Accident victims often get frustrated because they are unable to find attorneys to take their cases. However, these victims fail to realize that personal injury attorneys do not earn money from a case unless they recover a settlement or judgment. Thus, attorneys will often reject accident cases when they feel a recovery cannot be made. Below are 6 reasons why personal injury attorneys reject cases from prospective clients. For purposes of this article, a prospective client refers to an accident victim that consults with an attorney hoping to retain that attorney’s representation for an accident and pursue a damage claim.
- The prospective client was at fault or partially at fault for the accident.
Recovery in personal injury cases hinges upon fault. A person who causes an accident is obligated to pay damages to the people injured. However, a person cannot sue him or herself. So, if the prospective client was the cause of the accident, the reviewing attorney may not take the case because no recovery can be made against the prospective client for his or her own fault.
- The prospective client did not suffer an injury.
A person must be injured to recover pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case. Thus, an attorney will not accept a case where the prospective client did not suffer an injury and does not require medical treatment.
- The person or company that caused the accident does not have any insurance or is otherwise insolvent.
There is an old saying: “You cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip.” Attorneys will often reject cases where the person or company responsible for paying damages after an accident is unable to pay a settlement or judgment or is bankrupt. This is because no recover can be made for the prospective client or attorney from an insolvent defendant.
- The prospective client violated a law that prevents him or her from being able to recover personal injury damages.
In Louisiana car accident cases, there is a law called “No Pay No Play,” which prevents an accident victim from recovering the first $15,000.00 of personal damages from a car accident when the accident occurred while the victim was operating a vehicle without liability insurance. Thus, many attorneys will not accept car accident cases when the injured victim was breaking the law at the time of the accident by not carrying liability insurance. This is because the injured victim forfeits his or her right to the first $15,000.00 of recovery for breaking the law.
- The prospective client is a “career plaintiff.”
Attorneys do not like accepting cases of prospective clients, who have multiple prior accident and injury claims. This is because insurance companies look at the prospective client’s new claims as suspect. If a prospective client has 10 past personal injury claims, an attorney is left thinking that the prospective client is either really unlucky or trying to game the system and fabricate injuries and accidents to make money.
- The prospective client is overly needy, excitable or otherwise comes across that he or she will be high maintenance.
Attorneys are busy and have multiple clients. If a prospective client gives the impression that he or she will likely take up too much of the attorney’s time, the attorney will opt to reject the prospective client’s case. Attorneys have an obligation to be attentive to clients’ needs; however, they cannot sacrifice working on other client cases to give undue attention to overly needy clients.
If you have questions about injuries sustained in a car accident, slip and fall or other injury matter, contact Donald D’Aunoy Jr. “Lawyer Don” today. Lawyer Don is a Metairie personal injury attorney with offices on the Eastbank and Westbank of Jefferson Parish. Lawyer Don represents clients throughout southeast Louisiana, and he gives free house calls to all of his clients.