If you’re dealing with a personal injury situation, a lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your losses, especially for something as serious as a brain injury. In some cases, it can happen that, during the legal process, you realize that you are unsatisfied with your attorney’s services.
They may become less responsive and answer your calls less frequently. Or, you might not be happy with the way they are speaking to you. What can you do in such situations? Can you seek out a new lawyer?
The answer is, Yes! You are absolutely allowed to seek out a new lawyer if you aren’t happy with the one you originally hired. The outcome of your future recovery may depend on it, and so it’s in your best interests to make sure you have the right legal representation for you.
At the Brain Injury Law Center, we understand the sensitive and complex nature of brain injury cases, and how important it is to work with the lawyer you’re most comfortable with. If you have questions about hiring a lawyer, or replacing your current one, contact us at (757) 244-7000 for more information.
Read on to learn more about when you should change your brain injury lawyer.
When Should You Change Your Brain Injury Attorney?
You should change your brain injury attorney if you aren’t satisfied with the services they provide. There are many situations and signs that may indicate you need to make a switch.
The following are five situations when you should change your brain injury lawyer:
1) Your Lawyer Lacks Empathy and Understanding of Your Needs
A main reason why people change attorneys is if their lawyer doesn’t empathize with their situation. They may come across as cold and heartless. They might say things like, “You’re probably just fine” or “It’s not that serious.”
With brain injury cases, your injuries are likely to uproot your life and cause financial, emotional, and psychological upheaval. If your attorney doesn’t acknowledge or comprehend the challenges you’re going through, it will make the process long and difficult.
A lack of empathy can often be traced to inexperience — if a lawyer hasn’t handled many cases, they may not understand the turmoil involved with such injuries. Conversely, a lack of compassion can also result if the lawyer is burnt out and their “heart isn’t in it” anymore.
No brain injury client deserves to be treated like that. If this is happening to you, it might be time to switch lawyers.
2) Your Lawyer Has Become Unresponsive
At the beginning, your lawyer may have been prompt in responding when you reach out to them. However, it’s not a good sign if, over time, they don’t return your calls, texts, or emails, or if they are slow in doing so.
Or, if they direct you to speak to their paralegal or legal assistant rather than communicating directly with you, that’s not good either. Your questions and concerns are important, and many of them may be time-sensitive. If they don’t get back to you right away, it could mean a missed deadline or other negative consequences.
You deserve to be heard right away and not given the run-around by the team staff. Consider switching lawyers if you can’t get a hold of your current one within a reasonable time period.
3) Your Lawyer Doesn’t Prioritize Your Case
On a related note, you might be able to get a hold of your lawyer, but there may be tell-tale signs that they aren’t prioritizing your case. For instance, they might repeatedly re-schedule meetings with you, or may mention that they have to work on other items before yours. You may feel like your case is on the back burner of their pile of assignments.
Lawyers have a duty to represent you diligently. American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct state, “A lawyer’s workload must be controlled so that each matter can be handled competently.” An inability to prioritize your case could be a sign that their workload is too high, or the firm is short-staffed in some capacity.
Contact another lawyer if you feel your current lawyer isn’t representing you diligently. Not only is it important for your case, but a bar association violation may be occurring.
4) Your Lawyer’s Work Is Unsatisfactory
At the end of the day, you want to win your case so you can obtain the financial assistance needed for your recovery. Unsatisfactory work could jeopardize your damages and result in lower amounts, or worse, a verdict in the other side’s favor.
Unsatisfactory legal work might include:
- Missed deadlines
- Errors in forms or documents
- Misapplications or misinterpretations of the law
- Missed important pieces of information or evidence
- Overall weak legal strategy and planning
Even small mistakes could cost you in the long run. Be alert and pay attention to the details of your case and how your lawyer is handling them.
5) Your Lawyer Doesn’t Respect Your Decisions
While lawyers have special legal training and education, at the end of the day, it’s your case, and all important decisions should be made by you. Another word for lawyer is “counsel” or “counselor,” and it means just that — they are there to counsel you, but all major decisions are ultimately up to you.
A common example is the decision of whether to pursue a trial or engage in settlement negotiations after a truck accident. You may want to go to trial if a settlement offer is too low in your opinion. But, if your lawyer pushes back and forces you to take a settlement, watch out — that’s a red flag. Your lawyer should respect and honor your wishes when it comes to major case decisions.
Additional Points to Consider When Changing Brain Injury Lawyers
Now that you’ve made the decision to change lawyers, what else should you consider? Here are some tips when selecting a new lawyer:
- Experience: Consider the new attorney’s track record of verdicts and settlements returned. As mentioned, the lawyer’s experience could have bearing on their ability to understand your case needs.
- Reputation: Reading testimonials and reviews about an attorney can give you first-hand insights into how they handle cases and treat their clients.
- Mission statement: An attorney or law firm’s mission statement is important. Firms that handle a broad range of cases might be stretched thin, but firms that handle specific cases often have laser focus when it comes to those issues. At the Brain Injury Law Center, head and brain injury cases are our signature case type.
Lastly, you should take action as soon as possible if you think your current attorney isn’t a good fit for you. It’s easier to do so when the case hasn’t progressed as far, though you can change lawyers at any point during the process. Some attorneys work in partnership with others to transfer cases to one another when needed.
Contact Us if You Need to Switch Brain Injury Attorneys
Brain injury cases are highly distinct and unique cases within injury law. Your attorney needs to know highly technical information, such as the long-term effects of a concussion. They also need a particular kind of sensitivity to deal with the client’s specific brain injury-related needs.
For instance, the client might be unable to speak or move on their own, or they may need assistance from a loved one. These types of considerations need to be factored in when selecting a brain injury attorney.
Why Hire the Brain Injury Law Center
The Brain Injury Law Center is devoted specifically to serving brain injury survivors and helping their families recover. Just as a skilled doctor is needed for physical recovery, so also an experienced attorney is needed to obtain the ideal amount of compensation under the law.
If you suffered a brain injury and need an additional opinion about your current legal representation, contact us at (757) 244-7000 for a consultation. We can make sure the transition happens smoothly and that no steps are missed along the way.