My attorney brought a law suit on the insurance carrier of the driver that hit my car on injuries I sustained. But now, after a year, my attorney is withdrawing from the case.
1) How long do I have to get a new attorney.
2) Can I --in the interim--contact the insurance attorney on my own, and try to settle the case stating my full willingness and intent to follwo up the case to the end using another attorney; but as an interim settlement demand to end it now before it gets to that stage?
If there is a court order regarding the withdrawal it will contain a time frame, if not then you have until your statute of limitations would expire. You may contact the insurance carrier, but if you are going to get a new attorney - and you almost always should - then don't. Good luck.
Your lawyer is likely withdrawing because likely you have no case. You need 2 things for a personal injury lawsuit - liability and a minimum quantum of provable injuries, called "damages." Without those 2 prongs, putting a case in suit would be a waste of time. That another lawyer dropped a case is a red flag to the next lawyer to stay away. Since your lawyer dropped the case you can contact the insurance company pro se and see about settling.
Technically, you don’t need an attorney. If you don’t have one you will likely not get a recovery. Get a new lawyer right away. Ask the court that proceedings be stayed until you have a new lawyer in the case. The other side may try to sandbag you and proceed in a way to use your legal ignorance against you. Write to the judge ask for time to get a new lawyer and get a new lawyer right away.
The only thing I'd add at this point is to check with your ex-attorney and/or the adverse insurance company to see if the ex-attorney filed a lien against the case. You'll need to know this to determine what the bottom line is to you should you settle the case. This number will be added to the amounts owed to medical providers and/or insurance companies that paid for your bills and/or wage loss that have a right to recover those amounts by subrogation.
Hope this helps.
/s Donald Kudler
Mr. Palumbo is a very honest man. You have to appreciate that, too. Not every attorney will tell you what he did. However, to temper that a bit, I think you should try several other attorneys before concluding that your case is bad. The LAST thing you want to do is to handle this without an attorney. Lawyers do drop clients for a variety of reasons (though Mr. Palumbo's is VERY common). For example, lawyers drop clients because of client-staff conflicts. This doesn't mean that your attorney was mad at you, or thought you did something wrong. He may just believe that another firm might be better for you in light of counterproductive conflict (personality, the time your require, etc.). Also, it's possible that your attorney missed something about your case, and that another attorney will not. From time to time, our firm takes in a client that has been turned away by another attorney that was mistaken about an important part of his/her case. As to the "how long" question, the answer is "yesterday." Don't wait a second before looking.
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