Mar 18, 2021

When Can an Attorney Decline a Client?


Financial and Ethical Complaints after Medical Harm

Disaster approaching catastrophe.
Los Angeles catastrophe meter.

What happens when a loved one needs urgent surgery or medical care after an accident? This post-care process is a situation that injury attorneys often negotiate for their wounded clients. However, there are increasing numbers of attorneys who won't take on specific clients. Usually, it's over the amount of money their potential claim is worth. It's left many injury and accident victims in a precarious position.

ProPublica published a report on the matter recently. The costs of a case hamstring many personal injury attorneys. In many situations, attorneys work on contingency-- they don't take a cent unless their clients recover. Often lawyers work with or hire experts who determine the cause of the error or accident. Factor in court costs and time. It's understandable why some attorneys are picky about the types of clients they take on.

This problem is very much the case with public harm issues. Often patients harmed during their hospital stay are without legal help. For many attorneys, such a suit's cost is not worth the smaller dividend at the end. An Emory study came to similar conclusions.

The vast majority of accident victims get boxed out of this system when they were been wronged-- and usually, attorneys agree with that assessment. These people receive no legal protection within the system, disproportionately harming older people. These poor victims will remain unable to fully recover from their injuries and trauma and attorneys often pass on their cases.

How To Find An Attorney To Take Public Harm Cases

In many cases, the answer is more complex than the question. Attorneys all over the country often have similar concerns. Experienced lawyers and firms which do not count money as their sole purpose may take on the case. Some firms specialize in taking on such "low reward" clients to ensure they get care.

In my years as a personal injury attorney at the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, I saw many of these types of cases. They don't get any less heartbreaking just because the client might not earn me as much money. On the contrary, such cases are an example of defending public trust through medical accountability. The actions we take now prevent similar future accidents and errors.

Some suggestions for soft tissue cases include:

None of this makes it easier for accident and injury victims clueless about the legal system. Their trauma often extends into their whole family, requiring the best possible legal representation and medical care.