gross or offensive is not a tort. Even if you were injured (say you suffered a sprained ankle), a particular lawyer may realize that the cost of filing a lawsuit and fighting over it for two or three years simply doesn’t make good business sense.
#3 Statute of Limitations
It does not matter how bad the injury or how horrible the wrongdoing, Florida law will bar any opportunity to even file your lawsuit if the deadline has passed. Florida actually gives you more time than most states. For general personal injury claims, you have 4 years to file suit. For medical malpractice and other types of professional malpractice, the limit is 2 years. These are very strict deadlines. Now, there are a few exceptions for minors and those with serious cognitive issues. So, if you approach an attorney about an injury from 6 years ago, rest assured he’s denying your case.
#4 Economic Realities
Sometimes the attorney has economic reasons for declining your case. Perhaps the attorney already has a very heavy caseload and is only taking on specific types of cases. Maybe that attorney prefers a certain type of case in which he or she has built a specific level of knowledge and skill. Even still, perhaps the attorney feels your case would be too expensive to litigate, and would prefer to stick with smaller cases that do not cost tens of thousands of dollars to pursue. There are many business reasons why a lawyer may not be the right match for your case.
Get a Straight Answer About Your Case
If you’ve had your case declined and need a second opinion, call Roman & Roman, P.A. in Clearwater or Hudson for a free consultation today. We don’t take every case, but we fight hard to recover maximum compensation for each client.