It can be really hard to have your personal injury case rejected by a law firm. It’s even harder when the lawyer doesn’t explain why they are not able to take your case.
Here are some of the most common reasons a law firm might not take your personal injury case. Keep in mind, these are general reasons and may not apply to your specific situation.
- The statute of limitations has expired, or is expiring soon.
- The case is out of the lawyer’s jurisdiction, or out of their area of expertise.
- They don’t have the time, or they don’t have the resources, to devote to your case.
- There are problems with proving fault or liability for the claimed incident.
- There is no way to recover the money for your damages through insurance or other means.
The statute of limitations
A statute of limitations is a law (statute) that limits how much time an injured person has to file a lawsuit.
The statute of limitations (SOL) in a personal injury case depends on:
- the cause of the lawsuit (i.e. negligence vs. intentional tort); and
- the state in which the incident occurs.
In Washington State, most personal injury claims must be filed within 3 years after the date of the incident. But there are SOL exceptions depending on the type of claim, or the age of the victim, and other factors.
In some cases, an injured person has a very limited amount of time to give what is called notice of intent to file a lawsuit. (Also, in Washington State the statute of limitations is tolled for minors.)
If the statute of limitations quickly approaching, that might be why a lawyer won’t take your case. Often, it is difficult to determine all the negligent parties without some discovery. That is one reason that at Coluccio Law, we do not accept cases with a quickly approaching statute of limitations.
The jurisdiction of a personal injury case is based on the type of incident, where the incident occurred, where the people involved live or where the companies involved are based.
The attorneys has to be licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your case is based. An out of state can associate with a local attorney and request that the court admit the lawyer for a specific case.
For example, a lawyer who is only licensed to practice law in Washington