Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Drop Your Case?

When a personal injury lawyer takes on your case, they commit to advocate on your behalf, navigating through legal complexities to seek justice and fair compensation for you. However, the pathway isn’t always smooth. There can be unforeseen turns.

Even the most dedicated lawyer may find themselves in a position where they need to withdraw their representation and drop your case. It’s not a decision taken lightly, but it is a possibility. Understanding why a personal injury lawyer would drop your case empowers you as a client. We will try to demystify these situations and guide you through any turbulence you might face if a lawyer drops your case, or why one might decline to take on your case.

Personal Injury Lawyer Speaking to Clients About Withdrawing from Their Case

Common Reasons a Personal Injury Lawyer Might Decide to Drop Your Case

Here are concrete reasons why a personal injury lawyer might have to make the tough call to drop your case:

  • Outside Their Expertise: Attorneys specialize in areas of law, just like doctors specialize. For instance, if your case involves a complex medical malpractice issue and your attorney’s expertise is in personal injury due to automobile accidents, they might need to drop your case. This isn’t a reflection of their capabilities, but rather an acknowledgement that every field requires distinct knowledge and experience. The damage caps imposed by tort reform also made it more difficult to find medical malpractice lawyers.
  • Lack of Evidence: Compelling evidence is the backbone of a personal injury case. Without it, even a skilled attorney faces an uphill battle. For instance, consider auto accidents with disputed liability, also known as “he said, she said” accidents. If you can’t establish the other party’s fault due to a lack of evidence, your case becomes significantly weaker. All you have to rely on is the credibility of the drivers, and often times both are equally credible.
  • Conflict of Interest: Imagine a scenario where the same lawyer is approached by both parties involved in an auto accident — it’s a direct conflict of interest. Your attorney may be as passionate and adept as they come, but they cannot represent both sides. Dual representation in such situations creates an untenable ethical dilemma, making it necessary for the lawyer to step back from one, if not all parties, to maintain fairness and integrity in the judicial process.
  • Disagreement on Strategy: Some injured parties are determined to sue an individual who, even if the verdict is in your favor, is “judgment proof” and unable to pay the award due to lack of assets or income. Your lawyer, understanding the futility and financial burden of pursuing a case with no realistic expectation of recovery, may advise against it. Insisting on an unproductive course may lead your attorney to conclude that continuing representation is not beneficial for either party.
  • Unattainable Outcomes: Cases need to be built on provable facts, not aspirations. This is especially true if the injury claimed is significantly similar to a pre-existing condition. Proving that the accident — and not the condition — caused the injury becomes a complicated endeavor requiring physician testimony. If the evidence suggests that the injury was not chiefly caused by the incident in question, a lawyer may decide that the likelihood of proving otherwise is too low to warrant proceeding with the case.
  • Approaching Statute of Limitations: Personal injury cases are subject to statutory deadlines, known as the statute of limitations. These statute of limitations vary by state and injury type, and limit the window you have to file a lawsuit. Lawyers need time to build a resilient case, and if you come to them with your claim too close to this deadline, it may be impossible to proceed effectively. If your legal matter has been lingering and the deadline looms, seek counsel immediately. Don’t let a ticking clock rob you of your right to compensation.
  • Ethical Considerations: For example, an attorney may realize there is a conflict of interest due to a past relation with the opposing side. Though the information related to that past relation is innocuous, ethically, there’s no room for doubt. For the attorney, that means stepping away, because in the realm of justice, perception can be just as pivotal as fact.
  • Irreconcilable Relationship Breakdown: The partnership between you and your lawyer is just that — a partnership. Trust and communication are its cornerstones. If those foundations crumble beyond repair, then it might be necessary for your lawyer to step back from the case. This isn’t about giving up on you; it’s about recognizing that the trust necessary to fight effectively for your rights has been lost.
  • Lack of Resources: A personal injury case requires ample resources: legal expertise, investigative support, financial backing, and time. When these resources are stretched thin, even the most promising case can falter. This acknowledgment is an honest assessment ensuring every client gets the vigorous representation they deserve.
  • Financial Viability: If the expected recovery from a case is outweighed by expenses, continuing isn’t prudent. For example, taking a case with minimal potential injury damages that is not in a plaintiff-friendly county to trial may not be justifiable. Litigation is expensive. When damages are low, the costs of trial can quickly eclipse the potential award.
  • Non-Cooperation: Without your full participation, your attorney cannot effectively advocate for you. One critical aspect is following through with medical treatment. For example, if surgery is recommended and you choose not to proceed, it hampers the ability to present a complete and accurate financial damages model. Remember, the jury will question your commitment to recovery if you don’t take care of yourself, and so will the insurance companies.
  • Excessive Communication: Communication with your legal team is vital, but there’s a line where it becomes counterproductive. For example, the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct specify that lawyers must keep clients reasonably informed, but excessive calls and messages can impede the very work you’re eager to see progress. Understand that your lawyer is working on a contingency fee basis for justice on behalf of all their clients. You hired them for their expertise, so let them apply it.
  • Client Deception: If you withhold critical information or, worse, fabricate details, you breach trust. Lawyers need honesty to fight effectively for you. They are putting time and money into fighting for you, and need to trust you to believe it is a fight they can win.

