Why a Personal Injury Attorney May Not Take Your Case

If you have been trying to hire a Nevada attorney to handle your personal injury case, you may be surprised if an attorney declines to take your case. While you should not take it personally that your matter is declined, you should understand that there are several factors that influence an attorney’s decision whether or not to take a case. Oftentimes these factors have little if anything to do with you as an individual.

Factors to Consider

Below are some common reasons why a personal injury attorney may decline a personal injury case in Nevada.

  • The damages are too low: When a person is injured due to the fault of another, he or she is seeking monetary compensation in the form of damages for harm suffered. Damages may include lost past and/or future wages, medical expenses, property damage, as well as pain and suffering. At the end of the day, the final settlement will be split among three parties: the plaintiff, the medical providers, and the attorney. A lawyer will not take a case if he or she is not confident that a fair settlement will cover all expenses, attorneys’ fees, healthcare providers, and reasonable compensation to the client.

  • No defendant liability and/or plaintiff negligence: In order for a plaintiff to be successful in his or her personal injury case, the liability of the defendant must be established. Even if the defendant is liable, the plaintiff may only be eligible for a small fee award if his or her negligence contributed to the accident that resulted in injuries. If a personal injury attorney knows it will be extremely difficult to prove the defendant’s liability, he or she may not want to take the risk of accepting the case.

  • It costs too much to take on the case: A personal injury attorney will present his or her client’s case in a manner that results in the maximum monetary recuperation. This includes researching case law, gathering evidence, and trying to negotiate a settlement. Should the case go to trial, the attorney will need to prepare exhibits, take depositions, and hire experts. If he or she believes that your case will cost more than is recoverable, the case will likely be declined.

  • Unfamiliar issues in the case: If your case has an unusual fact pattern or issue of law that the attorney is not familiar with, he or she may decline the matter because it may take too much time to get up to speed to properly handle your case. Sometimes, the attorney will refer your case out to someone else who has more familiarity with the issue at hand.

  • The deadline to file passed: Nevada state law, just like states across the nation, have a certain amount of time during which a case must be filed in court or be forever barred. This is called the statute of limitations. If the deadline has expired, you will have no legal recourse, no matter how compelling your case may be. An attorney will decline this type of case rather than fight a battle that cannot be won.

  • There is a conflict of interest: Attorneys are held to a high standard of ethics that must be adhered to in order to remain in good standing with licensing associations. Therefore, if an attorney has a conflict of interest, whether morally or because he or she has represented the defendant before, that attorney may decline to take your case.

Legal Help in Las Vegas

If your case is turned away by an attorney, be sure to ask the reasons why. Some reasons cannot be overcome by another lawyer, while others can. With years of experience representing the injured, the personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau may be able to help you.

(image courtesy of Kai Pilger)