Poor communication, combativeness, lack of respect, and arrogance are common signs of a bad lawyer. Remember, a bad lawyer will only frustrate you. Thus, work with a lawyer you trust.
Look for a lawyer who is willing to listen to you. Plus, if you suspect that you are working with a bad lawyer, consider replacing him/her with another attorney. Here are common signs that you are working with a bad lawyer.
1. No Communication
Is your attorney avoiding your calls? Does he or she provide real-time responses to your emails? If so, then it’s time you consider firing them and getting yourself a new lawyer. Your lawyer is either overloaded with other tasks or is deliberately ignoring you.
A good attorney will keep providing you with regular updates regarding your case. Plus, he or she must respond to your requests promptly.
2. Lack Of Experience
Does your lawyer have expert knowledge about your specific type of case? Being an extremely complex field, it’s imperative to hire a specialist attorney.
A lawyer who helped you navigate a traffic-related case might not necessarily be an expert in handling your car crash case.
So, if you feel like your current lawyer doesn’t have specialized knowledge about your type of case, then it’s time you consider replacing them with a new attorney.
3. Over Promising
Every attorney will strive to ensure that you get maximum compensation for your damages. However, most of them won’t guarantee you that you’ll win the case. Rather, they’ll promise to do everything they can to help you win the case. A lawyer who assures you that they can do this isn’t being honest.
4. Pushes You into Accepting Things Against Your Will
Don’t let anyone force you to accept what you aren’t comfortable with. Your lawyer should be in the forefront trying to help you get the most desirable settlement offer. But some attorneys might push you to accept an initial offer from the defending party’s insurer.
5. Lies All the Time
An attorney who asks you to exaggerate your damages isn’t a good person. If you agree to do what they ask of you and are discovered, you may be convicted of fraud. Thus, be sure to work with a reputable attorney who’ll always abide by the rule of law.
5. No Reviews
Reviews and testimonials are an incredible way to judge the efficiency of an attorney. If your lawyer doesn’t have any positive customer reviews, it might be a red flag. They could either be inexperienced or provide poor customer service.
6. Cluttered Office
Look for an organized attorney. A lawyer who can’t keep his or her office organized might not handle your case effectively. Lack of organization could mean that the litigant finds it hard to keep track of paperwork, deadlines, as well as, other important tasks.
7. No Recent Victories
Is the attorney able to talk about their recent successes? Or does he keep talking about a case he won ten years ago? Well, if your lawyer hasn’t done much recently, it could indicate that they haven’t been keeping abreast with the latest legal strategies. Besides, this could be a sign that they can’t help you win your case either.
8. Unclear Billing
Most attorneys charge contingency fees. What this means is that you’ll only pay them if they manage to bring you compensation. And the amount you’ll pay will solely depend on the settlement amount. So, if your attorney expects you to pay upfront fees, they might be having fishy intentions.
9. Poor Attitude
One of the most desirable qualities of a personal injury attorney is empathy. Even if your lawyer offers good customer service, he or she must also be understanding and compassionate. Their empathy can significantly impact your case.
If your attorney isn’t sympathetic about your situation, they might not be able to accurately estimate your damages.
Top Questions to Ask Your Lawyer During Initial Consultation
If you’re planning to file a personal injury claim, then be sure to hire the right lawyer. Remember, the legal field is quite complex. And without a qualified attorney, you might find it difficult to navigate the legal process. While it’s important to seek referrals from friends and family, it’s imperative to conduct your research to identify an attorney who shares your values.
But how do you go about this? Well, here are some of the questions you should ask your lawyer, to see if they’re equal to the task:
1. Have You Tackled Similar Cases Before?
Are you conversant with my specific type of case? Have you handled similar cases before? Was the outcome desirable or not? Don’t forget to inquire about specific verdicts and settlements. It’s also important to ask them if they’re familiar with the judges who’ll be hearing your case.
Asking these questions will help you determine if the attorney has the right experience to handle your case.
2. What’s Your Trial Experience?
Did you know that most personal injury claims are settled out of court? Well, now you know. Nonetheless, some of these cases are resolved through a jury trial. As such, you need to hire a skilled lawyer who has exceptional negotiation skills. This will ensure that you get the best possible settlement.
3. Do You Have Any Misconduct?
Look for a respectful attorney. Make sure that he or she hasn’t been previously accused of misconduct. Otherwise, you might not be represented with integrity. Remember, it’s your right to know if the lawyer you’re considering has been previously accused of violating the law.
4. Is There Any Conflict of Interest in This Case?
Your attorney should let you know of any conflicts of interest regarding your case. If he or she is doing business with the defending party, for instance, that would directly amount to a conflict of interest. But this doesn’t mean that all conflicts are deal-breakers. However, it’s important to beware of any conflicts before hiring a personal injury lawyer. Make sure that the attorney you choose is unequivocally on your side.
