Long Island Attorney BlogSpot

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hiring An Accident Lawyer is Commitment to a Partnership

When a client comes into our offices we spend a great deal of time at the initial consultation. Why? Of course its important to take down all the details of the accident. Many lawyers just take down a client's name and address and get them to sign some forms. Clearly that is wrong. However I'm talking about something different. In our consultations we take up an inordinate amount of time explaining and evaluating the client's role in our new relationship. This new relationship is no different than any other intimate relationship. It requires ,on behalf of the client, to do the following.
  • Always, Always tell the truth. No " I forgot", "I didn't think it was important", "I thought it would hurt the case"will work. Our experience is that clients do not tell us something important(like a prior accident)simply because they believe,incorrectly, that nobody will ever find out. Anybody has the potential to find out about others. Just look through the internet. Simply put if its a prior accident, a criminal conviction, a job with unreported income or anything else that may in any way be relevant tell your lawyer. 
  • If your lawyer asks you to do something or makes recommendations you should seriously consider following through on these immediately. As an example a client came in 3 months after her accident still in tremendous pain but stopped going to the physical therapist. I told her that as long as she is in pain she must continue with therapy. The insurance carrier would not look at her case the same way if she stopped treating even if she is still in pain. That was my recommendation/instruction based on twenty years of practice. I saw her 6 months later. Guess what? You got it. She never went back to therapy and her case settled for much less than it should have because of a big gap in treatment. Just like a marriage its always important to take into consideration your partners opinion and recommendations.
  • When life changes let us know. If you changed your telephone number you would not let your children and good friend know. Why would you not tell your lawyer. I had a client that moved from Long Island to New York City and she just forgot to tell me her new telephone number and her address. Make sense? When I needed her I had to hire a private investigator to find her. A complete waste of time, energy and money. If anything changes like your address, telephone, job, doctors that you are treating with let your lawyer know. It is your obligation.
  • If your not happy with your lawyer speak up! There can be numerous problems that may interfere with a good attorney client relationship,such as, failing to return calls, case not moving in a timely fashion, lawyer not explaining your case well enough and host of other possibilities. Don't let it go too far. Get a meeting with your lawyer and ...talk.