You need to be confident that your lawyer upholds the law and has your best interests at heart.
Your workers’ compensation settlement could be the difference between being able to afford the care you need or being trapped in debt. That is a lot of pressure on one case, but the right attorney can navigate those waters with ease.
That being said, not all attorneys have the experience or work ethics that are worthy of your time and money. If your attorney demonstrates any of these five traits it might be time to start looking for a change in legal representation.
5 Red Flags to Look For
- No Updates – An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer knows how stressful of a time this is for you, so a good lawyer will be providing you with regular updates. If you have to call your lawyer time and time again before you get any information, this is definitely a red flag.
- Poor Communication – A lack of communication on behalf of your lawyer conveys that they may be disorganized or overworked. Those are hardly qualities you want in an attorney. You should be hearing from your attorney on a regular basis through your preferred means of contact.Keep in mind that communication is a two way street, meaning you also be mindful of cultivating honest and frequent communication. Neglecting to answer your attorney’s questions, forgetting to respond to their emails, and procrastinating with paperwork can delay your case and frustrate your lawyer.
- Disorganization – You may be tempted to ignore your lawyer’s disorganization, but consider that if they are disorganized with you, a paying client, how do you think they will treat other lawyers, the insurance company, or the judge? Can you trust your disorganized attorney with meeting court deadlines? Missing deadlines could result in forfeiting your case, so disorganization is not a quality that should be overlooked.
- Hidden Fees – A trustworthy lawyer should give you an itemized budget of all fees and expenses. Unscrupulous lawyers may seduce you with a low rate then pad the bill with hidden fees. Not only is this terrible for your finances, but it probably conveys dishonesty in your lawyer.Maintaining open and honest communication is one of the most important aspects of a successful relationship between lawyer and client. If you can’t trust your lawyer, this is going to cause major stress and communication problems. You also don’t want to be legally represented in court by someone who may have a bad reputation in the community.
- Lacks Strong Work Ethics – There are state rules that govern the conduct of lawyers. This is known as legal ethics. A lawyer agrees to uphold the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, or legal ethics, set by the American Bar Association (ABA). For instance: Does your lawyer keep confidentiality? Does he have a strong work ethic? Is he trustworthy?All of these traits are essential because you and your case are important. You need to be confident that your lawyer upholds the law and has your best interests at heart.
The Right Work Comp Attorney
The right attorney can make all of the difference. This is especially true in complicated workers’ compensation cases. Unfortunately, unprofessional and unethical lawyers do exist.
Your case is extremely important and your attorney should view it as such. When you pick a lawyer, you need one that you can trust and know is competent.
For more than 20 years, the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has been representing victims of work-related accidents in and around the St. Louis area. Call us today to request a Free consultation at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online case evaluation form.