Can I Change Attorneys?
What about injured people who hire law firms and are not happy with the way their cases are handled. Can they change attorneys? Will it cost more? Injured people who have hired us after being represented in the past by other firms, primarily large, advertising firms, often report having had problems like these:
- Whenever they call the firm, they speak with a case manager, office assistant, or maybe a paralegal, but not their attorney.
- They leave a voicemail but wait days for a return call, if any.
- Their own lawyer does not seem to remember their case until they explain it again in detail.
- They have no idea what is going on with their case.
- It has been weeks since the auto accident, and they still are without transportation because the property damage claim has not been resolved.
- They have not been able to find a doctor to treat them, and their attorney is not helping them find one.
- The insurance company is offering a lowball settlement, and their attorney wants them to take it.
How to handle this situation?
Under Florida law, there are two primary ways a person can handle this situation. First, the person can ask their existing firm permission to contact another firm for a second opinion. If the current firm consents to a second opinion, Glober+Glober will be happy to review the file for free and offer an opinion regarding whether the case is being handled in the client’s best interest.
Second, the injured person can simply write a letter to their law firm advising that they are terminating the attorney-client relationship. Once an injured person has terminated the attorney-client relationship with their lawyer, Glober+Glober will be pleased to speak with them about their case. We have obtained excellent results for many injured people who left law firms which were not responsive to their clients.
Changing Attorneys does not cost more money.
When injured people change attorneys, it does not cost more money on their contingent fee agreements. They still only pay one attorney’s fee. At the end of the case, that single attorney’s fee is divided between the first law firm and the second firm depending on how much work they each did. The two firms work out that division or it is decided by a judge.
How much will it cost to try my personal injury case?
It’s impossible to say at the start how much will be involved in trying your case, but the initial cash outlay by you is zero. We don’t require any money upfront, taking our fees only when your case is successfully resolved.
How long will it take to conclude the case and receive the money?
Again, the length of time it will take to conclude your personal injury case depends on a number of factors, many of which will be discovered when we begin to study the facts surrounding the case. If we move too quickly, we could miss a detail that could mean additional compensation for you, and we don’t want to do that. In addition, some physical injuries manifest in later complications that should be assessed before we accept a settlement too quickly.
I was hurt on someone else’s property—do I even have a claim?
You very well could. This goes back to “premises liability” explained above. A person who is injured on another person’s property may have a right to claim negligence. Working with a knowledgeable attorney will help get the best outcome.
The insurance company wants me to sign a medical authorization—should I do that?
No, you should not. This allows them unlimited access to your medical records, employment records, educational records, and financial records in an effort to dig into your life and find ways to pin the blame on you. Having an attorney will help you avoid that.
The insurance company wants me to give a recorded statement—is that a good idea?
No, it’s not. Recorded statements are taken for the primary purpose of using your words against you later. You should not provide a recorded statement without consulting an attorney, who will (in most cases) advise you to avoid this entirely.
The insurance company has been calling and wants to send someone to my house with a check—what should I do?
This is a tactic to get you to go away. They know you are most vulnerable immediately after an accident or attack, so they want to settle quickly before you can retain an attorney and cost them more money.
Do I need an attorney, or can I handle my claim on my own?
An experienced attorney knows the ins and outs of the law and can often get more money for your claim than if you try to do it yourself. The goal of every insurance adjuster is to minimize their payout, and they are often rewarded for dismissing claims.
How much could I get for my case?
The value, or worth, of any case depends on a number of factors that can’t be determined without analyzing all the information regarding the injury, sum of medical bills, amount of lost wages and the permanence of the injury. No lawyer can claim to know the amount immediately.
Where do the compensating funds come from?
Depending on whether the at-fault party has liability insurance, and the amount of insurance it has, and other factors, the funds could come from the guilty party’s insurance company or their personal or business financial accounts. In the vast majority of automobile injury cases, compensation comes from an insurance company.
Do all personal injury cases go to a court trial?
No, they don’t. In fact, most are settled with the defendant and their insurance company before a trial date is even set.
Who can recover damages in a situation of personal injury?
The victim and their heirs can recover damage in a personal injury lawsuit. If the victim survives the accident or assault, they may be entitled to recover lost wages, which has a direct effect on the well-being of their family. If the victim does not survive, their heirs have a right to sue. If the victim is a child, the parents also have a right to sue.
What if the injured person dies before we start the personal injury lawsuit?
If the person dies as a result of the injuries they received as a result of the accident or assault, then that person’s heirs can be entitled to compensation and they may continue with the lawsuit.
Will the person who caused the injury or death be brought to justice?
Not in a classic understanding of the legal system. Personal injury cases are civil actions and therefore the person who is held liable will not receive a jail sentence or be identified as a criminal. The goal of personal injury is to award ‘punitive damages’ which punishes the defendant who has acted recklessly or has intentionally caused harm.
Should I bring any documentation or details with me to the first consultation?
Depending on the type of personal injury, it will help to bring any police reports, emergency room records, or copies of a will in the case of wrongful death. If a person dies as a result of their injuries, that person’s heirs may recover compensation.
What does ‘premises liability’ mean with regards to a personal injury case?
The term ‘premises liability’ means that an individual or organization can be held responsible for the negligent maintenance or unsafe conditions that caused your injury or accident.
What exactly are negligent hiring practices?
Employers can be held responsible and accountable for failing to check the background or references of a job applicant before hiring them, especially in situations of high public contact. Employers can be liable for the negligent hiring or retention of employees who are dangerous or incompetent and may cause harm to others.
What exactly is negligent security?Inadequate or negligent security occurs when a business owner fails to implement reasonable security measures to protect their customers and clients from crime or accidents. This can occur in a shopping mall, hotel or motel, restaurant, apartment or condominium, and even in a hospital. The law requires a business owner to take reasonable steps to protect its customers from harm the business owner can reasonably anticipate. Safety measures can include proper lighting, security guards, good locks, perimeter protection, and other steps such as providing specialized training to the business’ staff.
What does the term ‘liable’ mean?The term liable is closely associated with accountable, and it means that one person is responsible for another person’s injury, pain, and suffering.
How much time do I have after my injury or attack before I have to file a lawsuit?Every state has defined time limits or statute of limitations that govern the amount of time you have to file a personal injury suit. It’s always best to talk with a lawyer as soon as you can after you have suffered or discovered an injury.