Injured back in slip and fall accident in 2010. I left the case in my attorneys hands so I could focus on recovering. One day I decided to look into his reviews, recent verdicts and settlement, that's when I found some unpleasant reviews stating that he lacked the skills of investigating such cases. I decided to contact OSHA to investigate my injury location. OSHA conducted an investigation and mailed me its results. The results were astounding. What caused my injury was previously reported, documented and in the budget for repairs the following fiscal year I turned my investigation results in to him. It has been almost 2 years since reaching MMI and I have yet to hear a possible $ amount, what was demanded/offered or my expectations. Communication is non existence on his part.
It is unclear from your description whether you have a personal injury liability claim, a workers compensation claim, or both. Assuming it is a liability claim only, I hope that suit has been filed as Georgia has a two year statute of limitations on these types of claims. If you were on the job and it is a workers comp claim, then this limitation is different. I would suggest you schedule a meeting with your attorney to discuss the current status of your case and his plan moving forward. If you are unable to reach him, consider sending a letter via certified mail. If you still cannot get any answers, consider making a change. Please note that you should not be without an attorney for long as there may be things currently in the works that you will need an attorney's assistance with. For instance, if this is a liability claim against the property owner and suit has been filed, scheduled court dates, discovery deadlines, and other events will not be put on hold just because you are unrepresented.
An integral part of our legal system is the right to have a lawyer of your choice. Lawyers specialize in different areas of the law and this is always something that should be effectively communicated between the lawyer and the client. For example, we specialize in personal injury and have many slip and fall case settlements and verdicts. However, we do not specialize in criminal law or tax law and should a client call our office with a tax law or criminal law issue we generally place that person in touch with the properly specialized lawyer. Open communication so that a lawyer and a client are on the same page is a key piece to a successful outcome. It sounds like you have a strong case and that the premise should be held to the standard of having prior knowledge and was placed on notice of the defective condition. Hopefully, you can discuss these issues with your current lawyer, but if the communication fails there are many qualified law firms such as ours that would be interested in speaking to you about your caae.
The most important right we have in our legal system is the right to be represented by a lawyer. In your case while you have exercised that right it doesn't sound like you are satisfied with the type of representation you are receiving and therefore you should explore other options. While I spend a large part of my day in court and working on my clients' cases I also set aside time everyday to let my clients know what is going on with their individual case so that they are always informed. Sometimes that call may be to say "nothing is going on right now" but at least I can explain why that is happening.
It sounds like you have a good case and you deserve to know what is going on.
This reads like it may be a workers comp claim. Are you receiving weekly benefits? Has your lawyer had you work with a serious injury life care planner? I agree with what others have said. When I receive calls from folks unhappy with their current lawyer I advise the to go sit down face to face and tell them. If that does not fix it, them you have a right to seek new counsel.
Lack of communication is the #1 issue that clients have with their lawyers. I would contact your lawyer first with your concerns and demand frequent updates and if he/she doesn't comply or disagrees with you than seek other counsel. I always tell potential clients in this situation to try to make it work with their lawyer first if they haven't already.
Best of Luck.
You have an absolute right to change lawyers any time and for any reason, or no reason. However, such a choice comes with consequences. The present lawyer will make a claim for a share of the attorney's fee, whcih might be substantial since the case has been going along for three years. The headache of taking over a file that is well along and having to share the fee will discourage some lawyers from accepting your case. For these reasons, it is always best to try to fix a relationship with your lawyer before taking the step of discharging him. It seems that you are pretty upset with him but try to keep it non-confrontational. Just ask for a meeting to go over the case in detail. You are certainly entitled to that. Then decide what to do after you have as much information as possible about what your lawyer is and isn't doing.
It's difficult to measure the value of a claim for personal injury if you are actively treating. It is very common to wait and get a release from a doctor before making any demands, especially in a case where the insurance coverage can almost certainly cover your damages (for example, with a slip and fall, very often the premises liability insurance policy is either 1 or 2 million dollars in coverage per incident).
As for the communication, that is a major concern. Your should always be able to get in contact with your attorney. He has a duty to keep you informed and has a duty to zealously pursue your objectives and to consult with you about the means of accomplishing those objectives. If you feel like he is not doing that, I would recommend trying to be reasonable and request his attention or take your business elsewhere. No one is obligated to be represented by a person they don't want to be in Georgia.
I will leave you with a bit of information I always tell my clients when they sign up with me. "You have the right to hire and fire an attorney at any time. Signing a contract with me doesn't mean you have to stay with me. A contract with an attorney is a contract for employment where the client is employing the lawyer. That means I work for you. If you don't like the job I'm doing, you can fire me, so I'll work hard to keep my job."
Prepare a list of questions you would like to have answered, call and schedule an appointment with your attorney, then fax or email the questions to your attorney a few days before your appointment requesting that the questions be answered at the appointment. Confirm with your attorney that all filing deadlines have been met and there is no statute of limitations issue. If the questions are not answered to your satisfaction, find another attorney.
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