Why Won’t An Attorney Take My Minor Injury Case?
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, it is very natural to want to try and hold them accountable for what they have done. Any injury can feel like a violation, and even harm that requires only minor medical care can upend a person’s life. However, this does not always translate into finding a Florida attorney who will be willing to take your personal injury case. There are several reasons why you may not find legal help in taking your case to court.
Issues Establishing Liability
In order to recover in a Florida personal injury case, one must be able to establish four things: (1) the existence of a duty of care on the part of the defendant; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) tangible harm caused by that breach; and (4) the lack of another cause for the plaintiff’s injuries. If you have sustained minor injuries, it can be more difficult to illustrate that you have actually suffered tangible harm.
You Are Too Responsible
Florida observes a doctrine called comparative fault, which means that if a person is partially responsible for their own injuries, they are still able to recover damages minus their percentage of fault. For example, if someone is held to have been 30 percent liable for their injuries, they can still try to recover 70 percent of their damages. In theory, someone who is 95 percent liable could still try to recover the remaining 5 percent. However, if your injuries are minor and you are too liable for your own injuries, there will be no real money damages to recover.
The Defendant May Be Judgment Proof
Sometimes, a person will file suit against a defendant who does not have many assets. While in theory, they can do this, it often does not make practical sense, because poor defendants often turn out to be “judgment proof” – that is, they have no assets to be sold or otherwise leveraged to pay off a jury award. If you are aware that a defendant may not be able to pay a judgment, most attorneys will not take a case to try and make them.
Costs Outweigh The Benefits
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to many minor injury cases is that the costs one would incur in bringing a lawsuit are often substantially higher than any damages one might receive. If your injuries are relatively minor, any jury award would also be minor – but costs to file suit in the first place include filing fees, other court costs, and attorney’s fees, particularly since most personal injury lawyers work for contingency fees, payable upon the successful conclusion of a case.
Contact A Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
Most cases that involve minor injuries do not wind up going to trial, for any number of reasons, including the ones described here. However, it is always worth contacting a Tampa personal injury attorney if you believe you may have a case, just to be certain that yours is not the exception to the rule. The Rinaldo Law Group has experience in these cases; contact us today for a free consultation.