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Why Won’t an Attorney Take My Case?

ELI5: Negligence

Hits: 4

Attorneys may not want to be up front with all the reasons they aren’t taking your case. If you’re having trouble finding an attorney that’s willing to take your case, make sure that one of the reasons below doesn’t describe your situation.

DUTY WASN’T BREACHED

You can’t sue somebody just because you don’t like them. If you’ve been injured because someone else was negligent, however, then you may have a case. In order to have a compelling personal injury claim, a defendant must have had a duty (to drive carefully, for example) and breached their duty. For another example, under the concept of premises liability, a homeowner has a duty to make sure they clean up the soda they spilled on their stairs. If the homeowner fails to do this, and a guest is injured because they slipped and fell on the soda on the stairs, the homeowner may be liable for their guest’s injuries. But what if duty wasn’t breached? What if the stairs were perfectly clean and in good condition, but the guest was just a total klutz? Well, if duty wasn’t breached, or there wasn’t a duty to be breached, then it may be difficult for a personal injury attorney to win compensation for you.

THE INITIAL SETTLEMENT OFFER PAYS FOR YOUR DAMAGES

Let’s say the insurance company offers you a settlement check for your injuries. It’s not uncommon for those settlement checks to be way too small. But it doesn’t always happen that way. If you have minor injuries, and the insurance company’s initial offer covers those injuries and any other damages, a personal injury attorney may not be able to get you significantly more compensation. The bulk of the compensation that comes from personal injury claims comes from the medical expenses. But, if your medical expenses are relatively low, and your injuries aren’t severe, then your damages aren’t very high and it may be difficult for an attorney to argue that you need more compensation. Though you may be able to claim pain and suffering, or emotional distress, it would be difficult to get a significantly higher sum for emotional damages if the injuries aren’t severe.

YOU HAVE LIABILITY TOO

In Utah, liability can be apportioned. This means that multiple parties can share fault. Let’s say that you are injured after you fall into a sinkhole at your apartment complex. The property management company may have some liability, along with whatever company they were using to maintain the property. The city may have liability too. If you have $10,000 in damages, and two parties are found to be 50% liable, each party will pay you $5,000. But fault can also be apportioned to the injured party (that’s you) as well. And if you’re more than 49% at fault, you are not eligible to be compensated by the other parties for your injuries. So, let’s say you’re injured because you were a pedestrian hit by a car. However, it was night time and you were jaywalking on the freeway. In a case like that, you may have too much fault.

WE CAN’T VERIFY THE INCIDENT

In order to file a personal injury claim, we need to verify that the incident did indeed occur, and that we can prove all of the other allegations of the claim. Depending on the circumstances, we may need the date of the incident, medical records, police reports associated with the incident, medical bills, and more. If too much information is missing, and we don’t have evidence to prove all the facts of your case, it may be difficult to file a personal injury claim. Also, we can’t sue somebody if we don’t know who they are. In some cases, it can be difficult for us to help victims of a hit and run case because we need to know who the negligent party is in order to file the claim against them.

YOU DIDN’T GET TREATMENT

Insurance companies are in it to make money. Therefore, they’re often trying to get out of paying the injured party a lot of money. In fact, insurance companies are frequently looking for ways to pay as little as possible. If you’ve been injured, but you don’t get treatment, or you wait too long to get treatment, the insurance company will argue that you’re not really injured. Or, they may argue that if you are injured, something else caused the injury. If you’ve been in an accident, and you’re asked whether or not you’re injured, the best thing you can do is tell them that you don’t know. Some injuries take days to show up. But, when they do show up, you need to get to a doctor as soon as possible. When you’re at the doctor’s office, do not refuse treatment that’s offered or suggested. If you refuse treatment, or if you wait too long to get treatment, the insurance companies will say that you weren’t really injured. And, to be honest, if you’re really hurt you’re going to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you were in a crash but didn’t seek medical attention of any kind for months, then how hurt could you really have been? If you’re really injured, keep your personal injury case strong by getting treatment as soon as possible.

CONTACT MOXIE LAW GROUP TODAY

If you were injured, and you’re ready to file a personal injury claim, contact Moxie Law Group today for a free consultation. This consultation helps us determine whether or not we can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured, and you’re ready to file your claim, contact Moxie Law Group today.

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