If you were injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you have the right to hold the driver who caused the accident accountable for your injuries. If a defective product caused your injuries, you have the right to file a claim against the manufacturer of the product. If you were injured while on the property of another, you have the right to file a claim against the property owner who failed to protect you.
You should seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are in an accident. A skilled personal injury lawyer can explain your rights, investigate who caused the accident, and determine who should be held accountable. A seasoned trial lawyer will review the full scope of your injuries, which may cause permanent or chronic pain for months, years, or for the rest of your life.
But finding the right lawyer isn’t always easy. There are many reasons why a lawyer may not agree to take your case. While some of the reasons may have to do with the merits of your claim, many attorneys only want cases they can settle quickly. Many lawyers are afraid to argue your case before a jury.
At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, our personal injury lawyers have more than 20 years of experience fighting for accident victims. We are respected by former clients, insurance companies, and defense lawyers for our impressive record of personal injury insurance settlements and jury verdicts. Our team handles complex cases. We’re ready to fight for you today.
Common reasons why lawyers may refuse to accept a personal injury case
Lawyers may decline to accept your accident cases for many reasons, including the following.
- The lawyer isn’t qualified. Many lawyers aren’t personal injury lawyers. They aren’t qualified to handle your case, the same way a roofer wouldn’t be qualified to renovate your bathroom. You really want someone who has experience handling complex injury claims – and attorneys who don’t practice in this area may turn down your case, or recommend another lawyer.
- The firm doesn’t have the resources. Personal injury lawyers generally get paid on contingency, which means their pay is contingent on you winning your case. That means all costs associated with your claim — from filing costs to the hiring of experts to paying the salaries of the staff – are fronted by the firm. Complex injury cases, like those involving trucking companies or multiple victims, or ones where you suffered life-altering trauma, can take a lot of time and resources to pursue. Not all firms are in the position to front those costs.
- Liability concerns. In Tennessee, accident victims and the families of anyone who died in an accident must be able to show that another person or business had a duty to protect you, that they breached the duty by acting negligently, and the accident was the cause of your injuries or a fatality. If liability isn’t clear, some firms may pass on your case.
- The statute of limitations has expired. Generally, accident claims in Sevierville and throughout Tennessee must be filed within just one year from the date of the accident. If you are involved in a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other type of accident, you should seek legal help as soon as possible. Prompt action is necessary to investigate the accident, speak with witnesses while their memories are fresh, and review your medical injuries.
- The injuries aren’t serious. If a driver, property owner, or manufacturer causes your injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering – no matter how severe your injuries are. Even a simple scratch is justification for filing a claim. Still, most lawyers won’t accept a personal injury claim unless they believe they can show that your injuries are due to the accident and that your injuries are serious enough to justify their time.
- The defendant can’t pay your damages. The best claim with the largest damage award doesn’t pay your medical expenses or your physical and emotional pain unless someone actually writes you a check. Some drivers drive even though they don’t have insurance. Some property owners, manufacturers, and other defendants may be uninsured. There is good news that other lawyers may not understand how to handle. If you have an uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) vehicle liability insurance policy, then we will file a UM/UIM policy on your behalf. You should be able to collect compensation from your own carrier – if another driver caused the accident – up to the policy limits of your UM/UIM policy.
Some of the other reasons a lawyer may decline your accident claim are:
- The lawyer has a conflict of interest – as in, he or she can’t represent you because he/she represents the defendant or is friends with the defendant
- The lawyer doesn’t have a working relationship with doctors who understand your type of injuries.
- The lawyer cannot commit to the time needed to properly handle your case.
- The lawyer isn’t an experienced trial lawyer.
- Your accident case involves a novel issue that the lawyer doesn’t feel comfortable handling.
Whatever you do, don’t give up hope for finding the right attorney. You’ll be better off if you have experienced counsel in your corner. The insurance companies for the people and companies that caused your accident are not your friends. They will do everything they can to deny liability and minimize the severity of your injuries. They’ll even try to blame you. Once a settlement is reached, you cannot renegotiate your claim if you are injured more than you thought or if your medical bills are more than you expected.
At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, our lawyers handle challenging cases. We handle the cases other lawyers turn down. We demand compensation for all your medical bills, lost income, physical pain, emotional suffering, and property damage. To speak with a strong personal injury lawyer, call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We relentlessly fight for personal injury victims and families in Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding Tennessee areas.
Attorney Bryce W. McKenzie received his JD from University of Tennessee College of Law, and has been a clerk for the Court of Criminal Appeals. He is admitted in Tennessee, Federal Court, and the US Court of Appeals. Read more about Bryce W. McKenzie.