I’ve gotten many calls over the years from people not happy with their present car accident lawyer. So the simple answer is, yes, you can call another attorney. When I get such a call, after getting over the hurt of why they hadn’t called me in the first place, I try my best to answer their questions.
The reality is that there are many reasons why a case might not be progressing as quickly as a client might want, hope, or expect. The real question becomes whether or not any of those reasons are within the lawyer’s control and/or whether their existing lawyer is doing anything wrong or could be doing something more.
Many times the unhappiness is due to a misunderstanding or breakdown in communications. Other times, it may well be due to work not being done as it should.
The client needs to keep the law office apprised of his/her treatment status. They should notify their attorney as soon each time they complete care from a given provider and as soon as they’re released from all treatment so the injury attorney can order their records and bills needed to prepare a settlement demand package. Sometimes there are multiple claimants from the same accident and even though you’ve completed treatment, other claimants may still be treating, which naturally slows down resolution of the claim as the adverse adjuster may need every claimants’ records and bills before they can begin negotiating settlements with any claimants. If liability for an accident is disputed, property damage may not be resolved absent litigation, which usually can’t be pursued until the client completes their medical care. There are times when a client has completed their medical care but their provider takes weeks to produce the treatment records and bills.
The bottom line is that you don’t necessarily know why your case is not progressing as desired or expected unless you ask.
You’d be surprised at how many people call up complaining about their present lawyer, but when I ask if they’ve spoken to their attorney about their concerns, they admit that they haven’t. They may have left phone messages that have gone unanswered. They may have spoken to a paralegal who promised to deliver a message. Unfortunately, messages don’t always reach the attorney, or sometimes the attorney is so busy at a given time that they accidentally misplace the message and therefore forget to respond.
They may have spoken to a paralegal who promised to deliver a message. Unfortunately, messages don’t always reach the attorney, or sometimes the attorney is so busy at a given time that they accidentally misplace the message and therefore forget to respond.
So my first word of advice is, if you are unhappy with the way your case is progressing, don’t just show up and demand time face time with your attorney. Your attorney may not be available and/or may not have time to review your file. Instead, ask for, or demand, an appointment with your attorney.
Schedule time blocked off for you to meet with your attorney after they’ve had time to review your file. Come in with a list of questions or concerns.
However, it’s hard for a new attorney called to give legal advice just based on what you might report to them. Unfortunately, a client’s understanding of the issues in their case are not always consistent with the police report, medical records and bills, etc.
Therefore, if when you meet with your present attorney about your concerns, you are not happy with the answers given to you, by all means ask for a copy of your file to review with another attorney whom you think you might want to consider taking over your file.