An important aspect of any attorney/client relationship is communication. If your lawyer is not keeping you informed about what is going on in your case, you have the right to fire them and hire a new attorney. If your accident and injuries are severe enough, you may wish to take it a step further by initiating disciplinary or legal action.
Lawyers Have a Professional Duty to Keep Their Clients Informed
Legal professionals have an obligation to their clients. Several key components govern successful attorney/client relationships, including:
Your lawyer should have the ability to communicate effectively, clearly answer your questions, and do so promptly. Your lawyer should also reach out to you about any changes in your case.
Your lawyer must act carefully and quickly to resolve your case. Any delays or missed deadlines could harm the outcome. If an attorney does not have enough time to give your case the devotion you deserve, they should not take you on as a client.
Your lawyer is there to offer you legal guidance, but you have the final say regarding what happens with your case. You may want to pursue a different course of action than that recommended by your lawyer. Even if your attorney disagrees with your choice, they must act according to your instructions.
The bottom line is, your lawyer should always strive to serve you competently and ethically. A legal professional should make their expected payments and fees clear to their client. Your lawyer should also adhere to rules regarding confidentiality and conflicts of interest.
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What Can You do If Your Lawyer Is Not Communicating with You?
It can be difficult to change attorneys in the middle of a case. For this reason, it may be a good idea to attempt to remedy the situation before seeking out another lawyer. If your lawyer is not keeping you informed and you have difficulty reaching them by phone or email, send a letter to their office. Be polite yet firm.
Do not threaten to fire them, file a formal complaint, or take legal action. While these are options you may ultimately consider, it is best to try to resolve your issues before taking these steps. However, you can fire them and hire another attorney if your current lawyer:
- Still does not respond
- Continues to not meet expectations regarding communication
You Could Have Grounds for a Legal Malpractice Lawsuit
If a lack of information from your attorney caused financial losses, you may have the right to seek compensation for legal malpractice. To win your case, you must prove that your lawyer’s failure to keep you informed amounted to negligence. You must also show that this negligence directly led to a negative outcome (and resulting damages).
Since a legal malpractice suit rests on negligence, it falls under the umbrella of personal injury law. If you intend to sue your attorney, you will be bound by Texas’s statute of limitations. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you have two years from the time your damages occurred to file your case in civil court. If you miss this deadline, the court will likely bar you from seeking compensation.
What Should You Look for If You Need to Hire a New Attorney?
If you have to fire your lawyer, you will need another attorney to represent you, especially if you wish to sue for legal malpractice. When hiring a new attorney, you should:
- Ensure they have experience with your particular type of case
- Discuss your case and its possible solutions and outcomes
- Be clear about when and often the lawyer will update you on your case
- Understand the attorney’s fees and payment arrangements
- Choose an attorney you feel comfortable with and with whom you feel you can effectively communicate
Do not make rash decisions. Just because you are in a serious situation with time against you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work steadily and wisely.
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Loncar Lyon Jenkins Can Help You If You Are Dissatisfied with Your Current Lawyer
If your current attorney is not keeping you informed about what is going with your case, it is time to call in the Strong Arm. Our lawyers can take over your insurance settlement or lawsuit.
Our team is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and we will never leave you in the dark about your case. To find out more about how Loncar Lyon Jenkins can serve you, call our offices at (800) 777-7777 for a free consultation.