Why Would an Injury Attorney Turn Away a Case?

Law Blog

Hearing that an injury lawyer isn't inclined to take your case may leave you wondering if you should keep pushing forward with a claim. One injury attorney may decline a case for a whole host of reasons, and not all of them mean the case isn't worth pursuing. Here are four reasons an attorney might turn away an injury case.


A lawyer will try to tell you upfront that they are busy. However, they may start reviewing the case only to learn that another one they're already working on is going to take up more of their time than expected. Under those circumstances, though, an attorney should at least give you a list of a few other practices that take injury cases.

Lack of Specialization

Injury law covers a wide range of areas of expertise. Some of these generalize fairly well. For example, an injury attorney will usually be fine taking on slip-and-fall cases if they also handle ones involving objects falling on people.

You'll note, though, that many subsets of injury law encourage specialized practices. Lots of lawyers only focus on auto accidents, for example. There's enough business in those fields to justify becoming a specialist, and some attorneys do just that.

When a lawyer looks at a case, they might not feel comfortable with something outside their field of knowledge. For example, a case involving a defective handrail along a stairwell might end up being a product liability claim against the manufacturer rather than a straight injury case against the building's owner. The attorney may not normally do a lot of product liability claims, and they might pass on the case.

Potential for Litigation

Not every injury practice is prepared to go the whole way to trial. A large majority of injury claims don't lead to suits, and a lawyer can build a very good practice just filing claims and dealing with insurance companies. Attorneys who've built their practices primarily around filing claims may not be inclined to tackle cases that might lead to litigation. It's a good idea to always ask an injury attorney how many trials they've participated in so you'll have a sense of their history with lawsuits.


One lawyer may pass because a case doesn't meet their criteria for valuing their time versus how hard the case will be, but another might accept. However, if 10 attorneys pass on a case, that's probably a sign it's not a great claim.

Talk to an injury attorney to find out if your case is worth pursuing.


30 December 2020

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