Blog de la Ley de Lesiones Personales de Texas

Principales razones de 14 por las cuales un abogado de lesiones personales no tomará un caso

¿Por qué un abogado de lesiones personales no aceptará mi caso?

justiciaA veces las personas acuden a nosotros después de haber hablado con varios abogados de lesiones personales que rechazaron su caso y nos preguntan: "¿Por qué un abogado de lesiones personales no tomará mi caso?” They are usually frustrated because no one can or will give them an explanation of why the lawyer won’t take the case. Instead, they have simply been told “no” or sent a generic letter saying: “Sorry we cannot help you, you should talk to another personal injury lawyer.”

Por qué un abogado no te dirá

The reason for this generic uninformative answer is simple. Different personal injury lawyers have different standards for what type or level of a case they will handle. Some personal injury attorneys do not have the time or resources to handle low value claims. Thus, just because a personal injury lawyer turns your case down, does not mean that someone else would not handle it. No personal injury lawyer wants to tell someone they have a bad case, then have the person let a statute of limitations run before talking to another personal injury attorney who says: “I would have taken it, lets sue the first lawyer for giving you bad advice.” It is safer for a lawyer to give you a generic non-committal answer and tell you to look elsewhere than it is to run the risk of getting sued over a case he did not even take.

You should always seek several personal injury lawyer’s opinions rather than accept the first one or two rejections. Also, be sure you are speaking to attorneys whose primary practice area is personal injury. After consulting with several personal injury lawyers, if you still cannot find a personal injury attorney who will take the case, the rest of this article may help you understand why.

Los abogados de lesiones personales ponderan el riesgo frente a la recompensa

Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee. This means that they invest their own money to bring claims. If they lose, it is their own money they lose too. Thus, in deciding whether to handle a case, attorneys must weigh the anticipated time and cost of bringing the claim vs the risk of loss and the anticipated recovery. A higher anticipated reward if the case prevails may justify a lawyer taking a more risky case, whereas a low anticipated recovery might not even justify the cost of filing a clear-cut liability lawsuit. Furthermore, while few factors (aside from the statute of limitations expiring) are a complete bar to finding a lawyer, the more factors there are reducing the likelihood of a positive and profitable result, the harder it will be to find a lawyer to take your case. These factors are often the reasons a lawyer declines or discontinues representation. With all of this in mind, here are the top 14 reasons why a personal injury lawyer may not take your case:

1) Responsabilidad

Liability is a big consideration in whether a personal injury lawyer will take your case. If liability is not reasonably clear, the likelihood of settlement is lower. This means the anticipated costs are higher. But many times, liability seems clear to the client when it is not. Examples of cases where liability is not clear that seem clear:

  • Si es chocado por la parte trasera por otro vehículo después de que el vehículo se ha hidroplantado sobre hielo o agua, el conductor de ese automóvil no puede ser considerado negligente y, por lo tanto,; no confiable. El hecho de que no fue negligente no significa que otra persona lo sea. Más sobre si la persona que reta a otro es culpable.
  • Usted resbaló y cayó en un lugar mojado en el piso en un lugar de negocios. El hecho de que se resbale y se caiga en un piso mojado en un negocio no significa que el negocio sea responsable. Tienes que demostrar que el personal de la tienda sabía de la condición o la condición existía por suficiente tiempo como para haberla descubierto antes de la caída.

Además, hay casos de faltas de luz roja en los que la responsabilidad depende totalmente de quién el jurado cree que tiene luz verde. Cuanto menos clara es la responsabilidad, más riesgo hay en la inversión para el abogado. Mientras más riesgo involucre, más difícil será encontrar un abogado para llevar su caso de lesiones personales.

2) Negligencia comparada vs Estado de negligencia contributiva

Algunos estados siguen la regla de la negligencia comparativa, mientras que otros siguen la regla de la negligencia contributiva. En un estado de negligencia contributiva, un demandante tiene prohibido realizar una recuperación en contra de otra persona si se descubre que su propia negligencia fue un porcentaje de la causa del incidente que produjo la lesión. Bajo negligencia comparativa como Texas, un demandante puede recuperarse siempre que su negligencia sea 50% o menos; simplemente pierde el porcentaje de su indemnización por daños que su propia negligencia es responsable. Entonces, donde su lesión ocurre es importante y puede ser parte de la razón por la cual un abogado de lesiones personales no tomará su caso.

3) Complejidad del caso

Mientras más complejos sean los problemas en un caso, más tiempo debe pasar un abogado de lesiones personales. Si el caso requerirá varias deposiciones de testigos expertos y deposiciones del partido, consumirá más tiempo que una ejecución del caso de latigazo cervical. Es probable que requiera más dinero para pagarles a los expertos por su costoso tiempo. Un caso complejo, como un caso complejo de negligencia médica o una explosión de la planta puede ejecutar cientos de miles de dólares para llevarlo hasta el juicio. Si la recuperación no justifica este gasto, no tiene sentido que el abogado de lesiones personales tome el caso.

