You are hurt. In pain. Can’t move where it hurts. Can’t sleep fully, restfully. Worried about medical bills. Doctor not helping. Stressed. Upset. Car not being fixed. Can’t get to work without an Uber. Maybe not working – more stress because maybe household bills not going to get paid. Can’t get kids to soccer practice or the game. Spouse and kids being supportive but you feel you’re letting them down.
AND YOUR LAWYER isn’t helping? Or not doing anything? Or enough?
Wait. Hold the phone. How do you know? Much is being done “behind the scenes” by your attorney, assuming they are doing what they should be doing. But you don’t know unless you ask.
Attorneys do not routinely tell clients every single thing they do, or report to them about every single phone call or letter or email they make or receive.
The number one reason people fire their attorney is because of lack of communication. I get it.
The number one reason lawyers don’t communicate with the clients (or communicate enough) is because they don’t have anything significant to tell them, so they don’t call.
The top reasons lawyers don’t have anything significant to tell you is because:
- Insurance companies don’t give them answers in a timely manner
- Car repairs take a long time, particularly nowadays when seemingly EVERY part needed is on back-order
- Getting medical records and bills, needed to evaluate your case, despite having been requested by the attorney’s office, have not been received – because hospital billing and records offices, and doctors, take their time sending those things – and even more infuriating, often lie about getting the request, or send the wrong records or bills.
Non-communication is not usually a valid reason to dump your attorney.
Call him, or her, and politely ask for more communication, more updates, even just a call to tell you they’re working “on it” but don’t have an answer. Ask for an explanation in a non-aggressive manner.
If you are repeatedly put off, if your telephone calls, emails or texts are continually not answered, if you can never speak to the attorney or the legal assistants tell you “someone will get back to you” and they don’t in a reasonable time, then, maybe, maybe, you should consider changing attorneys.
Sometimes I get calls from people upset with their attorney, asking if I’ll take their case. I discuss with them all the above, and I try to restore the relationship. If the potential client is insistent, and in certain circumstances, I will agree to take over their case.
First thing to do however, again, call your attorney and ask questions, and ask for more communication.