Is it ok to switch a attorney after already changing attorneys?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Long Beach, CA

it's been 7 months since my work injury and 5 months since I've filed for workers comp.
The first attorney,I could never get in contact with and he had an answering service in Spanish;so I let him go.the second attorney is not really fighting for my rights;he keep telling me to get well when I haven't seen a specialist yet and my back is killing me;my left leg gave out on me twice. I was a carpenter apprentice. Then I went to a depo so I can see an QME and it's been 41 days and I haven't got my mileage;and when I address the situation to my attorney he says that he is not going to penalize them over 15 dollars.already he hasn't done anything.Could someone please help me out on my situation.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Brett A. Borah

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . So, in 7 months you've burned through 2 lawyers. The first one I understand.

    The second one is a different story. Nothing happens quickly in workers' comp. If I wrote to an insurance company and asked if it was raining today it would take them a month to answer. Anything tougher than that, like mileage, would take even longer. In the short time you've had the 2nd attorney, you've had your deposition taken, he's working on getting you in to see a QME, he's submitted your mileage....sounds like he's working on it. The law says the carrier has a "reasonable" time to pay the mileage. The courts say for something like mileage, 60 days is reasonable. You're within the 60 days so there's not much to do. If the mileage is $15.00, the penalty would only be $4.00. Gas to go to court will cost YOU $10.00 and parking another $15.00. Do you really want to pay $25.00 to get a $4.00 penalty? Oh...and your attorney will get $1.00 out of the $4.00, so you only get $3.00. Do the arithmetic!

    It sounds like your 2nd attorney is doing things right. Stick with him. And frankly, you're not likely to find a 3rd attorney willing to take your case. In the end, you will pay a 15% attorney fee. That's chump change to begin with. To ask me to take the case for 1/3 of 15% just isn't going to happen. Stick with your present attorney but lower your expectations.

    Good luck.

  2. Bobby L. Bollinger Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Borah gave you great advice.

    When I started practicing law over 20 years ago, I had the good fortune to work for a gentleman who had graduated from law school nearly 40 years earlier, and he had handled thousands of cases successfully. He was a great mentor. He had a few rules, too. One was "Never, ever, be the third lawyer on a case, unless one of the first two lawyers died during the representation. " This has proven to be a good rule.

    Why is that? Well, you may not like what I am about to say, but what the third lawyer invariably finds is that the client's expectations are simply not reasonable. That is almost always why the lawyer has already burned throug 2 previous lawyers. As the third lawyer it is impossible to satisfy that client. Experienced lawyers are aware of this--most of them learned it the hard way--and they are reluctant to be the third lawyer on anyone's case. So before you fire the second lawyer, think long and hard about how difficult it may be for you to get a third lawyer to represent you. And having to share a 15% fee three ways makes it even harder to find a lawyer willing to risk his time on you as the third lawyer. that fee is set at 15% to discourage a laywyer from taking the case in the beginning, when he gets the whole fee. Imagine how motivated a lawyer will be to get a 5% fee for a client with unreasonable expectations.

  3. Ruben Alonso Montoya

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I strongly agree with Mr. Borah and yes the work comp is a slow process and you need to take into consideration such. Have more patience and let your present attorney do their job. Good Luck.

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