Is Your Personal Injury Attorney Ignoring You or Working on Your Case?

As an attorney that meets with my clients face to face before taking their case, I make sure that my communication with them is clear and uniform as to what they can expect from my end. One of the biggest complaints I hear from clients, potential clients, or current clients of other attorneys shopping around is that they can not get in touch with or get updates from their attorney. To this I say simply, "the wheels of justice are slow."

First and foremost, if they have another attorney, I tell them I can't help them or talk with them, they need to discuss that with their attorney. On a side note, if they are complaining about their current attorney, they are going to complain about me 9 times out of 10. It doesn't matter who has their case, they are "high maintenance".

Granted there are some bad apples in any profession and there are people that will complain about a beautiful day being too hot or too cold. Nothing is ever good enough for them. Keep in mind the time line of your personal injury case is largely dependent upon your injuries improving or your reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI).  There are several other factors to consider as well but most cases take time and have no definitive value or ending point until you are as good as you are going to get from the trauma, or injury, you incurred.

The South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.4, states:

(a) A lawyer shall:
(1) promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client's informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(f), is required by these Rules;
(2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be accomplished;
(3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;
(4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and
(5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation. (emphasis added).

Notice the word "reasonable" mentioned several times and highlighted above. As one of my friends in sales stated one time, "I spend 90% of my time on 10% of my clients." I want you to be educated and informed about your case and the process it takes from the beginning. However,  if you call every week, sometimes there is nothing new to tell you. At the same time, if you haven't heard from my office or had any contact with my office in 8 months-- we may need to talk.

 

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