I need help with a non-responsive injury attorney who could be jeopardizing my auto injuring lawsuit. What should I do?

Asked about 2 years ago - Jersey City, NJ

Hi, I was in a car accident 12/08/2011. It's already 01/11/2013. I hired an attorney 01/2012, but I feel like I'm getting the run-around from him. My physical therapy ended 6 months ago but he hasn't sent for my medical records yet. This case should have already moved forward and settled by now. He never returns my phone calls. I rarely speak to him. The handful of times that I do speak to him, he acts like he didn't know my physical therapy ended. I remind him how long it's been, then he tells me that he sent for my records but hasn't received them yet. However, when I call the physical therapy clinic, I'm told that the lawyer has never requested them and that they can only send them to him if and when he requests them. When I do tell my lawyer that, he tells me that he did and that they're the physical therapy place is yanking out chain. In the meanwhile, the last time I spoke to him was before Thanksgiving 2012. I email him constantly and never returns my emails. I call him and leave messages and he never returns my calls. I don't know what to do. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm being scammed. He's supposed to get 17% of my settlement, but what settlement if he's not doing his job? This car accident has left me physically disabled because I suffered spinal injuries, and it has also left me in a boatload of medical debt. I don't know what to do. Can you help me with advise on how I should proceed with this matter? I hope you can help me. I have no job, no disability, no money and barely making ends meet. Please help. Thank you, Mrs. Liz Pla (PlaFamily@comcast.net)

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Dean P Murray

    Contributor Level 18

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    chosen by asker

    Answered . The Rules of Professional Conduct, the ethics rules that governs all lawyers practicing in New Jersey, imposes a duty on all lawyers to communicate with the clients. RPC 1.4(b) states "A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information." See http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/nj/code/NJ_CO.... If your lawyer is not communicating with you, you may want to strongly consider looking for another lawyer. In addition, you always have the option of filing a complaint with the District Ethics Secretary. See http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/oae/atty_disc/.... However, be aware the reporting a lawyer to Ethics will sour the attorney-client relationship. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Also, please be sure to read my disclaimer below. Good luck to you.

    Dean P. Murray
    The Murray Law Firm
    560 Sylvan Avenue
    Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632T: (201)875-2600
    F: (201)549-8700

    Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely... more
  2. Michael A Ferrara Jr

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . There are 80,000 lawyers in NJ. Several thousand specialize in personal injury cases. Fire your lawyer today and fobs someone who will be more responsive. Good luck.

    Please note that these answers are provided as a community service and are not meant to create an attorney-client... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You can fire your attorney by simply sending a termination letter. Find a good lawyer on Avvo, one with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you are left with the lion's share of the settlement, not your lawyer. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  4. Michael Shemtoub

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . If you feel like your attorney is not a good fit for you, you should review your retainer contract and move forward within the perimeters of the agreement.

    Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-... more
  5. Marc Sean Hurd

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . I am not admitted in NJ (only in CA), so I can only provide a sort of general response. In general, a client c=has the right to "fire" his/her lawyer at any time. Depending on the language of the retainer, the former attorney may have lien rights against a recovery, but a new lawyer should be able to work that out with the former lawyer. In CA, the Courts generally deem the case file to belong to the client, not the attorney (though the attorney retains some rights to protect his "work-product") so you should be able to make an appointment with the attorneys' office to review the file, and from there you can determine just how much work he/she has actually done on the file.

    Good luck!

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it... more

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