Reasons You May Find It Hard to Hire an Injury Lawyer
Injury lawsuits may not always be right to take to court. Lawyers can decline to accept cases when they believe that they aren’t likely to win compensation or damages. This article looks at the different circumstances in which this might happen.
When a person is injured as a result of another person’s negligence, speaking to a local injury lawyer should be the first thing they do after they seek medical attention. Finding a lawyer on contingency, (where they don’t get paid unless they win for you), shouldn’t be hard when your injury meets certain criteria. In some cases, however, you may discover that the lawyers you approach are not enthusiastic about accepting your case.
What follows are the common reasons why sometimes, injury lawyers tend to think twice about accepting certain cases.
There is limited scope for damages recoverable
How much you can expect for an injury can depend on the seriousness of the injury in question. In some cases, non-serious injuries require expensive treatment, and lead to lost pay. In most cases, however, minor injuries, especially with ones that do not need medical attention, and do not result in time taken off work, it wouldn’t be worth the time of a lawyer to build a case. You could, instead, directly get in touch with the insurance representative.
An attorney would help you determine if your case would be financially rewarding to go after. For instance, if you are the victim in a crash caused by an inebriated driver, the damages you collected could be significant even if you weren’t hurt. A skilled attorney could make sure of that. You should, however, be prepared for the possibility that the legal route may not be right for you.
Work injuries: Worker injuries are evaluated and granted a rating by Workers’ Compensation. A 13 percent rating, at least, is necessary before you approach your employer for a claim. If your rating doesn’t cross the threshold, then, it would be hard to obtain compensation. Speaking to a lawyer would be especially important in these cases.
Liability is tough to pin down
While it may seem clear to you who is responsible for your injuries, legally pursuing compensation requires that you find a way to prove that the party at fault had a duty to be careful, and failed in that duty. The failure should also be proven to be the proximate cause of your injuries, financial losses, and pain and suffering.
If all these requirements are satisfied, your injury action would be liable to win compensation. If liability is tough to determine — for example, if the driver behind the accident wasn’t speeding, wasn’t impaired, and wasn’t distracted speaking on his phone, a lawyer may conclude that your case won’t likely see compensation.
Your actions contributed to your injury
The law in West Virginia takes the modified comparative fault view; you can ask to be compensated even if your actions contributed to the accident. However, you must show that your share of the fault was less than 50 percent. If a lawyer determines that your share of the fault exceeds 50 percent, they may be doubtful about the outcome, and be wary about getting on board. If your damages promise to be sizable, even if your compensation does not, however, they might accept your case.
You waited too long
Your case may be strong and you may have substantial evidence to back your assertions up with; if you waited too long to mount your legal challenge, however, the statute of limitations, which is two years in this state, may make it hard for you to go ahead. A lawyer is likely to be unwilling to go ahead with it. Since some exceptions do exist, however, you should still talk to a legal expert.
The party at fault is without means
If the person or organization that was responsible for the accident has no resources and no liability insurance, compensation may not be on the horizon. If you are a West Virginia resident, however, you probably have uninsured motorist coverage, which could bring you some financial relief. A lawyer would be able to find out about this, and about other ways to recover compensation, that might not be obvious to you.
New laws or amendments could change the outlook for your case
Major changes to the law sometimes affect how much hope of success a particular case has. Worker injury laws in West Virginia, for instance, saw changes made not long ago. With these changes, Workers’ Compensation needs to rate workers for their disability, and a score of at least 13% is required before workers can file a claim. However, there are cases where even workers with severe injuries at work have received disability ratings lower than 13%. A legal practitioner may believe that such a case would be hard to win compensation with.
After an incident that results in an injury, it’s important to go to an experienced injury lawyer, and ask for an evaluation. If things don’t work out with one, it would be a good idea to seek a second opinion. There may be good reasons why one lawyer is unwilling to take the case on, but others may have the insight to discover aspects that do merit a closer look.