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Why Do So Many Law Firms Refer Out Personal Injury Cases?

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Anyone who is injured due to the negligent acts of another person should seek legal representation as soon as possible. But, many of these personal injury victims are surprised to discover that finding legal representation is not as easy as it may seem. This is because law firms often refer personal injury victims to other firms instead of handling the case themselves. Why do so many law firms do this? Here are some of the reasons:

The Case is Too Complex

Law firms often refer personal injury clients to other lawyers when the case is far too complex for them to handle. This is especially common with medical malpractice, wrongful death, and product liability cases, since these tend to be among the most complex. When lawyers believe they cannot provide adequate representation to a client because of the complexity of a case, they would rather send them to another firm than damage their reputation with a losing case.

Law firms can also turn away cases if they don’t represent clients in certain practice areas. For instance, a law firm that specializes in car and truck accident cases may not want to represent someone who was injured by a negligent doctor. Law firms that don’t practice personal injury law at all will also send personal injury clients to other firms that are better equipped to handle these cases. For example, a family law firm that typically handles divorce and child custody disputes would not represent clients in personal injury cases.

The Firm is Too Busy

Some law firms get in the habit of taking on any client that walks through the door. Even though the lawyers have every intention of helping all of these clients, they quickly find that it is impossible to do so. Instead of simply cutting some of the clients loose, these law firms make it easier on them to find new representation by referring the clients to another firm.

Contingency Fees Could Affect Compensation

Lawyers that practice other areas of law such as criminal law or family law charge either an hourly rate or flat fee. However, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means personal injury clients are not expected to pay for legal services unless their attorney successfully recovers compensation. Then, the attorney takes a percentage of the compensation so the victim never has to pay a dime out of their pocket.

This arrangement ensures that all personal injury victims—regardless of their financial status—can afford to hire an attorney. This arrangement also ensures that personal injury lawyers do not get paid for their work unless they win the case. Working on a contingency fee basis motivates hardworking personal injury lawyers to aggressively fight for their clients. After all, the more compensation they are able to recover for their clients, the larger the attorney’s share will be. But, working on a contingency fee basis may not be appealing to personal injury lawyers who aren’t willing to put a lot of effort into winning your case. For this reason, law firms may send personal injury victims to other firms so they can focus solely on cases where revenue is guaranteed.

Expenses Associated With the Case

Because personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, they don’t get paid until the case has been resolved. But as personal injury lawyers prepare your case, they may incur a number of expenses. For example, some personal injury lawyers will need to hire expert witnesses to testify in their clients’ cases. Most of the time, personal injury lawyers agree to cover these expenses upfront as long as they are reimbursed when the client recovers compensation at the end of the case.

A law firm may send you to another lawyer if they realize that there will be a lot of upfront expenses in your personal injury case. Sometimes, the law firm may not think that they will be able to recover enough compensation to cover the expenses, so they don’t want to risk losing the money. Law firms can also make the decision to send you to another firm if they simply don’t have the cash flow to cover the expenses. Instead of presenting a weak case, they refer you to another firm that will be able to spend a significant amount of money to build a strong case on your behalf.

The Location of the Case

The location where the lawsuit will be filed could also affect whether a lawyer will accept your case or refer you to another firm. If your lawsuit will need to be filed in a different state, the lawyer may not be licensed to practice law in that state. Therefore, the lawyer will need to send you to someone who is licensed for that area.

Lawyers from other counties or cities within the state are legally permitted to work on your case. However, they may choose to refer you to another firm if they are not familiar with the local court’s practices. For example, if the lawsuit needs to be filed in County A, but the lawyer usually works in County B, the lawyer may feel that someone who is familiar with County A’s courts would be better suited for the job. They can also refer you if they are not willing to commute to another city or county in order to represent you in court.

Have you been injured in an accident that was not your fault? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. We don’t refer clients to other law firms—we represent them ourselves. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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Trial by Human

Nick Rowley founded Trial by Human, a nationwide legal education course to help trial lawyers improve their skills in the courtroom by "being human".