There is absolutely no law that you must stay with the same lawyer. If a trial date has not been set, you can look for a replacement lawyer. Soft tissue injuries refer normally to displacements of the neck and bank discs; they can cause intense pain but since no bones are broken, many insurance companies wait out the payment of any real money. A personal injury suit can take up to three years before it is filed since both sides want complete medical records. Litigation after the suit is filed can take a few more years;I cannot give you an exact figure. NYS is notorious for the length of time it takes to resolve personal injury suits. Keep in mind that insurers are not knocking down the door to give you money. I have personally settled some within a year, and I have had others that have taken more than 6 years to resolve.
You might find my legal guide on selecting and hiring a lawyer helpful.
You might find my legal guide on Is it Legal? Is it Illegal? helpful.
You might find my legal guide on the understanding the different court systems helpful.
You might find my legal guide on legal terms used in litigation helpful
(Even if you are not filing a lawsuit this information can be useful).
You might find my legal guide on automobile accidents in general and in NJ helpful.
You might find my legal guide on NY court systems helpful.
Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire
As I am licensed in Florida and Vermont, I cannot offer you specific legal advice as to New York State law. However, generally, I would recommend that you write to your attorney and request a face to face meeting in his office at which time you would like him to review the status of your case and how New York State law applies to your situation. New York State, I believe, has certain thresholds which must be met in order for you to collect for pain and suffering.
If your attorney is not responsive to your request, you may wish to file a complaint with the New York state regulatory agency for attorneys. You may also wish to consider finding new counsel.
I am sorry for your accident and subsequent difficulties you are experiencing with your current attorney. As stated previously by my fellow attorney, soft tissue injuries such as yours are often more difficult to quantify. In NY an actionable injury must be serious enough to meet a certain threshold. This typically includes severe fractures, broken bones, and some types of soft tissue injury. Your summary lacks sufficient detail with respect to your treament to give more specific guidance. However, there is no justification for an attorney not to respond to reasonable requests for a status update. I agree that you should schedule a meeting with your attorney and complel him/her to let you know what is going on. Has the case even been filed? if the attorney refuses to meet with you or provide you with satisfactory information you may have to report it to your local bar Association or Grievance Committee. I respectfully suggest that this is a last resort and should only be taken if all reasonable steps have been taken to first work this out with your attorney. Good Luck!
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