Whether you have suffered injuries in a car accident, were the victim of a slip and fall on another’s property, or you were bitten by your neighbor’s dog, you understandably want to know if you have a solid case for compensation. Contacting a personal injury lawyer in Southwest Virginia immediately is a wise idea. They can tell you, after hearing the details of the incident, if you have two legs to stand on in a legal sense.
Accidents are expensive, and between lost wages and medical bills, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the financial consequences of an unexpected accident, crash or fall. Filing an injury claim or lawsuit for damages can make a tough situation a bit easier. And hiring a Southwest Virginia personal injury attorney can greatly increase the likelihood of getting substantial compensation.
But just because you got injured does not mean an attorney will automatically agree to take your case. Here are some reasons why this may be true.
You’ve Shopped Around Too Much
Any personal injury law firm in Southwest Virginia worth its salt will provide free, no-obligation consultations for prospective clients. This not only allows accident victims to determine if they have a legitimate case, it also gives attorneys a chance to get more clients in the door. You should always speak with at least two personal injury attorneys before making a decision. But if you shop around too much, attorneys could get suspicious if you’ve already consulted five, six, seven other local attorneys regarding your case.
Even if there is nothing really wrong about your case per se, the simple fact that other attorneys declined to represent you can look like a red flag. Seeking multiple opinions could do you more harm than good.
Risk Not Worth the Reward
Most Roanoke personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they don’t charge fees upfront; rather, they agree to take your case for a percentage of the final award should you win or settle. In so doing, your lawyer is essentially betting on his or her ability to win the case.
All lawyers perform a risk assessment before they agree to take on a new client, carefully considering what it may cost them to represent you. They will then compare that to the financial award they believe they can realistically obtain from at-fault parties. Then, they will weigh the likelihood of success against those costs. This helps them determine if the risk of taking on your case is worth the reward they may get.
Sharing Too Much of the Blame
During that initial interview, your lawyer will be asking a lot of questions to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case. One thing they will try to find out is if you share fault for the accident. If so, they will attempt to see how much fault would be allocated to you.
If your Southwest Virginia personal injury attorney suspects you are in part responsible for your accident, and can’t find much evidence to the contrary, he or she can decline to take your case. They may even tell you that you do not really have a case at all. Even if you’re just partially to blame, that will still impact your financial compensation.
Not a Good Fit
Just as you are looking for a good fit and rapport with a potential lawyer, they are also doing the same thing about you. Sometimes lawyers may be hesitant to take your case because they just don’t feel like it would be a good fit. Maybe there’s a personality clash and they don’t think you’ll get along. Remember, attorneys and their clients spend many long hours together, spanning weeks, months and sometimes years. That’s a lot of time to spend with someone they inherently can’t see eye to eye with.
Some lawyers may not want to take on a client who they see as difficult or overly demanding. It’s just not worth their time.
In other instances, the lawyer may suspect you’re not being very forthcoming and could be holding back on relevant details. Trust forms the foundation of any attorney-client relationship. If no trust is present, this will ultimately hurt the case.
Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable taking on your kind of case because they don’t handle that type very often. They may think your case involves a highly specialized area of the law that they don’t deal with frequently. In that case, they may feel better recommending you to another more qualified attorney.
And of course, there’s always the possibility that the attorney has a conflict of interest. Perhaps representing you would create a problem for his or her other clients, and taking on your case could be a violation of state bar ethics.
So, if you are told by a lawyer that they can’t take your case, don’t take it personally. Thank them and move on to the next name on the list.
Contact Altizer Law, P.C.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and need legal advice, we welcome you to call us right away at 540-345-2000 for your free, no-obligation consultation