Just because someone is injured does not necessarily mean there is a potential personal injury claim available. All respondents defend against personal injury claims when there is any type of technicality that can be used as a defense. A North Carolina personal injury lawyer can prove essential in determining if a personal injury case actually exists, and they can even conduct a full investigation into any injury claim prior to filing suit. Fully investigating the details surrounding a potential injury claim, and working to determine who exactly is at fault for the injury, becomes an important function of personal injury lawyers since police departments and state agencies already have stretched resources with respect to investigative manpower. But there may also be reasons that an attorney will not take a case, and they will explain during a consultation with a prospective client why they arrived at that decision. Here are five reasons why your personal injury case might be rejected by a law firm:
1. Conflict of Interest
The first reason an attorney may refuse a case is a conflict of interest. It is possible that the attorney is actively representing the respondent or has represented them in past cases. The attorney may have an ongoing relationship with the potential defendant beyond previous cases. If an attorney has represented a defendant in the past, it is unlikely they would file suit against them for another client as a matter of legal ethics.
2. Lack of Liability
Certain cases can be complicated with respect to actual liability for financial compensation when an injury happens. Premises liability cases and multiple-vehicle auto accidents fall into this category in many instances. A North Carolina personal injury lawyer can investigate the case for all potentially liable parties, but they typically will not take a case that they cannot prove. The state contributory negligence law is central to all personal injury claims in North Carolina, and injury attorneys refuse cases due to the injured party appearing to be in some part responsible for the accident leading to their injury.
3. Expired Statute of Limitations
All injured plaintiffs are required to file personal injury claims in court within a certain time window. The standard time in North Carolina is three years, but cases against some government agencies must often be filed in a much shorter time frame. This is why it is so important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible when a potential injury claim exists. Time matters even when the statute of limitations time clock can be delayed, for whatever reason.
4. Insufficient Potential Damage Compensation
Some injury claims do not have much value based on material case facts. Damages may be very low in some situations, and many attorneys will not take an injury case that can might be better handled in small claims court. Some damages can be awarded without the benefit of legal counsel when they are nominal to moderate in range.
5. Insufficient Available Compensation
Some potential personal injury claims exist where the negligent actor is financially insolvent and has no liability insurance coverage. This is relatively rare in auto accidents, even though it does occur, but it is much more common with premises liability claims. While it is possible to win a judgment against a respondent, that does not mean that any financial damages will ever be paid.
Contact Our North Carolina Personal Injury Law Offices
Even though an injury claim may not appear viable on the first assessment, a full investigation into how an injury occurred can still reveal potentially liable parties. Respondents may even have insurance protection that they do not want to expose, and a North Carolina personal injury lawyer can investigate the case to determine the facts of the injury, who is liable, and to what extent they are covered by insurers. It is always best to let a personal injury lawyer conduct a full assessment of the details surrounding an injury.