The most common signs that you should start looking elsewhere for a personal injury lawyer
When you’re injured in an accident, there’s a long list of things going through your head. It can be a very stressful and chaotic time for you and your family. When you look for legal representation, you want to find a lawyer who’ll take the stress of your shoulders, provide reassurance, and help you get back on your feet. Not all personal injury lawyers are created equal, and unfortunately, there are some not-so-great ones out there. There are some telltale signs that your personal injury lawyer isn’t qualified enough, too busy, or just doesn’t care about your case. The sooner you can identify these signs, the sooner you can find the representation you deserve.
You shouldn’t have to chase down your personal injury lawyer just to get a simple call, text, or e-mail back. Communication is crucial, and it’s the number one quality you should always look for in a lawyer. If your attorney cannot communicate with you effectively and promptly, it can have severe implications on your case. It’s always essential to establish the best way you and your lawyer would like to communicate with each other early on in your case. If you’ve agreed on weekly phone calls or monthly e-mails, they should always uphold that agreement. Client-attorney communication should be consistent; if it’s not, it may be time to find a new personal injury lawyer.
You feel in the dark, confused, and uninformed about your case
A great personal injury lawyer will always keep you updated on the details of your case. It’s unacceptable for you, as their client, to feel confused or uninformed. Your lawyer must explain the law and your rights to you clearly and in a way that you can understand. You should feel comfortable enough to ask your lawyer questions and express concerns. Your lawyer’s job is to keep you in the loop about the evidence they find, settlement offers, and other important information.
You never speak to the same person twice
If you hire a law firm to handle your personal injury case, you may end up dealing with more than one person. However, the lawyer you meet with should always be your most primary point of contact unless otherwise specified. If a new person picks up the phone every time you call, this could be a bad sign. You want to be familiar with every person on your legal team, and they should all be well-informed on your case.
Pushing you to accept a low settlement offer or other outcomes you don’t want
Your personal injury lawyer should always act on behalf of your best interests. It’s their job to get you the most desirable outcome for your case. Be wary of lawyers who encourage you to accept low settlement offers or push you to make decisions you’re uncomfortable with. At no point should a lawyer ever advise you to sign a settlement agreement without clearly explaining its impact.
Your lawyer should always ask you about lost wages and how it’s impacted your life and household. They should also ask for medical records and evidence from your doctors or other medical providers proving the severity of your injuries. This information is crucial to determining a fair settlement offer. If your personal injury lawyer doesn’t gather this information, this is a bad sign.
Unclear billing and fees
Lawyer fees and billing processes can be very confusing and intimidating. The first sign of a bad lawyer is if they struggle or refuse to explain prices and possible charges to you. Most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. They should be able to confirm this and thoroughly explain how it works. When everything is all said and done, you shouldn’t be shocked by hidden fees and an unexpectedly high bill. Always ask your lawyer about their fees and billing practices at your initial consultation.
One of the most prominent warning signs of a bad personal injury lawyer is unethical behaviour. If your lawyer lies in court, advises you to lie, destroys evidence, or partakes in any other form of illegal activity – fire them immediately. You can avoid hiring unethical lawyers by searching the validity and standing of their license on the Law Society of Ontario website. It’s also wise to look at online reviews and check out their social media presence.
Lack of interest
You deserve a personal injury lawyer passionate about your case and getting you the compensation you deserve. A lawyer who doesn’t ask you detailed questions or seems uninterested in your case probably won’t fight tooth and nail for you. A lawyer that’s laser-focused on you and the details of your case and shows enthusiasm will inspire confidence in you. You should feel that your lawyer has your back at all times and will do whatever it takes to help you get back to a desirable quality of life.
‘Too good to be true’ promises
Every good lawyer will do everything in their power to get you the best outcome possible in your case. However, as hard as they may try, there’s never a guarantee that you’ll win. If a lawyer sounds overly confident in your case and promises you a win, they aren’t being honest with you. Trust is essential in a client-attorney relationship, so this should be a huge sign to look elsewhere.
It’s easy to find an experienced and passionate personal injury lawyer
The good news is that there are more experienced and genuine personal injury lawyers than there are bad ones. It’s important to remember that if a lawyer isn’t a good fit for your case, that doesn’t mean they’re a terrible lawyer. Similarly, a lawyer could be outstanding at their job and have an excellent reputation but still not be a good fit for your needs and your case. Don’t let a few bad apples scare you away from finding the right lawyer. Your search will be significantly more manageable when you know what to look for and what to avoid in a personal injury lawyer and firm. You’ll feel more confident in your decision.