I had a sleep and fall accident in 2009. I had a spine surgery in april 2012. I ve hired a personal injury attorney but i m very unhappy with the way my case has been handled. Its been three years already and he just filled my note of issue two weeks ago. That means in Brooklyn courts we wont be able to get a trial date in 12-15 months. So my case will take more than 4 years to settle. thats very unreasonable! I want to fire my attorney how is that possible to break the contract that I signed with him? He desrves very little money! Maybe possibly i Could hire someone else.
It is you and not him that is being unreasonable. From what you said he has moved the file with all due speed. Many things go into a lawsuit that a lawyer cannot control - the insurance adjuster does not want to settle; someone does not appear for a deposition; the other side moves to dismiss; discovery dates are broken; medical records take time to get. 4 years to settle a case is quick in Brooklyn, and if the defendant / insurance company does not want to settle there is nothing you can do.
You are always free to hire a new lawyer. If you do that, the new attorney will deal with the old attorney both to tell him that you have a new lawyer and on the fee issue. Sometimes cases take time to move so 3 years might not be unreasonable - I'm sure you didn't file suit right away. There is nothing a new attorney can do to make the case go faster at this point. There will be a series of pre-trial and/or settleement conferences in court before an actual trial. am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle personal injury cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com.
Unfortunately, with the NY courts being as busy as they are, lawsuits are slow in progressing to either trial or settlement. Since we don't know all of the facts as you present them, your current lawyer may have had very good reasons to wait this long to file the Note of Issue. There may have been discovery issues, motion practice (which takes a while to get through in the courts) and other delays which may have been out of his or her control, including the fact that you recently had surgery.
With the Note of Issue already filed, you will most likely not find too many personal injury lawyers to take over the case. I would not necessarily fire your current lawyer in haste. Instead, I would set up a meeting and speak to your lawyer about your overall concerns.
Best of luck.
I must agree with Mr. Palumbo. While it is difficult to have to wait this long for a case to resolve, it is certainly not the attorney's fault. Once a lawsuit is filed it is often several years before it is totally resolved at trial . What may have delayed your case was your waiting almost 3 years to have the spinal surgery. that could have delayed the discovery phase of you case by almost a year between having to amend his pleadings and having to wait for the defendants to get the medical records themselves. Your attorney is on track time wise. Cut him some slack. From what you have told us, unless there are other issues that you did not mention, he seems to have done everything possible to move your case.
Your lawyer is not the problem. If you had spine surgery in April 2012 then you should be glad your case is still on the calendar and not yet in the trial assignment part. ( where if it were, your attorney would be scrambling to adjourn it) Your case is not ready to be tried. Are you still treating? Are you still receiving physical therapy? If so, it would be premature for your surgeon or treating ortho/neuro to give any opion with regard to the permanency of your injury. Without that opinion, you don't have a viable claim for future pain and suffering or future economic loss. It is that component of damages that will, if proven, earn you the highest damages award or settlement.
Please be advised that this communication does not construe an attorney/client relationship.
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