4) Daños anticipados / Recuperación

Every case has a damage model. Nobody can tell you exactly what a jury will award in a case because everyone’s pain is perceived different and there is no such thing as a pain and suffering calculator. However, an experienced personal injury trial lawyer has a good guess of what a case is likely to be worth on average. If the anticipated recovery is not substantially more than the anticipated cost, a lawyer probably won’t take the case. In this situation, the case is more likely to take up a lot of his/her time and end with an unhappy client and little to show for the time invested.

There are several things that can affect the anticipated recovery of an otherwise good case, thereby making it not worth the time and expense involved. Some of these things are:

  1. Enlaces del hospital. Cada vez que se lo ve en un hospital como resultado de una lesión, muchos estados, incluido Texas, permiten que el hospital presente un embargo preventivo. Lo que eso significa es que tienen derecho a que se les reembolse cualquier recuperación contra un tercero, como una compañía de seguros. antes de cualquier otra persona recibe dinero Si bien la mayoría de los hospitales negociarán cuando hay fondos limitados, algunos no lo harán. El abogado puede ser demandado directamente si no paga el gravamen del hospital, por lo que no tiene otra opción. Más sobre cómo los embargos de hospital afectan su caso de lesiones personales.
  2. Bancarrota. If you are in certain types of bankruptcy, your assets, including the right to bring a personal injury claim, belong to the bankruptcy estate. Not you. The cost of a lawyer getting approval from the bankruptcy court to handle the case can be substantially high and the time required is greater. You must get the bankruptcy court’s approval to handle the case, settle the case and distribute funds. Additionally, the money that the client would get may well be taken and distributed to the creditors—which means the client is less likely to be happy with the outcome. Más sobre cómo la bancarrota afecta su caso de lesiones personales.
  3. Medicare / Medicaid. Cuando sus facturas médicas son pagadas por Medicare o Medicaid, obtienen una tarifa drásticamente reducida. Esto significa que los daños que puede solicitar y esperar de un jurado son menores. Pero, tienes que reembolsarlos. Además, si se anticipan gastos médicos futuros, es posible que tenga que hacer un Medicare Apart Aside. Eso requiere una gran cantidad de tiempo y gastos para configurarlo. Más sobre cómo Medicare o Medicaid afectan su caso de lesiones personales.
  4. Insurance Policy Limits. No matter what your damage model may look like, the case value is often limited by the amount of insurance available. Texas Homestead Law and Bankruptcy Law makes it very difficult to pursue a judgment against the average person and collect on it. Many can simply file bankruptcy and discharge the debt. This is what is known as being “judgment proof.” Having a million dollar damage model in a car accident where there is only a minimum limits liability policy and no assets or other potential corporate defendants means that the lawyer will likely do a ton of work trying to settle out all of the medical liens from a $30,000.00 policy, probably not get paid, and probably not have a happy client to show for it. Having insufficient insurance can make it hard to find a lawyer to take an otherwise high damage model case.

A lawyer has to consider what the real anticipated recovery is and whether it will cover all of the liens and obligations that come out of the proceeds before he and the client get anything. If that number is too low, it makes no financial sense to take on the case.

5) Tort Reforma y Damage Caps

Tort reform has destroyed the value of many legitimate claims in many states. In Texas, for example, caps on damages that you can recover in medical malpractice claims as well as certain hurdles you must jump through just to bring a claim, make many legitimate medical malpractice cases uneconomical. You will simply spend more money than you are allowed to recover in many of these cases. Thus, personal injury lawyers will be very picky about what they take a risk on when tort reform has ravaged those kinds of cases. This is why many personal injury lawyers no longer take medical malpractice cases in Texas–even ones where there is clearly negligence.

6) Gravedad de la lesión

Generally speaking, the more severe an injury, the more likely a jury awards a high verdict. Potential for a high verdict also equates to more risk that a personal injury attorney is willing to take in many cases. But remember, severity is in the eye of the beholder. What seems severe to you, may not be seen as severe to the average juror or lawyer. An attorney may not take your case if she feels that your injuries are not substantial in the eyes of others. Furthermore, a high verdict is worthless without a deep pocket to recover it from. Thus, this is not the sole consideration.

