If your attorney has not done anything to advance your case and failed to show up in court, you may want to look at terminating the relationship and hiring someone else. However, litigation is a lengthy process and usually does not move as fast as those it affects would like. Lots of research and preparation often precede the filing of a lawsuit and a resolution is usually many months (or years) down the road. Remember, patience is a virtue.
With regard to your concern about your current attorney receiving a portion of any recovery in the event you fire him--it will ultimately depend on the terms of the retention agreement and how much work he performed on the matter. Many times, an attorney who is terminated by the client will file a lien against any potential recovery you may receive. I hope this helps.
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You need to set up a meeting with the attorney to figure of where you stand. Phone messages can get ignored but an in-person meeting really can't. As for your medical bill, I would provide it to your attorney and ask him or her to call and see if they can put the claim on hold. If you are not happy with the attorneys representation of you, you need to let your attorney know. However, you will need to understand that it takes time for personal injury claims to progress. Sometimes a month or two gap in phone call updates is warranted. If you want to know what is happening with your case, call your attorney.
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I agree with the other answers you have gotten. I suggest you put your concerns in a letter to your lawyer and ask for a face to face meeting to discuss them. Sometimes these things are communication problems, so it is best not to be too confrontational in the letter--no use making it hard to work with the lawyer in the future if the problem can be resolved. How the lawyer responds to your written concerns will tell you a lot about what to do next. If you get a bad response, then you are free to discuss the problems with another lawyer BEFORE you fire your current lawyer. The new lawyer can explain how best to go about dealing with your current lawyer without causing more problems, so don't fire your current attorney until you have a new one.
This is not legal advice. You should always discuss the specifics of your issue in person with an attorney. Be aware that there are time limits on all claims that depend on the kind of claim, so do not delay in seeking an attorney.
Normally, when an attorney signs a contingency contract with a client, both are bound by its terms. However, failing to show up to court would be one reason that the client might fire the attorney "for cause" - meaning that the original attorney would have no right to claim any part of the recovery. Before doing that, I would first consider whether this is the type of attorney that you want on your case, then schedule a meeting with the attorney and make your desire known. If you do choose to fire your current lawyer, there will be plenty of personal injury lawyers who may be interested. I am one of them: lived in Fort Bend County until just a few months ago, and still have a number of cases in that county. I would be happy to onsult with you free of charge.
Responses to questions asked on this internet forum are not intended to form an attorney-client relationship. These responses are intended as general information only, and are based upon the attorney's understanding of Texas law ONLY. Other jurisdictions may have different laws, or may interpret the laws of the jurisdiction differently. For a more detailed response, contact Todd Kelly at the Carlson Law Firm: 512-346-5688.
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