What Causes Personal Injury Attorneys to Decline a Case?

Finding out the attorney you pursued declined your case can be frustrating. What circumstances would lead to a personal injury attorney declining a case? What should your next steps be if your case is declined? Some attorneys and others familiar with the law shared potential reasons a personal injury attorney may decline a case and some tips for what to do if that happens to you. Keep reading to learn from them.
Rick Hovde

Rick Hovde

Founding Partner at .

Conflict of Interest

There are many reasons why a case is declined. Your case could be outside of their area of expertise; not every personal injury attorney takes every case. Some specialize in specific types of personal injury cases, such as catastrophic injuries or truck injuries. It could simply be that the attorney already has a full caseload and isn’t able to take on a new case at that time.

It’s also possible that the attorney may have a conflict of interest with the client or another party involved in the case or the attorney doesn’t believe the case has a strong likelihood of success.

While that’s not what someone wants to hear when they bring a potential injury case to an attorney, fighting a losing battle is more stress than it’s worth to all involved and can potentially create avoidable suffering and hardship for the victim.

There are many different options for you if your case is declined, but the most important thing is to not give up. If you truly believe that you have a strong case, I would advise seeking out a different attorney. If the first attorney you spoke to turned you down due to a full caseload, they may be able to provide you with a referral to a colleague who can help you.

If the attorney who turned you down did so because they didn’t believe you had a strong case, try to gather more evidence to support your claim, and try again. Medical records, photos of your injuries, witness statements, and police reports are helpful pieces of information.

If the first attorney turned down your case because they don’t have experience with your type of case, then find an attorney who does. Keep in mind that the legal process can be long and complicated. It may take several months or even years to get your case resolved, depending on the situation.

Too Much Risk

Sometimes cases can be more challenging than others or may not have enough value for the attorney to justify taking on. This is one of the most common reasons a personal injury lawyer might decline a case. If there is too much risk associated with the case and it seems likely that you will fail, an attorney might not take you on as a client.

However, if you feel that your case has merit and should be pursued, there are things you can do to increase the chances of finding an attorney who will take it on.

First, you can research attorneys who specialize in personal injury law and contact them to explain your case. If they decline, ask why and consider their advice when seeking other options.

You can also contact local or regional bar associations for referrals. These organizations may refer you to an attorney specializing in the type of claim you are making.

Finally, you can contact a legal malpractice attorney. These attorneys specialize in cases where personal injury lawyers have declined to take on cases. They can offer advice or refer you to another lawyer who is willing to help.

Andrew Pickett

Andrew Pickett

Lead Trial Attorney at .
Sudhir Khatwani

Sudhir Khatwani

Founder at .

Cases that Exceed the Statute of Limitations

Personal injury attorneys may decline a case for reasons such as:

    1. Unclear liability or difficulty proving negligence.
    2. Potential compensation is too low to justify the legal costs.
    3. Cases that exceed the statute of limitations.
    4. Insufficient evidence to support the claim or weak evidence.

If a personal injury attorney declines your case, consider the following steps:

    1. Seek a second opinion from another personal injury attorney to explore alternative perspectives.
    2. Understand the specific reasons for the decline and address any weaknesses or challenges.
    3. Explore other legal options, such as insurance claims or settlement negotiations.
    4. Consider gathering additional evidence or seeking expert opinions to strengthen your case.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.