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6 Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Won’t Take Your Case 


Personal injury cases are often challenging and scary. The legal system can be complicated. Having a skilled personal injury lawyer as your guide through your case can make all the difference. However, if an attorney turns down your case, it’s not necessarily the end. Here are several reasons why a lawyer might say “no” to your case, and what you can do next. 

Reason 1: Your Case is Outside the Statute of Limitations 

Unfortunately, this issue can end your case before it even starts. The statute of limitations refers to how long you have to bring a personal injury case in your state. If the statute of limitations period applicable to your case has expired, you will have a very difficult time finding an attorney to represent you. 

Even within a single state, the statutes of limitations can vary depending on the type of injury or the victim in question and other particular circumstances of your case.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate the statute of limitations issue and advise you accordingly.  You can rely on a personal injury lawyer before you decide that your case is outside the statute of limitations. Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations, and this is exactly the type of question that you’ll discuss. 

Check out these links for more information on the statute of limitations in Missouri and Kansas

Reason 2: The Attorney Doesn’t Think There Is a Good Chance of Winning 

This reason is more of a judgment call, and it can vary from lawyer to lawyer and law firm to law firm. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning that they only get paid if their client wins their case. For this reason, attorneys must make a call, often within the first meeting, about your chances of winning.  

This doesn’t mean that your case is bad, or that you’re not going to win. It just means that the lawyer is making a judgment call and concludes that his or her particular circumstances are such that they do not want to undertake the representation in light of the facts of your case.   If an attorney turns you down for this reason, ask them if there is another attorney who would be a better fit. They might be able to give you a referral to a lawyer who they believe is better suited for you. 

Reason 3: Your Case Is Outside the Attorney’s Jurisdiction 

Generally, lawyers must be licensed in each individual state they work in. Although there are some ways for lawyers to practice in a state they’re not licensed in, it’s difficult, time-consuming, and can require sponsorship from another attorney who is licensed in the state in question. 

In addition, some lawyers focus specifically on cities, counties, or geographic areas. They may be able to practice outside those areas, but they prefer not to and for that reason do not have experience in the jurisdiction at issue.   

If an attorney tells you that your case is outside their jurisdiction, it may be as simple as finding someone who is licensed or who practices in the jurisdiction where your case would be filed.   

Reason 4: The Attorney Doesn’t Have Experience in the Practice Area 

Many personal injury lawyers take all sorts of cases, from car accidents to medical malpractice to premises liability. Others prefer to focus on a specific type of case. If you’re taking a car accident to an attorney who focuses exclusively on medical malpractice, that attorney may not feel qualified to help you with your case. This isn’t a reflection of your case. You may just need to speak to a different lawyer with more experience in the type of case you want to bring. 

Reason 5: There Is a Conflict of Interest 

If a personal injury lawyer accepts the case, then they are agreeing to represent their client’s best interests. But what happens if Client A’s best interest conflicts with Client B’s best interest? One lawyer cannot represent the plaintiff and the defendant in the same case, because that would require the attorney to work against the best interest of one of those clients. 

In addition, attorneys will turn down cases with which they have a personal connection.  For example, if an attorney’s brother is being sued for medical malpractice, that attorney should not represent the plaintiff. Sometimes the lawyer or law firm will not tell you specifically what the conflict of interest is, but if they turn down your case based on this, understand that they could be making an ethical decision that is in your best interests. 

Reason 6: The Attorney Is Too Busy 

Sometimes lawyers are just too busy to take on another case. They cannot give existing clients less attention than their case deserves just to take on new cases. The good news is that busy attorneys can usually point you to another lawyer who can give your case the time it deserves. 

What To Do If an Attorney Will Not Take Your Case 

If an attorney will not take your case, then try to determine the reason. You can and should get a second opinion on your case. Ask the lawyer who turned you down to provide you with a referral to another attorney. This can often help you find someone better suited for your case. 

If you don’t receive a referral, ask friends and family if they’ve worked with personal injury lawyers, and whether they would recommend them. 

Are You Looking for an Attorney to Help With Your Case? 

Has another attorney told you that they won’t take your case? We may be able to help. Here at DiPasquale Moore, we’ve helped our clients recover millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. Let us take a look at your case and see if we’re the right fit for you. Call us at 816-296-6618 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to speaking with you about your case. 


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