Whether involved in a motor vehicle, hurt at work, or walking through the supermarket, the expenses of an accident can be significant. As medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses of an accident add up, many people begin to wonder whether there is a way to recover these financial costs. In the United States, including Virginia, the process for recovery is through a personal injury claim, and lawyers who represent individuals after these unfortunate accidents are Virginia personal injury attorneys.
When you contact a personal injury lawyer after your accident, the lawyer will want to schedule an initial consultation. These consultations are important for you and the lawyer, as it is an opportunity to discuss the basic information about your case. Sometimes, after this consultation, a lawyer may decline to take your case.
For those outside the legal profession, it can be confusing when a personal injury lawyer does not take a case. But behind the scenes, a lot is happening, and there are a number of plausible reasons a lawyer may need to turn down a particular case. Here are four of those reasons.
#1: Statute of Limitations Has Run
In every state, plaintiffs are allowed a specific amount of time from the date of an injury to file a personal injury claim. This time period is known as the statute of limitations. After this time period has passed, an individual is barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years.
If you approach a personal injury lawyer after this two-year period, the lawyer will decline to take your case. This makes it even more important to speak with a lawyer soon after an injury has occurred.
#2: Financial Considerations for the Lawyer
At times, whether a lawyer will or will not take a case is purely a business decision. Like other service providers, a lawyer needs to make money from his or her services. Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means the lawyer is only paid if the personal injury client is compensated. Given the time commitment required by every case, a lawyer needs some assurance that the case is likely to be won.
Other times, the amount of recovery is such a small amount, that the legal fees wouldn’t cover a lawyer’s costs. In this instance, a lawyer may also make the business decision to decline a case.
#3: There Is a Conflict of Interest
Lawyers in Virginia are required to comply with a specific set of ethical rules and regulations. One of these regulations prohibits a lawyer from taking clients or cases that would create a conflict of interest. Perhaps the lawyer previously represented the individual or business that would be adverse to you in a personal injury case. There are other situations that can create a conflict for the lawyer. When this happens, a lawyer will not take your case.
#4: The Defendant Is Not at Fault
To bring a successful personal injury claim you must have evidence that the defendant was liable for your injuries and the resulting costs. If a defendant was not at fault, or the plaintiff is unable to show in court that the defendant was at fault, the defendant will not be required to compensate the plaintiff. If based on the facts of a case, a personal injury lawyer feels the defendant is not liable – he or she will decline to take your case.
In this instance, it is important to understand why the lawyer refused your case.
Need to Learn More About Your Case? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If a personal lawyer in Virginia refuses to take your case, ask why. The best way to determine if you have a valid personal injury case is through initial consultations. These consultations are entirely confidential, and most attorneys do not charge for this first conversation. Therefore, if you were injured in Virginia, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer, such as Scott Barney, to determine your options for recovery.
Scott Barney is a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer, with experience representing clients across the Commonwealth of Virginia. To schedule an initial consultation with Scott, contact our legal team at (757)-383-7532.