1. After you sign an agreement with a client, about how long do you usually wait before contacting them again?
2. On average, about how often do you expect to speak with your client or at least inform them of their case if you're hired on contingency fees? Monthly, every 6 months, what's a reasonable expectation?
3. If my lawyer is asking me over and over again if I am sure that I was no fault in an accident, is this a sign that my attorney doesn't trust me or is this normal questioning?
4. Who should speak with the hospitals about medical bills when their attorney sends out letter? What if they give me a deadline to respond back, I don't know what to tell the hospital attorney, but my attorney isn't responding to me?
The facts of the case makes a difference on the answers to your questions. I like to hear from my client periodically about the health and treatment status. If I dont hear from a client I will normally try to contact them every 2-3 mos, assuming we are not close to any statute of limitations.
#3- Id ask the atty what the concern is. Sometimes in contested liability cases, I will have to discuss liability issues with the client several times.
#4- depends. If you have no med pay or health ins, your atty should at least be giving you suggestions on dealing with the providers on the bills. There could be good reason he doesnt want you to tell them who your lawyer is or that you have a case going. Thye could perfect a lien on the case with that info, so that could cause some problems, depending upon the size of your claim and the amount of ins available.
Bottom line is you need to set an appt w/atty to egt answers to your questions, and to see what his strategy is. If he isnt willing to do so, you have to consider changing attys.
Get your attorney to address these questions. Each attorney and each case is different, so one attorney's way is different than yours. I like to hear from my clients every three weeks. If I do not hear from them, then I call them. I also send correspondence regarding their case including all pleadings. Do not be afraid of your attorney. You are his boss. Best of luck.
My office generally sends out correspondence confirming retention fairly soon after the fee agreement is signed. Client contact generally depends on the issues, the client and the dynamics of the case. Some clients simply want no contact at all because they know my office is professional an experienced and they want us to push things along so that they can get it off their minds and leave the details to us. Other clients want and expect frequent contact. These are the two extremes. We do our best to accommodate.
Go ahead and have a conversation with your lawyer about the other concerns because there truly is no one size fits all answer.
Here's a blog that may help with other questions. Best wishes with it.
One of the primary things I think clients want out of their lawyer is communication. From the outset I try to gauge how much communication my client wants or needs. Some folks don't want to be bothered too much with the details of the case. Others want to be contacted on a regular basis, even if there is nothing much to report. I try to contact the client at least every thirty days or so to let them know what is going on. I am not always able to do that, but I try to. I think it is reasonable to expect at least quarterly reports from your lawyer. If your lawyer is not communicating as much as you would like, tell him or her about that. I have had clients tell me they want to hear from me more often and I have made it a priority to better communicate with those clients. With regard to questions about fault for the accident, I would not let that concern you in the least bit. It is your lawyer's job to probe any weaknesses in your case. If he or she thinks a jury might assign some fault to you that might change his or her evaluation of the case. The more information the attorney can get from you about what happened, the better legal advice you will receive. Tell your attorney everything relevant. There should be open communication on both sides of the attorney-client relationship. Finally, with regard to the hospital bill issue, there is no hard and fast rule about who should handle those communications. In my office, I routinely deal with medical providers that are owed money or their attorneys trying to collect unpaid accounts. If you are being given a deadline by a provider, you should tell your lawyer that and if the lawyer won't let you know what to do, then contact the provider yourself.
the complaint logs of all lawyer regulatory groups indicate that many lawyers are terrible communicators. If every time you have a problem there's a delay of several days before you can talk to your lawyer on the phone or get an appointment, you'll lose precious time, not to mention sleep.
Almost nothing is more aggravating to a client than to leave a legal project in a lawyer's hands and then have weeks or even months go by without anything happening. You want a lawyer who will work hard on your behalf and follow through promptly on all assignments
Since lawyers are smart, we often anticipate what is going to be said, and don't feel the need to listen carefully. But when we really listen to a client, we can hear levels of communication that may deepen our understanding of the client's problem.
an attorney who is difficult to work with or provides shoddy legal advice can magnify an already touchy relationship.
Insist in advance on how and how often you should communicate. If you have to wait days or weeks to hear back from your lawyer, either you didn't relate your expectations well enough, or you have a lawyer too busy to take on your business. Give some thought to finding a new one as soon as you can
As a summary you can expect your lawyer to do the following:
■Give you advice about your legal situation
■Keep you informed about your case
■Tell you what he or she thinks will happen in your case
■Allow you to make the important decisions regarding your case
■Give you an estimate about what your case should cost
■Assist you in any cost-benefit analyses that you may need
■Keep in communication with you
■Inform you of any changes, delays or setbacks
■Give you the information you need to make good decisions, and
■Prepare you for your case, including deposition and trial preparation
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