Your personal injury case may not be one a lawyer will accept. Learn some of the reasons why they may not be able to take you on as a client.
You may have to talk to a few attorneys before you find the right one. But remember, it’s a mutual decision that should fit both parties. You should like your attorney and be confident they can win your personal injury case. And they should feel confident they can win your case too. But, some might say “no.” You can ask them why – and realize it’s nothing personal.
They Have a High Caseload in the Next Several Months
It’s only fair, right? Your claim should get the maximum attention it deserves. Well, some lawyers are busy because they have great reputations. So, they may not be able to investigate all aspects of your claim and build the strongest argument possible.
That means money gets left on the table. Or, maybe your case could be lost entirely. So attorneys have to respectfully turn your claim down. If they don’t offer to refer you to someone, ask for the name of a firm they respect.
“Sovereign immunity” refers to any governmental body (city, county, state) and their legal right to limit what you can sue them for. Now it’s not impossible to sue government entities. But it gets much more difficult.
While the statute of limitations for private citizens and companies is 2 years in Texas, you must notify government entities within 6 months. And, law also gives cities permission to specify their own time limits, which could be even less than 6 months.
So if you think the government’s negligence hurt you, talk to a personal injury lawyer ASAP.
Your Type of Case and The Facts Supporting It
This is especially true with medical malpractice. Just because you get injured by a doctor doesn’t mean you can sue them. The law allows them to make mistakes in accordance with “human error.”
Legally, this means your doctor must cause you harm in a way that a competent doctor in the same situation would not have.
So if they give you the wrong prescription, then you probably have a claim. Also, if your case just doesn’t have enough facts to support it, a lawyer may be forced to pass.
Finally, if you contribute to your own injury, a firm may not be able to win your claim, and they’ll decline your case.
You’re Shopping for an Attorney that Promises You the Most Money
Talking to several attorneys is a good idea. You want to find the best one who can win your case, and who cares about you as a person.
But you have to make sure they are realistic, and not just promising you big money to get your business. It’s both unethical and illegal for lawyers to guarantee you results. It does happen though.
However, they should be able to approximate a range or estimate of what you might be entitled to based on the facts of your situation. Make sure that whatever your told comes from a sound factual basis found within the law.
If you get wildly different estimates, contact other firms for their opinions on what to reasonably expect. After several conversations, the truth will become clear.
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Shane V. Mullen is an attorney licensed by the State of Texas for the general practice of law, and the Managing Partner at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX. His firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law and has been in business for 40 years. Before becoming a lawyer, Shane worked for his father as an accident injury claims investigator.