Remember, your story and your pain are valid, and the right lawyer will be with you every step of the way. If you find yourself facing some of these challenges, reach out as soon as possible. Let’s rectify the situation and steer back towards the course of justice.

Lawyer and client shaking hands after attorney withdraws from the case

What is the Process of Withdrawing from a Personal Injury Case?

When an attorney determines the need to withdraw from a personal injury case, the process differs before and after a lawsuit is formally filed.

Pre-lawsuit, the withdrawal tends to be simpler. An attorney may simply inform you, the client, of their decision, and with your consent, dissolve the professional relationship. The reason for the withdrawal must be communicated clearly, with steps advised for you to continue seeking justice. Consent from the court is not typically required at this stage to drop your case.

Post-lawsuit filing, the process becomes more complex because a court’s approval is necessary. Your attorney must file a motion to withdraw, which sets forth the reasons for the request without revealing privileged information. The court will consider the motion, ensuring your rights are protected throughout. Both the timing of the request and potential impact on the case are critical factors in the court’s decision.

What Should I Do When My Injury Lawyer Drops My Case?

Facing the unexpected withdrawal of your personal injury lawyer can be daunting, but it may not be the end of your quest for justice. Here are some steps you should take if your attorney decides to drop your case:

  • Ask Why: Begin by seeking clarification so you can understand the reasons for the withdrawal, as new attorneys will likely ask before they agree to help. Further, it will give you a good idea whether continuing to try and pursue a case is worth it to you.
  • Ask for a Copy of Your File: Ask for a copy of your file to safeguard your legal interests. Be proactive in maintaining records and timelines of your case. This empowers your new counsel to hit the ground running, building upon the efforts already invested.
  • Do Your Research: Look for a new attorney with a proven track record handling cases like yours who is willing to advocate passionately on your behalf.
  • Find a New Legal Match: Leverage reviews and testimonials when choosing your next legal representative.

Choose an Injury Lawyer You Can Trust

Choosing the best personal injury lawyer may be one of the most crucial decisions of your life. It’s not just about finding someone with expertise, it’s also about trust. At Thompson Law, we don’t just offer experience and success – we build relationships rooted in trust and transparency. When others drop your case and back down, we often choose to step up.

We understand what’s at stake, and we fight tirelessly for the justice and compensation you deserve. Our commitment is simple: FREE CONSULTATIONS with no obligation and NO FEE unless we win for you. We’ve transformed cases dismissed by other lawyers into 7-figure settlements and verdicts. Your case is more than a file number to us; it’s your life, your recovery, and we treat it with the utmost respect and dedication.

Contact us today if another lawyer decided to drop your case. Your story may not be over. It’s time for justice. It’s time for Thompson Law.

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