American car accident statistics are pretty eye-opening. Of the 3 million people who sustain injuries in car accidents each year, 2/3rds are left with long-term or permanent disabilities.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may find yourself working with a car accident lawyer to file a personal injury claim. What if that lawyer isn’t doing their job well?
When you’re filing a personal injury claim, you’re racing the clock and accruing debt. The last thing you need is a lawyer that isn’t making your situation any better–and may even be making it worse.
Not sure if you should fire your car accident attorney? Read on for seven signs that you should.
1. They Aren’t Car Accident Lawyers
This one might sound counterintuitive on a list about bad car accident lawyers, but it’s a point worth making. While all lawyers received an education in law, they don’t possess expertise in all areas of the law. If you’re not working with a car accident lawyer (aka a personal injury lawyer), you’re not getting the best representation.
Confused about how to hire a car accident lawyer? Give this blog a read to avoid running into the same issues the second time around.
2. There’s No Communication
You keep sending emails and calling your lawyer’s office but they aren’t answering or they’re giving you half-baked responses. If it feels like your lawyer is dodging you, then you have a serious problem. Either your lawyer isn’t invested in your case or they’re so over-booked that they can’t give your case the time it deserves.
A good lawyer is going to keep you up to date at all times. You’ll have an easy time reaching them or their team to get the answers you want and receive prompt updates.
3. They’re Making Promises
Sure, you want to work with a car accident lawyer who is confident about your odds. In fact, if your lawyer is pessimistic or unenthusiastic about your case, that’s a pretty good sign that you should look for someone else. Still, there is a pretty big red flag when it comes to extreme optimism.
No respectable lawyer is going to make promises they can’t actually promise. That means telling you that they will win your case no matter what or that they will secure a certain dollar amount no matter what. Lawsuits are never a guaranteed success and any lawyer who says that they are is dishonest.
4. They’re Pushing You to Settle Fast
While it is true that most personal injury claims settle outside of court, it’s also expected that it will take some back and forth before you can reach a settlement. Most of the time, the defendant’s team will offer a low settlement right away in the hope that you’ll accept it in exchange for a quick case. Remember that you’re hiring a lawyer to avoid the low settlement, not to accept it the moment it’s offered.
If a lawyer is pushing you to accept a low settlement, it tends to mean one thing: they have a ton of cases and they’re trying to knock them all out as fast as possible. If this is ringing any bells, it’s time to fire your car accident attorney and hire a new one.
5. They’re Willing to Lie to Win Your Case
Ethics aren’t just important in a civil case; they’re a requirement. Even if you’re never asked to testify on the stand, you are still expected to present all of the facts of your case in a truthful manner.
If your lawyer is willing to lie about something pertaining to your case (such as the severity of your injuries or the amount of debt that you’re in), fire them right away. If you fight your case using exaggerated or made-up evidence, you run the risk of being charged with insurance fraud.
6. They Don’t Have a Good Track Record
One thing you should always look for before hiring a car accident attorney is references or reviews. You want to work with someone whose previous clients are willing to vouch for them and can attest to their abilities. If you’ve hired a lawyer without looking at reviews or asking for references, do so now.
If your lawyer isn’t willing to supply you with any references or can’t speak to any previous victories, it’s probably because they don’t have a good track record. Cut your losses now and find someone new to take over your case so that you’ll end up with better long-term results.
7. Their Billing Is Unclear
The vast majority of personal injury lawyers work on what’s called contingency. That means that their pay comes out of your settlement, rather than in the form of upfront fees. Furthermore, they should be willing to provide you with a set percentage that they will take from your settlement–assuming that you get one.
If your lawyer is asking for cash upfront or charging you for individual services along the way, it’s time to find someone new. If they won’t answer your questions about fees or contingencies, it’s time to find someone new. A reputable lawyer will always tell you how their billing works before you even hire them.
Don’t Work With a Bad Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re looking to secure a settlement after getting injured in a car accident, the last thing you need is to work with a bad car accident lawyer. Sometimes, you don’t realize how bad your lawyer is until you’ve already hired them. Use this guide to make sure that you know when to fire a bad car accident lawyer before it’s too late.
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