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Will an Attorney Take Your Case, and Decide to Represent You?


When you walk into a personal injury attorney’s office with a possible case after an accident, you may think that the attorney will definitely take your case. In fact, judging by all the advertisements you see on TV, you may have the impression that personal injury attorneys are just fighting with each other to get your case.

That is true…but only in some circumstances. In other cases, it may be the opposite—you may be surprised to find that despite talking to many injury attorneys, they all take a pass on representing you in your case.

Why is that? What are things that a personal injury attorney will look for, when deciding whether to take your case and represent you or not?

Is Anybody Liable?

The first factor is pretty obvious—is there a liable Defendant? Did someone actually do something wrong or negligence to cause your injury?

This is not to say that attorneys will always pass in cases where it may be difficult to prove liability. Many multi million dollar verdicts in history started off as cases that seemed impossible to win. A good injury attorney won’t just take “easy” cases, but will also take a swing at the more difficult cases.

Still, whether you can prove that someone actually did something negligent, is a major factor.

How Injured Are You?

The level and extent of your injuries also will play a role in the attorneys decision. Injury attorneys do have a mix of “major” damage cases, and also cases where the injures aren’t as severe. And the law does allow most people to bring a lawsuit, even if their injuries are not catastrophic or life threatening.

Who are You?

The attorney will also look at you, to see what kind of witness you would be. That’s not to say you are being judged, but the attorney will want to know if you have pre-existing injuries, or if there is something in your background that makes you a “sympathetic” victim that a jury will relate to.

Who is the Defendant (and Can They Pay a Judgment)?

Some Defendants may be able to pay whatever judgment is entered against them, such as larger corporations. Or, they may have full and sufficient insurance coverage to pay whatever the Defendant is ordered to pay. But they also may not, and that can be a hurdle to an attorney taking your case.

Bankruptcy is also a risk—smaller, less stable Defendants (like smaller companies or sole proprietorships) may be more likely to never pay a judgment entered against them—or they may try to file for bankruptcy.

Keep Trying

Even if your case has been rejected by other attorneys, don’t give up. Many victims have received full compensation for their injuries, even after being rejected by multiple attorneys. Every attorney has a different opinion, and you shouldn’t give up just because the first or even the second attorney you visited may not have wanted to represent you.

Contact the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian and schedule a consultation today for a free and honest evaluation of your case.

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