7) Demandados del Gobierno e Inmunidad Soberana

When your case is against a government entity, it will be limited in two major ways. First, each state and the federal government have their own set of rules called the Torts Claims Act that defines exactly what you can and cannot sue the state for. If your case is not permitted by the Tort Claims Act, you have none. Second, Torts Claims Acts set caps on damages. These vary not only from state to state but within each state depending upon whether the government branch is local or state. For example, in Texas these caps may be as low as $100,000.00 for local county government agencies or as high as $250,000 for state agencies. You may have a clear case of negligence, but if it is not permitted under the relevant Tort Claims Act or the damages are so severely capped that you cannot legally recover enough to cover the damages, this is a common reason why a lawyer won’t take your case. Más sobre demandar al gobierno.

8) Problemas de atención médica

The type and timing of your medical care can affect the strength and/or value of your case. You are allowed to ask a jury for reasonable and necessary medical care caused by another person’s negligence. This is a question for juries to decide, however, and the defense can bring their own doctors to challenge the care you receive. If your doctor’s bill is higher than most, they will challenge this. Here are several medical care issues that can weight into an attorneys decision not to take your case:

  • Procedimientos médicos experimentales o nuevos. Si buscó tipos de atención médica cuestionables o experimentales o atención para asuntos no relacionados y afirma que fue necesario debido a una lesión, es menos probable que el jurado le crea no solo sobre esto, sino sobre cualquier otra cosa que usted reclame.
  • Retrasos y brechas en la atención. Jurors tend to think that if you are in pain, you will find a way to go see a doctor. Thus, delays and gaps in receiving medical care often raise doubt with jurors as to whether or not you were really “all that hurt.”. Defense lawyers know this. As a result, they will argue you did not seek care immediately because you were not really hurt.
  • Quién brinda la atención. Who you seek care from matters. If you see a doctor who has been investigated for Medicare fraud, the insurance company is going to question the bills. If you see a provider who has been reprimanded by the medical board, your bills may get questioned. Even an inexperienced doctor can raise questions and doubts.

9) Problemas de proximidad

La proximidad puede ser un factor en si un abogado de lesiones personales tomará su caso, particularmente reclamos de bajo valor. Si vive fuera del estado, sus proveedores médicos están fuera del estado o el demandado está fuera del estado, estos factores pueden aumentar el costo de una demanda. Los problemas de proximidad incluyen:

  • El cliente vive fuera del estado. Si el cliente está fuera del estado, a menudo el abogado de lesiones personales del cliente se queda atascado pagándolo para enviarlos y sacarlos de deposiciones, mediación y juicio. El abogado de lesiones personales a menudo se queda atrapado con las facturas del hotel. Además, si el cliente vio a doctores fuera del estado, entonces el abogado de lesiones personales debe volar allí para tomar declaraciones de médicos y puede tener que volar allí para tomar declaración de testigos también. Esto puede aumentar drásticamente el costo de presentar el reclamo y el tiempo que lleva manejarlo, lo que puede desalentar la participación de un abogado de lesiones personales.
  • El demandado vive fuera del estado. When the defendant lives out-of-state, there are two considerations. 1) Your personal injury lawyer may have to fly there for his deposition and/or witness depositions. 2) If the case value exceeds $75,000.00 and the defendant lives out-of-state, then the defendant can have the case removed to Federal Court on a technicality called “Diversity Jurisdiction.” The Federal Rules of Procedure are very different than the State rules in many states. So this will require more time and attention for an attorney who does not often practice in Federal Court. Additionally, this can substantially increase the cost of bringing the claim. For a better understand of this, read “Es hora de derogar 28 USC Sec. 1332: ¿la regla federal de la diversidad?"Algunos abogados de lesiones personales no tomarán su caso cuando es probable que los saque de su elemento judicial local.

10) Expectativas poco realistas del cliente

Personal injury lawyers usually try to take on cases likely to make money. Most cases settle before trial because trials are risky. In many cases, at some point there will be a settlement offer that the lawyer believes is an offer that makes sense to accept. If you are a client that “doesn’t care about money and just want your day in court,” or if it is “just about the principle of the matter” to you, then there is a greater likelihood that a personal injury lawyer won’t take your case. All a jury can do for you in a personal injury case is award you money or not award you money. Your ‘principle’ doesn’t pay the lawyer’s overhead.

On a similar note, clients who make the personal injury lawyer’s job unnecessarily difficult may be less likely to get the lawyer to litigate their case. Trial lawyers spend a lot of time at out-of-the-office depositions, mediations, arbitrations, trials and meetings. Clients who show up unannounced and expect their lawyer to drop everything make a busy personal injury lawyer’s life unnecessarily difficult. Clients who expect a lawyer to take calls at all hours of the weekend and week nights make a lawyer’s life unnecessarily difficult. There are very few problems an attorney can solve for you at 3 a.m. If you are this type of client, your personal injury lawyer may choose return the case rather than file a lawsuit and have to put up with it for another 1-2 years.