5. How Do You Evaluate This Case?
This is the next question you should ask your lawyer. This will form part of your initial consultation. Here is where you will measure the honesty of your lawyer.
A good lawyer should be honest with the evaluation. He/she will go through the facts of the case before giving you an honest opinion.
The lawyer will consider several variables and other factors before giving you an opinion. Be truthful with your lawyer. Bring all the factors to the table. Avoid getting too emotional.
Remember, this is the time to know whether you are taking your case to court. You will also understand how much you expect from your case.
6. Can You Tell the Strengths, Weaknesses of This Case?
A good lawyer will quickly spot the highs and lows in any case. The highs make the case stronger. On the other hand, the lows will automatically disadvantage you. As a victim, it’s important to understand your case. This will help you have realistic expectations. Plus, you will know how to handle difficult situations. Thus. Ask the lawyer about the strengths in your case. At the same time, request him to explain the main weaknesses in your case.
7. What Is the Value of This Case?
What’s the main motivation for taking your case to court? Get enough compensation, right? Well, then it’s your right to understand how much your personal injury case is worth.
Among other things, your lawyer will look into the evidence presented. Still more, the extent of your injuries will be used to evaluate the worth of your case.
While severe injuries can be worth millions of dollars, their minor counterparts can bring you a few thousand dollars. Getting these facts will help you manage your expectations.
8. What’s Your Approach?
Lawyers are trained to handle cases differently. Plus, your case is different. It requires a different approach. Your lawyer should come up with the right approach to handle your case.
Thus, it’s important to seek clarification regarding the approach to be used in handling your case. Which strategy will that lawyer use? Does he/she have an elaborate plan?
What are the positives in your case? What about the negatives? Is your third-party claim worth the effort? These questions will help you choose the most competent lawyer for your case.
9. Do You Have a Contract?
Of course, the relationship you are about to establish is serious. It must be defined by a valid contract. In the contract, you will have to agree with certain guidelines and rules.
Still more, the contract will spell out the fees to be paid. Commonly, lawyers tend to work on a contingency basis. Read the contract carefully.
Understand the terms in the contract. Avoid signing a blank contract. Ask questions if there are areas you don’t understand.
10. What Are the Applicable Fees?
Finally, you will have to pay for the services of that lawyer. Thus, it’s important to understand the payment structure. In particular, ask about the applicable fees. Will he/she charge you on a contingency basis? Will he/she stick to the hourly rates?
In most cases, lawyers will charge you on a contingency basis. Here, they will get paid once the case is won. Normally, they will take up to 30 percent of the claim if won.
Also, talk about the fees. Consider discussing the expenses applicable. This includes filing fees, bringing in expert witnesses, and photocopying court documents. Make sure you understand these finer details to minimize future conflicts.
11. What Are the Timelines of This Case?
Of course, any case can take months to years to resolve. However, it depends on the complexity of your case. It’s important to have a rough estimate. A good lawyer can predict the duration of your case. Getting a rough estimate will help manage your expectations. It’s important to note that court processes are explicit. Nobody has control over this process. So, bear with any unforeseen delays.
12. What Are the Options? Should The Case Go on Trial?
According to research findings, most personal accident victims opt for an out-of-court settlement. Thus, a good number of cases don’t go to full trial.
Here, both parties can sit down and negotiate. This is done with the help of a good mediator. Whatever is agreed upon, it is considered legally binding. Thus, it’s important to seek clarification from your lawyer.
If possible, tell him/her that you want to settle the case out of court. An out-of-court settlement is quick and straightforward. Plus, it can be a cheaper option.
13. Who Will Handle This Case?
Of course, you can take your case to a reputable firm. It will give you peace of mind knowing that your case is in the right hands. However, did you know that these law firms can hire paralegals to handle some cases? It’s a fact. Plus, if your case is handled by an inexperienced lawyer, things can go wrong.
Winning the case can be hard. This is especially true if your case is complicated. That’s why you should insist that your case is handled by an experienced attorney.
Discuss this issue with your lawyer. If that law firm has a huge caseload, look for another option. After all, your case requires time. It should be attended by a competent and experienced attorney.
Also, ask the following additional questions when looking for the right legal counsel.
- What’s your mode of communication?
- What’s my role in the whole process?
Asking questions will help you choose the right lawyer. Whether it’s a medical error lawyer or a personal injury attorney, you should ask these questions. Thus, use initial consultation wisely. This is the time to kickstart your claim process. Hire the best Med Mal Lawyer in Stamford, CT today!
If you want the most out of your medical error or personal injury case, hire a good lawyer. Choose an honest lawyer. Avoid combative lawyers. Stay away from lawyers who are out to take your money. Plus, if you suspect that your lawyer isn’t trustworthy, hire a new one.