I got a referral to go to an attorney that I never researched and I am getting a bad feeling. In particular, I find I am having to prepare the case all on my own ie. getting all medical records, answering and preparing all evidence, ANSWERING ALL FORM INT.'S AND SPECIAL INT'S, pay for all contractors/investigators to report on the defects of the townhome in which I was injured etc. Luckily I have insurance otherwise I am pretty sure he wouldn't have arranged doctors for me. I asked several friends who either had PI cases or asked some who knew about the proper handling of a case, and they all said that they had to do nothing except sign and verify anything the lawyer did. Is this the proper way to handle my case with me doing all the Interrogatories? Preparing evidence etc.?
While you shouldn't necessarily be preparing the responses yourself, your attorney relies on you to provide full and complete information in order to reply to discovery. Perhaps your attorney could or should have you interviewed by his/her staff to make the process less difficult on you. Discuss the issue with your attorney and see if any accommodations can be made to make this easier for you. If your attorney is not willing to help you out, maybe you could consider looking elsewhere for representation.
Best of luck.
Some cases require more client involvement than others but in no event should you feel like you are alone in handling the case. While being involved in the discovery, etc. doesnt necessarily mean your attorney is not handling the case properly, if your gut is telling you something is not right, perhaps you should sit down with your attorney to address your concerns. If your attorney will not make time for you or the problem is not resolved, find a new personal injury attorney! Do not wait until it is too late.
I agree with prior responses that you should have a heart to heart with your attorney about these issues. They are also correct in that attorneys require your input in responding to discovery requests. It is common practice for an attorney to forward the discovery to the client and request feedback. Also look at your retainer agreement concerning who is responsible for case costs such as the investigation reports you reference. If you are still not satisfied with the representation, you can hire another attorney.
Your are not supposed to be preparing anything. You are supposed to provide the attorney with all the information he/she needs. The attorney's office should do the rest. With serious personal injury cases, you are advised to seek a reputable PI attorney and most important, a trial attorney who is able to take your case all the way to trial if it does not settle. Good luck.
This sounds strange to me. You definitely have to cooperate with your attorney and it speeds up your case if you get your own records, but you should not be drafting legal documents. Also, as others have said, look at your retainer to see who will front costs.
Of course, if you're not satisfied, many other attorneys would likely be interested in your case.
If you are not happy with your attorney you can fire him and hire a new attorney who is experience in premise liability. It's best you sit down with your current attorney and talk about your concerns. You should not be preparing anything since you have an attorney. He is supposed to do that for you. Clients are suppose to provide information and help in answering discovery questions but not do the work (that's for the attorney). Sounds like the attorney did nothing and you probably should get a new attorney in my opinion. BTW be aware of your statute of limitation. Goodluck!
Regarding medical records: Most attorneys will have you execute authorizations to release information. These authorizations allow the attorney or his or her staff to contact the medical care provider to obtain the medical records for you.
Regarding answering preparing evidence: Your attorney does need your assistance in answering and preparing the evidence. You are in the best position to inform him about the case when it comes to evidence.
Answering all form ints. and special ints.: You and your attorney should sit down together while you answer these questions so that he can assist you.
Pay for reports: This is no uncommon, it really depends in what you and your attorney have agreed to regarding costs.
A good personal injury attorney will prepare the case using your involvement and assistance to help him or her see the whole picture in order to adequately prepare for negotiations with the claims adjuster and prepare for trial. Not all attorneys prepare the same way but to be honest with you this is not how I would prepare a case.
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