11) El cliente es un testigo pobre

Justice is blind, jurors are not. Credibility is of absolute importance. If the jury thinks the client is not honest and believable, they may not award them money even when the law says they ‘deserve’ it. If the client appears to be on drugs or has a history of drugs, this can make it hard to convince a jury to award the client money. Jurors do not like to give money to people whom they believe will spend the money on a drug habit.

Además, si el cliente tiene antecedentes penales de condenas en los últimos 10 años de delitos o delitos menores relacionados con el robo, la deshonestidad, la violencia contra las mujeres o la mentira, eso se evidencia en el tema de la credibilidad. Un mal pasado criminal realmente puede hacer que un jurado desconfíe del testigo. Un abogado con experiencia en casos de lesiones personales reconocerá esto y a menudo optará por no apostar su dinero en el caso.

12) Bajo Daño a la Propiedad Accidentes de Automóvil

Juries sometimes have a hard time believing that people are hurt when the car is not mangled up. Defense lawyers are often well-versed in how to argue these facts. If your injuries are whiplash back and neck injuries and there is not a lot of visible damage to the car, it can be difficult to convince the jury that you really injured. For more information, read: ¿Qué constituye una colisión de impacto menor?

13) Condiciones preexistentes

Preexisting medical conditions that relate to the same area of the body a plaintiff (injured claimant in the lawsuit) is claiming injuries to can confuse a jury and drive up case costs. The plaintiff bears the burden of proof. Thus, the plaintiff must convince 10 of the 12 jurors that the aggravation of the preexisting condition warranted medical care that was not otherwise needed and/or warrants compensation. It may require expert testimony or ordering old medical records just to make a jury understand this. The cost of the evidence that must be obtained and the increased risk of a reduced reward are factors an experienced personal injury lawyer will consider in deciding whether to take on your case. For more information See: Agravación de una condición preexistente.

14) The Client Waited Too Long

Time es el mejor amigo de un abogado defensor. Mientras más tiempo un demandante intente manejar su propio caso, más evidencia se puede perder. Un abogado de lesiones personales puede enviar cartas a los acusados ​​que les impongan una carga para preservar la evidencia. Las personas generalmente no saben hacer esto. Además, cuanto más demora un demandante en buscar consejo, más probabilidades tiene de hacer algo para dañar su caso, como dar una declaración grabada al otro lado, crear vacíos en la atención médica o incluso cometer un delito que arruine la credibilidad del cliente. .

Por último, si espera para actuar en algunos casos, puede renunciar a sus derechos por completo. La mayoría de los casos de lesiones personales tienen un estatuto de limitación de 2-year. Pero eso no significa que deba esperar para contratar a un abogado de lesiones personales. Si es un caso que necesita investigación para determinar si es una buena inversión, el abogado no querrá asumirlo en el último minuto. Si va a requerir que el abogado deje todo y trate de encontrar a las partes adecuadas que se han mudado o están protegidas por entidades corporativas, es menos probable que un abogado de lesiones personales quiera llevar su caso a última hora.

Además, hay algunos casos con plazos más cortos. Debe notificar a la Ciudad de Houston y al Condado de Harris dentro de los días de 90 si tiene la intención de presentar un reclamo. El estado de Texas debe recibir notificación de un reclamo en 6 meses. No hacerlo significa que puede estar completamente excluido de presentar un reclamo.

Final Considerations

All of the above factors are things that a personal injury lawyer will consider when deciding whether to take on a case and/or litigate a case. No single factor is decisive. Similarly, there is no magic case value number that means a personal injury lawyer will or will not take your case. Every personal injury lawyer has his own situation, case load, resources and considerations. Thus, you should always seek second and third opinions if the first personal injury attorney won’t take your case.

Consulta Gratis

At Simmons y Fletcher, PC we practice personal injury law exclusively. We also offer a free consultation, regardless of how many other personal injury lawyers have turned the case down. Call us at 1-800-298-0111. We cannot promise to take every case, but if we do take on your case, we work on a contingency fee basis and charge you no fees or expenses unless we make a recovery.

Lectura relacionada:

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Autor

Paul Cannon

Paul Cannon ha practicado la ley de juicio por lesiones personales desde 1995. Está certificado por la Junta en la Ley de juicios por lesiones personales (2005). Se ha ganado el reconocimiento como Super Abogado por Thompson Reuters en 2017 & 2018, y como Abogado Superior de Ensayo 100 por la Asociación Nacional de Abogados Litigantes en 2017. Es un Accionista, abogado litigante y gerente de marketing en línea en Simmons y Fletcher, PC. Sus escritos legales han sido publicados por el Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com y otros. Le han pedido dar charlas educativas y entrevistas a los medios sobre la ley de mordeduras de perro.

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