Personal Injury Lawyers offer free case evaluations to get a better idea of whether there’s potential for a successful case. This initial consultation doesn’t qualify an attorney-client relationship. There are instances where a lawyer will offer a free case evaluation, and then decide not to take on the case. This decision has nothing to do with “liking” the potential client. Even though the client may feel they’re being “turned away”. That’s simply not true! Every lawyer’s goal is to help as many clients as possible seek justice.
What should potential Personal Injury clients expect?
Potential clients should understand that their lawyer is not their friend. A lawyer is there to provide expert advice and protect the rights of someone who has come to harm. If the lawyer decides not to take on a case, they’ll have credible reasons for doing so. After all, turning down a case, quite frankly, means the lawyer stands to lose quite a lot of money.
However, it should be made clear that the best Personal Injury lawyers don’t see dollar signs when they evaluate a case. They see the victim of a crime and first and foremost, a human being. A lawyer with experience will see the justice they can provide a client. Their first instinct will always be to fight for those who have come to harm due to someone else’s bad judgement.
The best Personal Injury lawyers put people over profit
A lawyer who sees profits before people suffering from serious and life-threatening injuries should not be practicing Personal Injury Law. Personal Injury Law requires a high level of moral ethics and humanity. Lawyers must remain unbiased and level headed while holding onto their ability empathize with clients over many years. Clients who find themselves in a law firm that treats them as a number should quickly pursue another firm where they hold value.
Why is credibility in Personal Injury cases important?
There are dozens of reasons why a lawyer with experience will turn down a case. After years of practicing law, lawyers become familiar with exactly what will and won’t win a case. That includes client credibility.
Now, let’s look at how “client credibility” can affect the outcome of Personal Injury cases:
- Credibility! Sometimes clients lie or change their story about what happened during the accident. Don’t do this! Lying puts client and lawyer in a very difficult position. Lawyers must negotiate expertly on behalf of clients when it comes recovering compensation. If the story changes, this makes the lawyer lose credibility. Also, lying in court is 100% illegal. Even the victim can face consequences if they choose to lie under oath.
- Lying to a lawyer WILL destroy the case! Don’t kill the case by telling a lawyer a story. Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Whether or not the client has a case after the initial consultation comes second to the truth. It’s natural to feel angry, upset, depressed, and emotional after an accident with serious injuries. However, the lawyer knows what they’re doing. Trust that they’re resolving the case as quickly as the legal system allows.
- Someone is always watching! Insurance companies, the defense doctor, and the Personal Injury lawyer are all looking at what the client is doing all the time. It’s easy to catch a client using Facebook and Instagram. They may be posting videos dancing and at the gym, but claim they’re unable to work due to injuries. This doesn’t look credible to those involved in the case! In fact, this can kill the case and leave the client with no compensation.
Why else would a lawyer turn down a case?
There are other reasons a Personal Injury lawyer may choose not to take a case after initial consultation. The following are the top reasons a lawyer may decide to decline a case after evaluation:
- The statute of limitations has been run its course: a lawyer cannot take a Personal Injury case in which the Statute of Limitations has been exceeded.
- The lawyer doesn’t feel they have enough experience to try the case successfully: This is a noble declination. In these cases the lawyer may refer the client to another lawyer they know that has more experience. This is what’s known as a “referral” and it’s a polite and common practice in the field of Personal Injury law.
- The lawyer knows the case cannot be tried (a/k/a “you don’t have a case”): Not every wrong is something that can have a lawsuit brought because of it. There are laws that vary by state that may simply bar the lawyer from trying that type of case. Wrongful death cases in the state of Florida are notoriously complex in this way.
It probably has nothing to do with the client
Finally, It’s not that the lawyer doesn’t like the client or doesn’t want to work hard for them. There is always a good reason why a Personal Injury lawyer won’t take a case. Lawyers went to law school, passed the bar exam, and became Board Certified in order to separate the potentially successful cases from those that won’t or can’t win at trial. A Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer knows best.