Do you have an ongoing personal injury, wrongful death or workers’ comp case in Atlanta but aren’t sure how it’s progressing because your attorney seems to be missing in action?
Your Lawyer Is Busy with Other Cases
Your attorney may not be able to respond to you right away because they’re dealing with another client’s negotiations or trial. Being busy with another client isn’t an excuse to completely fail to respond to another client. Even if your lawyer is working on another case, they should still get back to you within a day or two at the most.
Your lawyer owes you responsive communication, even if you’re not their only client. There’s no excuse for an attorney who takes weeks to return calls or emails.
The Insurance Company Is Delaying Negotiations
You may not hear from your attorney for a while due to ongoing settlement negotiations or procedural aspects of your case.
Delaying is a typical insurance company tactic used during settlement negotiations. People seriously injured in accidents are often unable to earn an income to pay their bills. The insurance company sometimes uses the financial anxiety and desperation of injury victims as leverage during negotiations.
The insurance company can afford to wait, but the injured person often doesn’t have that luxury.
This waiting game the insurance company is playing could be why you haven’t heard from your attorney in a while. There may be nothing to report because the insurance company hasn’t sent back a counteroffer to your lawyer’s most recent demand letter.
Another potential cause for silence from your lawyer is court processes. Courts often have a backlog of cases, especially right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your case could be waiting in line for months, a year or even longer. During these long periods of waiting, you may not hear from your attorney, and they may not be super responsive if there’s nothing new to report. These months of limbo can be frustrating, but these delays may also be unavoidable.
You May Not be a High Priority for Your Attorney
Not every attorney budgets their time well. When attorneys have too many concurrent cases, clients can easily get left behind at both large law firms and small ones.
Prominent personal injury law firms with dozens of attorneys and potentially hundreds of simultaneous cases often take an assembly line approach to case management. Your personal injury case may be a widget on their conveyor belt. At some point, your case may even get passed off to other lawyers or paralegals.
Complaints of poor communication are all too common when reading through reviews of the larger law firms. You may see past clients say things like, “At first they were communicative, but then I went six months without hearing from my lawyer.”
The risk of having your case put on the back burner isn’t unique to big law firms – it can happen at small law firms as well. Some attorneys at small law firms lack the resources to adequately handle all the cases they currently have, resulting in poor communication.
Your Chances for Success Have Gone Down
Shifting expectations of case value can harm client communication. If your lawyer thinks your case could be worth a million dollars or more, they’re going to pursue it more vigorously than they would a $20,000 lawsuit.
If your personal injury attorney discovers your case is only worth a fraction of what they thought the potential payout was at the beginning, you may see a dramatic drop in responsiveness and urgency from your lawyer.
Personal injury lawyers are people too – some of them authentically care about their clients; others care far more about the money. Lawyers who are mainly interested in big payouts and high-profile cases may not be overly concerned with customer service or providing prompt replies to clients with comparatively small claims.
Just because you’re not the top priority or the center of attention doesn’t mean your lawyer doesn’t care about you, but it could explain why you’re suddenly having trouble getting your calls returned.
Preventing Communication Breakdowns
Choosing the right law firm at the start of the process is the best way to avoid bad communication with your accident attorney. Getting an accurate read on another person’s character based on a free initial consultation isn’t easy.
Think back to your own experiences in job interviews. You put your best foot forward and portray yourself as the ideal you, but that version of yourself may not be accurate at all times.
Your free initial consultation with your lawyer is essentially a job interview. You need to figure out whether the person you’re talking to is legitimate or if they’re giving you an idealized version of themselves. Making that judgment call isn’t easy, but it is crucial.
Get the Representation You Deserve
At the Dressie Law Firm in Atlanta, we take client communication seriously. We believe in keeping clients apprised of every development in their case, and we’re committed to maintaining open lines of communication.
We encourage every client who hasn’t heard from us in a while to reach out for an update. We’re always happy to discuss your case, even if all we can do right now is wait in line for our turn in court.
If you want to work with a dedicated team of attorneys passionate about doing what’s in your best interest, call the Dressie Law Firm at 770-756-6333.