Do I need to keep my personal injury lawyer?

Asked over 1 year ago - Hartford, CT

I was a passenger in an auto accident last month, I currently have a personal injury lawyer but I'm not sure if I need one. I had 5 weeks of and physical therapy and 6 weeks of chiropractic care, my medical bills are around $6,500 and I only missed 4 days of work. I have no permanent injuries, I have been recovering pretty good. I would like to find out if I am better off dealing with the insurance company alone, or should I keep my representation. I am worried that I will end up owing money to the lawyer because my case is not worth much.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Brian J Ladouceur JR

    Contributor Level 11

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Because you’re already represented the insurance company should not have direct contact with you without your attorney, so you’d be well advised to have a honest discussion with your attorney about your case status, your injuries and how you want it to proceed.

    Generally, the value of an inured person’s case can be increased by effective legal counsel that knows the law and various theories of recovery, what injuries are normally worth, what insurance coverage are available for recovery, what medical and treatment costs maybe reimbursable liens, and finally what similar type cases have been awarded damages at trial, in mediation or pre-trial settlement.

    Keep in mind that while PI attorneys have varying levels of skill, experience and resources, in Connecticut their contingent fees they can charge on a claim or civil action to recover damages resulting from personal injury, are set by Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 52-251c to be 33 1/3 % of the first $300,000, 25% the next $300,000, and so forth.

    In addition, when a client transfers a contingent matter to successor counsel the 1st attorney is entitled to recover certain legal fees for his/her efforts from the final recovery. Therefore, you don’t “save” money after retaining counsel and then going it alone because those fees are expenses the injured person will need to pay whether they pursue their case on their own or with other counsel.

    If you've found my answer helpful and informative please below designate as a “Best Answer” or mark that you “Agree”.

    Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Kevin Coluccio

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Talk with your current attorney. Be candid and ask him the questions you have set forth above.

  3. Salvatore Bonanno

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Please meet with your attorney and be honest with him about your concerns. More importantly, your lawyer will be able to threaten the insurance company with litigation in a more credible way than would a claimant representing himself. Lastly, if you were to "negotiate" for yourself and didn't receive the amount you were seeking, then if you were to return to your lawyer he might need to retrofit problems you may unknowingly cause. Meet with your attorney.

    Good Luck

  4. Daniel C. Cuppett

    Contributor Level 8

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with that you should candidly discuss this with your lawyer rather than just firing him or her. I'm curious about your fear that you could end up owing money to the lawyer. I assume that your agreement is on a contingent basis such that the lawyer gets a percentage of your settlement or verdict. If this is the case the lawyer would be limited to that percentage. Are you concerned that expenses could eat up the rest of it? If so, talk about that with your lawyer. Also, your lawyer might not pursue it but in many states if you fire your lawyer and the lawyer hasn't committed any misconduct they can often bill you an hourly rate for the time they have put in to that point. This should be covered somewhere in your fee agreement.

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