Five Most Common Reasons a Personal Injury Lawyer Won’t Take My Case


If you or a loved one have been injured, you should absolutely contact a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer so they can give you a free consultation. There are some instances in which the personal injury lawyer will decline to take your case. Here are the top five most common reasons a personal injury lawyer won’t take your case.

1) It’s Too Late

Pennsylvania law allows you two years from when you knew or should have known that your injury was the fault of the defendant. In the case of death, Pennsylvania law allows you two years from the official death date to file a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit. This law about timing is called the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. If you contact the personal injury attorney in Philadelphia or Scranton, Pennsylvania beyond the time allowed to file a lawsuit under the Pennsylvania statute of limitations, that attorney will not take your case.

2) It’s Not the Right Type of Case

Your Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer practices personal injury law. If you contact that lawyer with a case in an entirely different area of law, e.g., a criminal defense case, a contracts case, a child custody dispute, or an administrative action, they may not take the case. It’s still worthwhile to promptly contact the personal injury lawyer because they may be able to refer you to the proper legal expert to handle your case.

3) Your Case Doesn’t Meet All the Elements of a Personal Injury Case

A personal injury case is successful when it meets four criteria:

  1. There’s a duty that the defendant owed to you. In the case of a car accident, e.g., the defendant’s duty was to drive carefully and obey traffic laws.
  2. The defendant breached that duty.
  3. You sustained injuries.
  4. The injuries you suffered resulted from the actions or omissions of the defendant. In other words, the defendant – by doing or not doing something – caused you to sustain injuries.

If your case fails to meet one of the above essential criteria, the personal injury attorney in Philadelphia may not take your case.

4) You Do Not Have a Right to File the Lawsuit

Let’s say your cousin, who is married, has been seriously injured and you want to help them file a lawsuit. If you contact a personal injury attorney, they will tell you that you have no legal right to file the lawsuit on your cousin’s behalf. Your cousin may file a lawsuit and even your cousin’s spouse may file the lawsuit, but you are not closely enough related so you do not have a right to file the lawsuit.

5) Your Injuries Don’t Meet the Necessary Threshold for a Lawsuit

When a personal injury attorney represents you in a lawsuit, they will pay for all the expenses upfront. They will pay for records. They will pay for experts to review the case. They will pay for their own travel to and from meetings with the defendant’s lawyers. They will pay for the court reporter who records the deposition transcripts. This is all at no initial up-front cost to you. When the lawsuit results in a payment by the defendant, the lawyer gets their costs reimbursed and their time compensated from that payment. Thus, because lawsuits unfortunately are expensive to investigate and bring to resolution, personal injury lawyers have to be selective with what they choose to take on. If your injuries are nominal, taking your case unfortunately would be cost-prohibitive.
Again, if you or your loved one suffers a personal injury, your first step should be to call a personal injury firm like VSCP Law ( so you can get a risk-free evaluation of your case, at no cost to you.

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