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How do you know a personal injury lawyer has your best interest in mind?

How do you know a personal injury lawyer has your best interest in mind?

personal injury
Nevada W asked:

I hired a med malpractice attorney to negot settlement for me. The offending med pro had previously offered to settle my case & I was under the impression that the attorney would be able to complete the transaction in a timely manner. Once he became aware of the intricacies of my case & the possible $ amount a lawsuit would bring, he started trying to get me to convert from the $300 p/h rate to the contingency rate. Now, over a year has pasted and there is no sign of a settlement. The offending med. pro. insurance co. has not communicated with my attorney in some time. In retrospect, I have no idea if my lawyer even submitted our counter offer to the insurance co. By way of the “grapevine” I heard that the offending med prof says she is being sued by me. I have no intention of getting involved in a lawsuit when a settlement is (was?) at hand. How can I check and make sure the lawyer is representing my best interest and not just waiting for me to give in to a suit and make himself big $
Thank you for your input. See here is the problem. We created a counter offer settlement letter. But how do I know that it was submitted to the opposing counsel and the insurance company? The counter had a expiration date. The insurance co. never replied. In the mean time, I found out more detail regarding the offending provider (unlicensed employees carrying out duties that require state license etc…) When my offending providers state license expired, her insurance company dropped her. So. Is it possible that the original insurance company is WANTING me to file suit, thus the NEW insurance company will have to defend the offending provider? I have no idea, and I am operating in the dark.

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  1. googlehammer says:

    From what I have seen ,they are all crooked as the day is long.Good luck finding one that is really on your side,and will stay on top of things.They just want your money .

  2. tianjian_8 says:

    First, if a lawsuit was initiated without your approval, it would be legal malpractice (assuming you were hurt somehow) and actionable through a bar complaint as well. You can check by calling the court. Second, settlement negotiations will not be very effective unless you do sue, because the threat of a suit is just speculation. Third, it is best if both a lawsuit and settlement negotiation time line proceed concurrently. Fourth, the number one complaint levied to bar associations by clients is a failure by the attorney to adequately inform the client. Your attorney is your agent, you tell him how it is going to be, he can control trial tactics and that is all, he cannot tell you what is best for you, YOU ARE THE BOSS. If you don’t like him fire him and lodge a bar complaint. Write a complaint to him and if he does not respond in a timely and adequate manner consult your local bar association about making a complaint. Last, never trust the grapevine, that’s how good relationships end.

  3. perfectvelvet says:

    The attorney could make a lot more money off of you by sticking with an hourly rate than he could by doing a contingency fee; injury attorneys would love to take on a case on a per-hour basis.

    I am assuming the reason you went to an attorney in the first place was because you didn’t feel you were getting the proper compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies are never going to give you what you deserve unless you’re going through an attorney because they know that you, as a common citizen, do not know the law and what your case would be worth to a jury of your peers. Going through an attorney is actually a good thing in cases like these. If he looked at your case and took you on, he definitely thinks it has potential; med mal cases are extremely costly, and no attorney is going to try one unless it has merit.

    If you’re dissatisfied with your attorney, contact him. Ask for copies of all correspondence that goes out, and get a status update. He’s not charging you by the hour, and his number one priority is you. Ask him where things are standing as far as negotiations. Attorneys cannot make settlement decisions or file suit without your consent, so it is likely that the offending medical provider was saying you have a lawsuit against her because you hired an attorney. If they refuse to negotiate with you and will not offer what you deserve, it will likely need to go into litigation. That doesn’t mean it WON’T settle, but it might give the defense a push in the direction toward settling since that is much cheaper.

    Don’t keep an attorney you don’t trust. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, there are some bad apples (and that’s why lawyers are so hated, because of the bad examples). Contact him directly, or his assistant if he’s not in, and ask what’s going on. Ask for copies of documents, and see what’s expected of you.

    If you’re getting a bad vibe, find someone else to take on your case. But with a med mal issue, I strongly recommend an attorney. You will not get what you deserve without one.

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