When it comes to personal injury claims, insufficient damages are the worst. You might hear the term insufficient damages from attorneys when they reject your case. It may be difficult to find representation from an attorney if they say you have insufficient damages.
The Basics Of Insufficient Damages
What does insufficient damages mean in a personal injury claim? You could have a valid claim but your case would likely cost more for a lawyer to represent you than you would be awarded. This can be for a variety of reasons. If you are struggling to find legal representation because of insufficient damages it can be very discouraging. Learn more about what causes insufficient damages and what you should do if you’re having trouble finding an attorney.
Don’t Give Up
Do not lose hope in your search. It can be frustrating to find a lawyer but don’t give up after one or two calls. There may be a lawyer that is willing to take your case. However, you should understand insufficient damages are a real threat to a case. For some people, holding onto a claim that is not progressing can cause more emotional and economical damage than walking away from the claim.
Reasons For Insufficient Damages
To understand what would cause insufficient damages, it is important to know what a personal injury case needs in order to be successful.
Negligence Caused Your Harm
The first question of a personal injury claim is: did the negligence of another person or party cause you harm? If the answer is yes, is there factual evidence to prove it? Is there a police report or incident report of the injury? When you can prove another person or party caused or directly contributed to your harm, then you can move on to the next step.
Proof Of Losses
Are you able to prove the negligence caused you physical harm or loss? Do you have medical treatment and/or diagnosis to support your claim of harm? If you’re hearing ‘insufficient damages’ from injury lawyers, it is likely you don’t have enough proof of harm. To show actual damages, your case will need the following kinds of proof:
- documentation of the injury (pictures and medical records)
- loss of income (doctor-prescribed time off from work for recovery)
- medical diagnosis and treatment
In most injury claims, the proof of losses are summed up by medical expenses and documented physical injuries. For many injured people, it is financially impossible to pay for medical treatment. This works as a real barrier to proving losses. If you have a strong claim but lack medical treatment, an attorney might be able to help you.
Another important factor in proving damages is treatment. The type of treatment you receive following your injury as well as medical bills may show insufficient damages. When you are in an accident and receive treatment for your injuries, you are eligible to be reimbursed for your treatment through compensation. In most cases, higher medical bills equate to more compensation. If you have minor injuries and your medical bills are low or non-existent, there is not much to be gained by an attorney. While you are lucky to have minimal damages, it may make finding an attorney to take your case quite difficult.
Using PIP Coverage For Treatment
In car crash injury claims, your own car insurance has specific coverage for medical bills – no matter who is at fault. This is called ‘personal injury protection‘ or PIP coverage. Additionally, your insurance cannot cancel your policy or raise your rates if you use this coverage. If you have state-minimum car insurance (in Pennsylvania), you have at least $5,000 of personal injury protection coverage for medical bills.
What To Do When An Injury Lawyer Declines Your Case
Even if you have the above basics covered, there can be other factors working against you. If an injury lawyer declines to represent you, thank them for their time. If the lawyer doesn’t tell you the reason they decline your case, ask them. Read 9 reasons a lawyer won’t take your injury case.
Ask For A Referral
While a lawyer may want to help you, it may be financially impossible for them to take on your claim. Don’t lose heart! If a lawyer refuses your case due to insufficient damages, they may know another lawyer that could help. It can’t hurt to ask for a referral. If the lawyer can’t recommend another lawyer, keep searching on your own.
Contact An Injury Attorney Today
If your case was declined by an attorney due to insufficient damages, it doesn’t guarantee another lawyer will not try to help you. In fact, some of our biggest wins are for people that were rejected by other law firms. It might be a matter of finding the right lawyer for your situation.
Every case is unique. Consulting with an attorney may help you understand how to move forward. Contact us to schedule your free consultation with an injury attorney.