What does it mean when no attorney will take my case? 22 Answers as of March 24, 2014

I tripped, loss balance, fell and hit my head on the door. This is the second legal problem I have and every attorney turned me down. Is it something in my past or what they think of me?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Slip and fall cases are difficult to win because you have to prove that the owner of the premises was negligent. Examples of negligence would be allowing loose carpeting, rickety stairs, water or food on the floor, ice, etc. after the owner was aware of the condition. You must establish that the owner knew, or should have known, of the dangerous condition and did nothing about it. You also need to establish damages through medical bills.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/24/2014
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
It means that either they think your case is too hard to prove, its not big enough, they are incompetent, or they don't like you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/4/2014
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
There is no way to know why, exactly, attorneys turn you down - unless you ask each of them, of course. Chances are that it has nothing to do with what they think of you, and everything to do with what they think about your case. If you had an injury, it does not necessarily mean that anyone was at fault. For anyone to be liable for your injury, that party must have had some kind of legal duty to you and inexcusably failed to perform that duty. For example, if you were a customer visiting a store, and the janitor employed in that store washed the floor and left it slippery and did not post any warning signs, and you slipped on that floor - the store is liable for your injury. If you came into the same store just because you wanted to charge your telephone, and went to a utility closet marked "Employees only" and were electrocuted when you plugged your charger into an outlet - most likely, you have no case against that store. Another side of the problem is the measure of your damages. What were the direct losses (EMT and emergency room invoices, lost wages, etc.)? How serious was the injury, and are there any lasting effects that should be expected? All together, how much money would provide a reasonable compensation for your injury? If the amount of potential recovery is going to be close to the costs of prosecuting your claim, taking your case is not only unethical, it's impractical. Filing fees to the court - $325 + filing fees for every motion you need to make before the case is ready for a trial Discovery - hundreds of dollars in costs of copying and reviewing documents (an average medical record from a hospital costs $800-$1500, not counting the costs of searching the record for the evidence you need for your case); thousands of dollars in costs of depositions of the defendants (you have to pay to the court reporter to sit there and make a stenographic record of the deposition, and then you have to pay to get a transcript) Trial - you need expert witnesses to testify for you; they have to be compensated for their time; expert witness bills run in thousands of dollars. And your attorney has to work many hundreds of hours to bring your case to a resolution; that is his/her job, and he/she needs to be paid for doing it. All in all, your recoverable damages have to be enough to cover all these costs and leave you with some amount that would compensate you for your losses, your pain, and all the aggravation of going through a lawsuit, and all the time you will spend doing it. Otherwise, it's just a waste of time and effort. Apparently, the attorneys you consulted felt that either you have no case or that your claim will not cover the costs of its prosecution.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/28/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Slip and fall cases are, by their nature, difficult. First, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of the property owner/occupant. Negligence could be defined as the failure to use REASONABLE care; the owner is not a guarantor. To do this, you must be able to prove that the owner put the slippery substance there, or that they had prior knowledge of the hazard and failed to take care of it promptly. Second, they will claim ?comparative fault?, meaning that you had a duty to watch where you were walking, and thus are partly at fault. The result is that most lawyers are reluctant to take a slip and fall case unless there are substantial damages, and there are at least some arguments to be made on fault.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/28/2014
Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S.
Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S. | Wayne J. Wimer
Most attorneys take personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. If your case involves minimal provable damages, most attorneys will decline to represent you for obvious reasons.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/27/2014
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It is most probable that there is no liability or your damages are not severe enough. Just because you get hurt on someone's property does not necessarily make them liable. You have to prove they did something wrong and that you are without any fault on your part.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    Probably not my feeling is the attorneys don't think they can win or settle the claim.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Simply because you suffer an injury does not mean you have a case. If you are seeking a recovery which is doubtful, or too small to economically pay an attorney for their time and expense on a contingency basis they will decline the engagement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Lewis B. Kaplan | Lewis B. Kaplan
    Very likely it is the fact situation which the attorney does not believe creates a liability situation. Simply being injured does not create automatic liability on anyone.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    How am I supposed to know? I don't know what's in your past, or what anybody thinks of you are why you tripped.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Solomon Weinstein | Solomon Weinstein
    Most like the attorneys believe that under the facts of your case there is either no liability on the part of a potential defendant. Or that the difficulty in proving liability does not warrant the cost and time to take the case. It sounds like the facts may lead to the conclusion that bringing a case would be difficult. You should ask the attorney in the future why he or she does not want to take your case.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    Maybe the issue is whether you would be able to prove that your injury was caused by the negligence of another. Without the ability to prove that your injury was caused by another's negligence, you cannot recover compensation for your injury.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    Just falling does not create a case. One must show that there was negligence. Then there must be a injury that resulted from that negligence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You don't get money for falling. You get money for injuries caused by the negligence of someone else, and proving you are not negligent and proving that the cause was not able to be seen with your naked eyes if you can see it and you walk into it or onto it it is said to be "open and obvious" and that is a defense. If no lawyer will take your case that is a good sign you don't have a good case.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Penglase & Benson, Inc.
    Penglase & Benson, Inc. | John Benson
    Every case is driven by the facts in that case and the possibility for collection of a judgment. With that information only you know if there is something about your past that is scaring people away.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    If an accident is your fault, you do not get any money. It might be that they don't think your case is not any good legally. You should ask them why they turned down the case.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Strickland Law, PLLC
    Strickland Law, PLLC | Jeffrey S. Strickland
    There might not be liability of another for you tripping or enough monetary damages to justify an attorney accepting the case. If you want to pursue, you can always offer to pay an hourly rate. However, if liability does not appear to be another's responsibility, it id doubtful an attorney would even accept the case.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    My guess would be that it is more the fact that premises liability cases in Michigan are very hard to win because the Judges have created the "open & obvious" exception to a premises owners usual duty to maintain a safe premises. The o&o exception states that a premises owner has no duty of care if the condition that causes injury is o&o. The theory being the injured party should have seen and avoided the hazard. Although we have comparative negligence in Mi., the Judges can't seem to bring themselves to allow a fair analysis of the injured parties conduct vs. the premises owners knowledge/conduct. In my judgment, you may thank "conservatives", Republicans and voters that are uniformly uninformed for this (unfair) state of affairs.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2014
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    To win a case you must prove the other side is negligent and that your injury is significant enough to make money in such a dispute. You cant win if you trip and it is your own fault. If there is a defect you must show it was there and that the other side should have known of it and fixed it to avoid your fall. If you are fine now that also means the case has limited value even if you win. Don't give up, try other lawyers.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Bretz & Young
    Bretz & Young | Matthew L. Bretz
    It probably means that the attorney does not think that he or she can prove that your trip and fall accident was caused by the negligence of someone else. Or that the attorney does not think that the damages are severe enough to justify the expenses associated with pursuing it.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It has nothing to do with you. It's the actual case itself, you do not have a cause of action.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    They think it is not worth the money. They would have to prove that the owner was negligent and caused you to trip. If you tripped over your own feet, there is no case. Secondly, even if the owner were negligent, how badly were you injured? Did you go to the hospital? Did you have follow-up care? Did you suffer permanent brain damage? If not, then your damages are minimal and it is not worth the time and energy to attempt to recover anything for you.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/27/2014
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney