You think you have a legal case. But, you are having trouble finding an attorney to help you. Why? When we look at the common reasons an injury lawyer will decline your case, one of the reasons is insufficient damages. In this article, we explain what insufficient damages means.
The Purpose Of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are a civil legal process that exists for a reason. The main goal of a personal injury claim is to make a person ‘whole’ after the neglect of another causes harm.
Insufficient damages can mean a couple of things when it comes to a personal injury claim. It can mean your personal and financial damages aren’t enough to support a successful claim. Insufficient damages can also mean that you have a claim but it would be too costly to prove your claim.
Reasons For Insufficient Damages
Several factors can be the root of insufficient damages in your claim. These factors include:
Proof Of Losses
Proof of losses refers to the ability to be able to prove the harm done to you. If you are unable to prove the action caused you physical harm and financial loss, you do not have a case.
In order to properly prove losses, you must show:
- documentation of the injury (pictures and medical records)
- medical diagnosis and treatment
- loss of income (doctor-prescribed time off from work for recovery)
- the losses are a direct result of the negligence of another person/party
Lack Of Negligence
If the actions or inactions of another cause you harm, you have a legal claim. However, if you cannot prove it, you may not have a case. It is your duty to prove the other person/s were negligent, which led to your injury.
When you receive medical treatment for your injuries, everything is documented. You may be eligible to receive reimbursing compensation for your medical bills.
However, if your medical bills are not high, you may fall into the ‘insufficient damages’ category. Typically, the higher the medical bill, the bigger the reimbursement. If you have minor injuries, lawyers may not be interested in taking your case.
Cost To Prove Your Claim
It is possible you have a solid, easy-to-prove case. However, it may cost your attorney more to prove your case than you would recover in the claim.
We see this situation more in medical malpractice claims. In example, you might have a malpractice claim for $20,000. But, in Pennsylvania, a medical malpractice claim must be certified before it has a chance in court. Finding an expert to certify your claim costs the lawyer a lot of money upfront. Then, the lawyer also needs to pay for expert witnesses to write opinions and testify in your case. This adds up to tens of thousands of dollars.
To prove your $20,000 claim, the lawyer may spend $30-40,000 to certify the claim and secure expert witnesses. The lawyer will also invest their own time and staff time to investigate and assemble your claim. To stay in business, the lawyer also needs to collect a fee for their work.
In essence, it will cost more than $50,000 to prove your $20,000 claim. You might win the case, but it will cost you and the lawyer more in fees. Most lawyers aren’t able to take on this kind of financial loss.
Free Legal Consultation
If you were turned down by other attorneys, we may be able to help. Sometimes, it is just a matter of finding the right attorney for your case. We pride ourselves in winning cases for people who were initially turned down by other personal injury attorneys. Call us to schedule a free consultation with a local injury attorney.