What Should I Expect From My Personal Injury Lawyer?
The attorney-client relationship is the result of one of the most serious choices you can make in your life. It is on par with the selection of a surgeon or any other specialist. In personal injury this relationship was likely born out of a serious and painful injury. You rely on your lawyer to guide you and fight for you – to be your voice, your sword and your shield.
You have the right to expect certain things from your attorney. To be successful, those expectations should go both ways and your attorney is entitled to reasonable expectations of you too. All of it is based on trust and respect and together, you and your attorney can hopefully achieve the justice and compensation that you deserve.
Here is what you should expect from your personal injury lawyer and what that lawyer should be able to expect from you:
- I expect my lawyer to diligently move my case forward.
- I expect and require my lawyer to call me back within a reasonable time frame.
- I expect my lawyer to update me if something important happens whether it is good or bad.
- I expect that if I ask to talk to my lawyer, that my lawyer will talk to me or call me back and not a secretary or paralegal.
- I expect my lawyer to treat me with respect and with kindness.
- I expect my lawyer not to talk down to me.
- I expect my lawyer not to raise his or her voice when talking to me.
- I expect my lawyer to prepare me carefully and diligently if I my statement or deposition is being taken.
- I expect my lawyer to be prepared prior to any court hearing, deposition, or trial.
- I expect my lawyer to timely file all court ordered papers.
- I expect my lawyer to calendar and comply with court orders.
- I expect my lawyer to keep an organized calendar that is timely updated and to attend and not miss any important events.
- I expect and demand that my lawyer tells me if he or she has a conflict of interest.
- I recognize that, like me, my lawyer has the choice as to who he or she wants to represent. I promise that I will behave in a professional and reasonable fashion during my interactions with my lawyer. And, I agree that if I do not, I understand that my lawyer can discharge me.
- I understand that my case can take months or years to conclude. Because my lawyers do not settle every case but rather fight many of them in court, I understand that my case can take longer.
- I understand that, during the first couple of months, my attorneys are collecting records and monitoring my case. Thus, during that period, if I call to ask about what is going on in my case, I am likely to hear “your lawyer is obtaining records and bills and monitoring your medical care.”
- I will keep my lawyer updated on where I am receiving medical treatment. I will give names and addresses of any new doctors either over the phone or via email.
- I will return my lawyer’s calls and will update my lawyer if I move.
- If I call my lawyer, I will give him or her 24 hours to call me back. I will try not to call a second time within that time period unless it is a true emergency.
- I understand that, if I call to ask for an update, I will try first to get an acceptable answer from a paralegal. That said, I have a right to call and talk to my lawyer on reasonable intervals.
- I understand that the way I will get information from my lawyer is via calling and asking my lawyer or the paralegal questions. Unless it is something important and material to the case, my lawyer will not update me regularly unless I call and ask. Thus, time may pass where I do not hear from my lawyer. That does not mean that my lawyer is not working on the case.
- I understand that my lawyers work as a team. Thus, I may interact with different lawyers from time to time.
- I will not raise my voice over the phone to my lawyer or his or her staff.
- I will not threaten my lawyer.
- I will respect the time and effort my lawyer puts into my case. I recognize that to get a settlement, my lawyer needs to do a significant amount of work on my case. If a settlement is arrived at, I will not tell my lawyer that all he or she did was send some letters. I understand that it takes much more than that to get to a settlement.
- Per my fee agreement, I understand that, if my lawsuit needs to get filed in court, that means that, in my lawyer’s opinion, this is the only way to get reasonable value for my case. And, if my case is litigated, I understand that the fees go up to 40%. I recognize that the fees go up to 40% when my case is litigated. Litigation can mean the filing of a complaint, answer and nothing else. Sometimes, this is what it takes to get the defendant to make a reasonable offer. Also, litigation includes the written discovery I do with my lawyer, depositions taken of me, and the many court filings and possible appearances involved in litigation. I will not tell my lawyer that he or she is not entitled to 40% because my case did not go to trial. I understand that the above events are litigation.
- If my case settles, I understand that there are a lot of things that can affect how much I will get like medical bills, costs, and attorney’s fees. If I am given an estimate at the time of settlement, I understand that it is an estimate. Despite that, my lawyers will do their very best to accurately tell me what I am likely to receive. However, I understand that things like medical bills and costs and attorney’s fees can affect my net.
- I understand and agree that any medical bills or fees paid to my lawyers or doctors via deduction from the gross settlement are a direct benefit to me. In fact, if not for the contingency fee arrangement and settlement, I would have had to pay one or both out of pocket.
- I will not base my evaluation of the value of my case on what I want or need in the way of money. I will not expect a sum that is more than the reasonable amount of my pain, suffering, and medical bills. I will not figuratively spend my money before I get it.
- I understand that all settlements are for gross numbers. The other side, through that gross number, is technically paying my lawyer and medical bills. I acknowledge that this is of value to me. In fact, if I had to pay my lawyer by the hour, I may not have been able to pursue the case.
- I understand and agree not to compare any settlement to something that I saw on a billboard or a story that my friend or family member told me.
- Finally, I understand that if I am not professional, my lawyer can discharge me. And, my attorney understands that, similarly, if my lawyer is not professional, then the client may discharge the lawyer.
At the Wolfson Law Firm in Fort Myers, our personal injury attorneys are here to help you as your:
- Fort Myers Car Accident Lawyer
- Fort Myers Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney
- Fort Myers Trip and Fall Attorney
- Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Fort Myers Wrongful Death Attorney
We pride ourselves in aggressively defending our clients. We treat our clients with the utmost respect and diligently pursue the compensation that they deserve. We invite you to view the reviews of our past clients as well as our results. We would be honored to interview with you. We want to be the lawyer you entrust your personal injury case to, and we will stand by your side from beginning to end. Just call us at (239) 777-9954 and let us answer your questions.
The Wolfson Law Firm has represented injury victims since 1963 throughout Florida. We have offices in Fort Myers, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach to serve our clients anywhere in Florida. We litigate cases in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, Key West, Orlando, Tampa, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.