When you are hurt due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or a company, and through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your hurts and harms. If you decide to pursue financial compensation, you will likely engage the services of a personal injury attorney. Most people seek out an attorney who
- Has a strong reputation for winning cases
- Is someone you believe is trustworthy
- Is someone you believe you can talk with comfortably
- Experienced in cases similar to yours.
- Is recommended by a friend, family member, or other person.
You choose an attorney that you would like to have represent you. You schedule an appointment, and you present the facts of your injuries to the attorney. The attorney may conduct some research of your case. Sometimes the attorney turns down your case. Often, you will be notified of this by mail or a phone call from a case manager. Often, you will not know why the attorney turned down your case.
At Altizer Law, P.C., (unlike many other firms) if we turn down your case, we will meet with you and we will explain why we did not accept your case. In some cases, we will refer you to another attorney we believe will represent you effectively.
There are many reasons for an attorney to turn down a case. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Conflict of Interest. Some cases are turned down because the attorney has some connection with a party or an attorney in the case. It would be unethical for the attorney to accept a case under these circumstances.
- Unwinnable Case. No matter how clear a case may seem, an attorney might see other factors that make it impossible to win your case. One factor an attorney must consider is their rate of winning cases. The ability to win and a reputation for winning is a factor in most attorney selections.
- Compensation is Less than Cost. There are many costs associated with preparing a legal case. From purchasing copies of medical records to hiring expert witnesses, these costs can be significant. Sometimes the cost of preparing the case is greater than the amount of compensation the attorney can expect to be paid for the case.
- Case is Outside their Area of Expertise. Sometimes people bring cases to attorneys that are simply not within their area of expertise. For example, a criminal defense attorney may not accept cases in family law. In these cases, some firms (including Altizer Law, P.C.) will refer you to a trusted colleague who practices in the area you need.
- Contributory Negligence. Contributory negligence would refer to some action or condition on your part that contributed to the events and injuries of your case. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, if a plaintiff is found to be contributorily negligent, any settlement or judgment is completely precluded.
- Difficulty establishing liability. An injury does not always involve the liability or fault of another person. An attorney will likely be able to determine responsibility and/or fault for the event. If responsibility cannot be determined, there is no case.
There are other reasons that occasionally cause an attorney to turn down a case. It is important to understand compensation of attorneys. For example, personal injury attorneys are compensated on a contingency basis. The attorney is compensated based on a legally established percentage of the award or settlement in the case. If the attorney loses the case, there is no compensation.
If an attorney turns down your case, there will be a compelling reason for doing so. If your case is turned down and no reason is offered, you certainly have the right to ask.
If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, and through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to fair and appropriate financial compensation for your hurts and harms. Call Altizer Law, P.C., to schedule an initial consultation about your case. Bettina Altizer and her expert team understand that when you are trying to rebuild your life, a lawsuit is about the money.