Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Won't Take Your Case in Arizona

If another party caused an accident or injury, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. The best way to know if you have a case is to talk with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer. However, after meeting with an attorney, they may tell you they won’t take your case.

Some of the reasons why a personal injury lawyer refuses to represent you may be beyond the attorney’s control. Other reasons include legal opinions about your case and personal reasons.

Why Won’t a Lawyer Take My Personal Injury Case?

Why Won’t a Lawyer Take My Personal Injury Case?

Potential reasons why a personal injury attorney refused to take your case include:

Conflict of Interest

An attorney has a fiduciary duty to represent your best interests. A conflict of interest occurs when the attorney represents someone involved in your case or currently represents the party. 

For example, if the attorney represents the trucking company that employs the truck driver who caused your accident, that would likely present a conflict of interest.

Complex Areas of Law

A personal injury lawyer might not have experience in the law governing your case. Some areas of personal injury law are complex, such as medical malpractice, product liability, and government tort claims. Therefore, the lawyer may decline to take the case because of their lack of experience.

The Statute of Limitations Is About To Expire

The Arizona statute of limitations for personal injury claims sets deadlines for filing lawsuits. Most lawsuits must be filed within two years of the injury or accident date. However, some exceptions could change the deadline.

If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, the court can dismiss your case. Therefore, the attorney might not take the case if the deadline has passed to file a lawsuit or if it is about to pass.

Your Injuries Are Not Serious

Victims with minor injuries deserve to be compensated fairly for their damages. However, a personal injury attorney takes cases for a contingency fee. They are paid based on the amount they win for your case for their legal services.

The severity of your injuries significantly impacts the value of your damages. Victims can receive economic and non-economic damages for:

Therefore, if you did not sustain serious injuries, your claim might not be worth enough to justify the attorney’s time and expense in pursuing the claim. That does not mean you don’t have a claim. It just means the attorney is unwilling to take the case for what may be a very small fee.

Disputes About Liability

Arizona is an at-fault state for personal injury claims. You must prove that the other party is responsible for causing your injuries. Most claims are based on negligence, which requires you to prove:

  • The party involved in your case owed you a legal duty to act with reasonable care
  • The party failed to take appropriate care (breach of duty)
  • The party’s actions or omissions were the direct and proximate cause of your injuries
  • You incurred damages because of the party’s conduct

There must be sufficient evidence proving each of the above legal elements. Sometimes, it could be unclear who is responsible for causing your injury. If an attorney does not believe they can prove each of the above elements against a specific party, they might not take the case.

You Were Partially To Blame for Causing Your Injuries

Arizona applies a pure comparative fault standard to personal injury claims. If a victim is partially at fault for causing their injuries, their compensation can be reduced by their level of fault.

For example, a jury decides you were 50% to blame for causing a car accident. The judge would then reduce the damages awarded in your case by one-half because of contributory fault.

If an attorney believes that you were too much at fault for causing your injuries, they might not take the case because the damages award could be too low to justify their time.

Your Claim Is Out of State

If your claim exists out of state, the attorney might not take the case because pursuing the claim from a distance could be more complicated. The attorney would need to travel to the state for hearings and depositions. They might need to hire local counsel, which decreases their attorney’s fees.

You Expect To Receive a Specific Amount for Your Claim

If you are overly concerned about the value of your case, the attorney might decline the case. A personal injury lawyer cannot guarantee you will recover a specific amount. The attorney may be concerned your expectations are unreasonable and could cause conflict between you and the attorney.

Your Case Involves a Government Entity

Suing the government is complicated. Government tort claims involve different rules and deadlines for personal injury claims. An attorney may decline to take the case because it is complicated or they do not have experience handling these types of personal injury claims.

The Attorney Does Not Take Cases to Trial

Most personal injury cases settle without filing a lawsuit or going to trial. However, your case may need to go to trial. Some attorneys lack trial experience because they settle all of their cases. If so, the attorney might not want to take a case with a high chance of going to trial.

What Should I Do if a Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer Turns Down My Case?

It can be very confusing to be told that a personal injury attorney won’t take your case. However, don’t give up.

Keep detailed records of your damages, including your medical records, bills, and expenses. Gather all information you have related to the accident or injury.

If the insurance adjuster pressures you to make a statement, don’t. Providing a written or recorded statement without counsel is not in your best interest.

Ask if the call is being recorded whenever you talk with the insurance company. Speaking on a recorded line could be harmful to your case.

If the insurance adjuster makes a settlement offer, be cautious. Without legal advice, you may not realize your case is worth more than the insurance company offers.

Schedule an appointment with another personal injury lawyer for a second opinion. Another attorney might have a different perspective on your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyers

Just because an attorney declined to take your case does not mean you do not have a personal injury case. It simply means the attorney is unwilling or cannot take it on for you. Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your case with a Phoenix personal injury attorney. For more information, contact a Phoenix injury lawyer at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today. You can reach us at (602) 595-5559.