If I was in a car accident and my attorney is not useful, can I do anything? 15 Answers as of August 10, 2015

I cannot pay my bills after all this, and my lawyer is absolutely no help. I hired a lawyer to help me deal with the insurance company after I got in a car wreck last July. However, he has not helped me at all, and the case is far from being settled. I need settle this or find another way to get some money. My doctor needs to still give his report about my condition, too.

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Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Make an appointment, sit down with your lawyer, explain your needs and ask what the game plan is. If you are not satisfied, get another lawyer.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/10/2015
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Even marriages that are supposed to be forever end. Fire the lawyer and get someone else.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/7/2015
Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
You may need to have candid conversation with your attorney about the delay. A lot of times lawyers do not file a lawsuit and get the case moving for several reasons. There may be cost reason, strategic reason and I do not know why there has been no movement in your case. If your attorney is the one that hopes that a case may settle as time passes, it may be wishful thinking since these days insurance companies do not spit out money without a fight. You can always seek an opinion from an experienced lawyer. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Meet with the attorney and tell him/her that you are unhappy and why. Ask to look at your file to see how much and what work they have done. If you are still undergoing medical treatment it may not be wise to settle yet. But since you need the money now, see if your Dr. can give an estimate of the cost of future care and whether you will have any permanent injuries. You can always fire an attorney, but make sure it is not because of the normal delays in handling personal injury cases.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2015
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
Sadly cases take time to process and potentially settle. I would suggest you attempt to communicate with your attorney and explain your situation. Generally, if this is Michigan, your claim will be against your insurer for lost wages and medical expenses. It really all depends on what coverages you purchased and the circumstances of the accident.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/6/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Your lawyer may have less than diligent. Or other parties, such as the insurer, or the doctor, may be dilatory. I suggest you arrange a conference with your lawyer and let him or her know your concerns, and give him or her an opportunity to fix things. If that doesn't work, or if you've tried it already without success, you are always free to fire your lawyer and hire another.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
    Until a report and settlement demand is done. I would not recommend settlement, find out why you attorney isn't helping is treatment finished? If not it not ready for settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Fire your lawyer and find another.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    You do not give too much in the way of specific facts to support your claim that your attorney has done nothing and that the case has dragged on too long. Often, personal injury cases take time to come to a resolution, either by settlement or by verdict. There are two issues a plaintiff must prove, liability and damages. Both might take time to conclude before the attorneys are in position to discuss settlement of the case. One of the key issues of a personal injury case is the medical assessment of the damages. The testimony of the doctors involved is crucial for establishing that the actions of the defendant caused the injuries and the extent to which a plaintiff is injured. Often it can be difficult to obtain a medical report from the doctor because writing them and later testifying at depositions is low their priority list. They would rather be practicing medicine. If you truly want to switch attorneys in the middle of your case you can always do so. However, often this will make things more complicated for the attorney who assumes the case and the former attorney might assert a lien against any recovery for time he or she put in on the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    If you are not happy get another lawyer. The two lawyers will split the same fee bases on their work performed.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    In a MI car crash, your vehicle insurer typically will pay you 85% of your lost gross wage, pay your medical bills (subject to deductibles and/or coordinated coverages, if purchased) and for folks to replace your household services. So those types of income/payments typically come in without the need for attorney help. If the insurer refuses to pay, or pays and then terminates benefits, you would likely want to hire counsel. If the matter is in litigation, the insurer usually won't pay ongoing benefits and you have to wait until the matter is settled or goes to trial. Often, once in suit, a matter can't be settled, if it will be, until Case Evaluation occurs or a Settlement Conference is held by the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Goldstein and Peck. P.C.
    Goldstein and Peck. P.C. | William J. Kupinse, Jr
    What to do when a lawyer is not doing his or her job is a recurring question. The first step is to talk to the attorney. If that does not resolve the problem, the client should seek a new attorney. Depending upon the circumstances, it may also be possible and appropriate to file a grievance against the nonperforming attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You have the right to fire your attorney if you are not satisfied with his services. If you decide to terminate the services of your lawyer, he would have to be paid for the time he spent on your case (normally at the settlement of the case).
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You can change attorneys at any time.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Robinette Legal Group, PLLC
    Robinette Legal Group, PLLC | Jeffery Robinette
    It is always best to try to work things out with your own attorney. You may think that because your lawyer hasn't communicated with you lately there is nothing going on. You may be surprised to learn that a great deal of research and discovery has been conducted on your behalf. If you have reasonable cause to believe that your lawyer really is not doing anything for you, consult with a possible replacement lawyer. You will still owe your initial lawyer fees for any work done on your case and repayment for any charges made on your behalf. If your lawsuit has been filed with the Court, a dismissal order from a judge will be required before your new attorney can begin working for you.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 8/6/2015
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