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If you gauge personal injury lawsuits by the few cases that make it into the popular media or late night television ads, you would probably believe that every personal injury claim is a winning lottery ticket and that if you stub your toe while shopping, attorneys will be climbing over each other to handle your claim. Sadly, neither of these beliefs even comes close to being the truth.

The truth is that of the thousands of injuries suffered in Florida each year, only a small percentage are worth pursuing as personal injury claims and even fewer as formal court cases. No trying to rain on anyone’s parade; just, as always, giving you the straight facts.

Not every injury will qualify for an attorney’s attention. The attorney will have to evaluate each case on its own merits and then decide if it is worth the time and resources to pursue. To give you a little insight into how the process works, here are a few of the lesser known reasons why a personal injury attorney might refuse a case.

How the Injury Occurred

Simply getting hurt on someone’s premises or being involved in an accident doesn’t automatically qualify you to file a personal injury case. To qualify for damages, it must be shown that someone other than you bears the majority of responsibility for the injury through some form of negligence.

If you tripped and injured yourself in a grocery store because you were reading the label on a can instead of watching where you were walking, it can be shown that your own actions contributed to your injury. This would be a hard case to win, and the majority of lawyers wouldn’t bother to try.

Stated simply, if you can’t prove legal responsibility, you don’t have a case.

Insufficient Damages

Just to be blunt, it costs money to prosecute a personal injury claim. Documentation, professional analysis and testimony, deposition fees and clerical costs are all expenses that an attorney must shoulder in the hopes of gaining a settlement and showing a profit.

Your Feedback

While any good attorney would expect you to do some shopping to find the right representation for your case, if you sound like you have talked to dozens trying to find the one promising the biggest settlement, they may give you a pass.

No case comes with a guaranteed return. Without a thorough investigation, a lawyer cannot even begin to place a value on the damages that might be sought much less won. Beyond this, if the claim proceeds to court, it will be up to a judge or jury what will be rewarded.

There are many other reasons why a personal injury attorney might not want to take a case. Maybe their calendar is already full or they feel the case would be better handled by someone with a different specialty. I hope the reasons I have listed here have given you some insight into the reality of how a personal injury law practice works.