Why Won’t a Lawyer Take My Personal Injury Case?
There are many reasons a Florida personal injury lawyer might refuse to accept your personal injury case, even if it has merit. The lawyer may be too busy to accept new cases, lack adequate legal experienced or resources to effectively litigate your case, have a conflict of interest, or simply feel your case is not a good fit for his or her law firm. However, if you have contacted a Florida personal injury lawyer about a new case and that lawyer declined to accept your case, it is likely that your claim lacked one of three elements necessary to recover money in a personal injury or wrongful death case in Florida: (1) liability; (2) damages; and (3) an insurance company or solvent defendant capable of satisfying your personal injury claim. Absent all three of these critical elements, many Florida personal injury lawyers will decline to proceed with a personal injury or wrongful death case.
Liability. Proving Fault in a Florida Personal Injury Case.
Proving liability is the first step in wining any personal injury or wrong death case in Florida. Without liability, there is no case. Proving liability means that the injured party must prove that his or her injuries were caused by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person or entity. In most cases, this means proving “negligence,” or the failure to exercise reasonable care. In a Florida medical malpractice case, an injured plaintiff would have to demonstrate that a doctor or other healthcare provider “deviated from the prevailing professional standard of care.” Other cases may require the injured party to show more egregious conduct, such as gross negligence, recklessness, or even intentional misconduct (such as in the case of a conspiracy or fraud). The type of personal injury claim brought will dictate the burden of proof to establish liability.
Damages. What Can Be Recovered in a Florida Personal Injury Case?
Assuming an injured party can establish liability, the next step is proving the damages caused by the negligent or wrongful conduct. Without damages, a plaintiff cannot recover money in a Florida personal injury case or wrongful death case. Those damages may come in many forms, including but not limited to physical or emotional harm, pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement, loss of the capacity for enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of the ability to earn money. Without demonstrable damages, a Florida personal injury case has no value and is therefore not worth pursuing.
Ability to Pay.
Lastly, many Florida personal injury lawyers will not accept a case if there is not a likelihood that they can recover money for the injured client. This typically means that the negligent party or another wrongdoer must be insured or have adequate assets to satisfy a potential judgment. To illustrate, if you are injured in Miami, Florida during a car accident with an uninsured driver, it may be difficult to find an attorney to accept your case even if the Miami car accident was not your fault and you were seriously injured. Most civil lawsuits involve disputes over money. Florida personal injury and wrongful death cases are no different. Thus, there is little practical benefit a lawyer can offer an injured party if the prospective defendant is insolvent, uninsured, or unlikely to satisfy a judgment.
CONTACT A MIAMI ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Florida personal injury or wrongful death matter, please contact Viñas & DeLuca for a free and confidential consultation by calling (305) 372-3650. There is never a fee or cost to you unless our law firm can recover money for you. You can also complete our Free Case Evaluation Form or easily chat with us online, and one of our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys will contact you right away. We are here 24/7/365 to speak with you and answer your questions. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you.