Partner at Charbonnet Law Firm LLC

Practice Areas: Car Accident, Slip-and-Fall, Work-related Injury

If you have been harmed in an accident because of another person’s wrongful actions, you deserve restitution for the losses and injuries you sustained. Yet, even though many people assume that personal injury attorneys will take on any case that walks through their door, this is not always the case. In truth, there are actually many reasons why a personal injury attorney may decline to take on your legal claim.

To better help you understand those reasons, we have prepared the following blog post. In it, we will discuss the top five reasons why a personal injury lawyer may refuse to handle a personal injury case and what actions you need to take if this happens.

1. The Time to File a Lawsuit Has Passed

The statute of limitations is a law that mandates the maximum amount of time a person has to file a legal claim following an event. If these individuals do not file their case within that time period, they can be barred from obtaining compensation for their harm and losses.

In Louisiana, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury case is one year from the accident date. As a result, if this time has passed and no exceptions apply that can extend this filing period, a lawyer will not be able to do anything for you and will likely decide to pass on your case.

2. There is a Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest can exist for many reasons, such as when the attorney you want to hire represents the other side or their family is involved. In these situations, this conflict of interest could divide the attorney’s loyalties and impact their handling of the case. Fortunately, conflict of interest rules are in place to ensure that a lawyer can fully represent your best interests. That is why, if these situations arise, a lawyer will be barred from accepting representation.

3. You Are At Fault for the Accident

If you are primarily at fault for the accident that harmed you, some lawyers may decide not to risk their resources or their time to take on your claim. This is often because they worry you will not receive any compensation for your injuries or very little after your fault has been established. Consequently, it would not make sense economically for the firm to take on the claim since personal injury lawyers tend to work on a contingent fee basis, which means the less money you recover, the less money the lawyer will be paid for their work.

4. There Are Minimal Damages

In some instances, a lawyer may decline to take on your case if the damages are minimal. These damages often include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, personal property damages, and pain and suffering. As a result, if you suffered a minor injury, which you will be able to fully recover from, you may not have enough damages to make the case worth it for the lawyer to take on.

Even though most attorneys want to genuinely help those injured in an accident, they also need to make a living. By working on a contingency fee basis, the amount of money they receive will be dependent on your final settlement or court verdict. That is why these amounts need to be significant enough so that the attorney can recoup their expenses and get paid for their work on the case. If it looks like the damages will be low, it is likely the lawyer will not want to take on the case.

5. The Attorney Does Not Have Experience Handling Personal Injury Cases

Not every personal injury lawyer will handle every single type of personal injury case. For instance, some personal injury attorneys may prefer only to take on motor vehicle collision cases and pass on those involving workplace accidents or medical malpractice incidents.

That is why if you ask a lawyer to take on your case, which is a type of case they do not usually handle, they may decide to decline to take it. However, in these types of situations, the lawyer may refer you to another attorney who has experience handling your specific type of case.

Increase Your Chances of a Personal Injury Attorney Taking On Your Case

Although a lawyer will not take on every legal claim they come across, there are things you can do to help increase your chance of an attorney accepting your case.

Be Prepared

You need to remember, lawyers are busy. That is why, when they get you on the phone or meet up with you, they will often have a series of questions they will ask to determine if they are willing to invest their time and money in your claim.

For these reasons, before you speak with the attorney, you want to be prepared. This means you want to make sure you have all the important documents and reports in place and are ready to answer their questions clearly, and in detail. These documents include:

  • Copies of your accident report
  • Photographs of the accident scene, your visible injuries, and the dangerous conditions, or the vehicles that caused your accident
  • Medical records and doctor notes regarding your ongoing health issues and prognosis
  • Your bills resulting from the accident
  • Notes from any conversations you had with other parties or the insurance company

The more information you can provide the attorney about the accident, the better the chance of the lawyer making an accurate determination whether they can take on your case.

Do Not Assume You Do Not Have a Case

Following an accident, even if you believe the injuries are minor, do not assume you do not have a personal injury case. Most personal injury attorneys offer free case consultations, which allows you to go over your case with them for free. Even if these attorneys decide not to take on your case, they still may offer you tips on how to handle your legal claim or provide you with referrals of other attorneys who can take on this legal fight.

If They Turn You Down, Ask “Why”

If the attorney turns down your case, ask them why. This helps you get the answers you need and allows you to become better equipped if you decide to contact another attorney about your case.

Find Out If You Have a Viable Legal Claim, Contact Us Today For a Free Case Evaluation

Even if another attorney has turned down your legal claim, it does not mean you should give up. If you truly believe that you have a viable case following your personal injury accident, reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney today who can go over your case for free and let you know whether or not you have a viable claim and the reasons why.

At the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC, we understand that after an accident, you need trusted and experienced legal help on your side, fighting for your rights and the justice and damages you deserve. That is why do not wait any longer to secure the legal help you need. Contact us today, or call us at (504) 294-5118 for a free case consultation and let us see if we can help.


With over 50 years of legal experience serving families in the New Orleans area and surrounding Louisiana communities, our firm takes pride in providing clients with personalized legal services tailored to individual needs.

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