When you make the decision to hire a personal injury lawyer after an accident, you may be worried about transparency and whether they’re being honest with you. Mike Lyding has been a personal injury attorney in the Phoenix area for decades, and understands there are a lot of lawyers in Phoenix to choose from – and many of them aren’t so great. As an attorney who has worked hard to represent his clients and has earned a stellar reputation in the Valley for being transparent and honest with his clients. It can be incredibly stressful after an accident, especially if you have to fight with insurance companies and other lawyers who want to take advantage of you. Your personal injury attorney should be on your side, and should communicate honestly with you as you move through the typical timeline of your personal injury case. To help others who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, here is a guide on what your personal injury lawyer should – and should not – be telling you!
What Your Personal Injury Lawyer SHOULD Tell You
It’s a big decision to seek help from a personal injury attorney, and there’s no shortage of options. But, once you’ve retained a lawyer to fight for you, you deserve to be kept in the loop about your case. Following an accident, you’re going to be facing a lot of uncertainty when it comes to your physical and financial recovery, as well as healing from emotional and mental trauma. When a lawyer takes your case, they should do their best to keep you informed, which will help ease some of that uncertainty and anxiety you may be feeling. Never be scared to ask questions about your case, but as a point of reference – here are some things your personal injury attorney should tell you.
- “In your case, I advise…” No two personal injury cases are the same, and only experienced injury attorneys can offer true and sound advice about your unique case. If you have a query about the specific nature of your case, you should expect your lawyer to be able to give you advice tailored to your case in a personalized, thoughtful nature. This is, after all, why you’ve hired them, right?
- “This is what I expect the outcome to be.” Your personal injury attorney should be honest about the reality of your case. Chances are, if they’ve taken your case, they probably think you have a case worth fighting for, since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency. And even though your case is likely unique, their experience can help them somewhat predict the likely outcome. Of course, cases that actually go to trial can be unpredictable, but it’s actually rare that personal injury cases make it that far in the process – many settle beforehand, and your lawyer should be transparent about that likely outcome.
- “I have an update on your case.” When you first “interview” potential lawyers to take your case, you should inquire who you will be corresponding with and how frequently you can expect to be updated. One of the advantages to hiring a smaller law firm where you’re treated like a real person, and not just a case number, is that you’ll likely be able to receive more communication and attention when it comes to updates on the status of your case. Likewise, as the client, you should be the first point of contact if there are changes, setbacks, or delays in your case. While your attorney may not be able to initiate contact very frequently, they should be open to answering your questions as they arise, and updating you on crucial matters throughout the process.
- “I’m here to help you be prepared.” A personal injury lawyer should invest the time it takes in making sure you’re prepared for your deposition and trial. We’ve previously covered Tips For Giving a Deposition In Your Personal Injury Case, and we can’t stress the importance of being prepared enough! Your deposition is a critical time in the timeline of your case, as is the trial. You should feel prepared and your lawyer should be helping you feel as prepared as possible.
What Your Personal Injury Lawyer Should NOT Tell You
You should be kept in the loop about the aspects of your personal injury case, but there are definitely some things that your lawyer shouldn’t tell you.
- “We’re going to win.” Again, hopefully your personal injury lawyer has quite a bit of experience, and they should be confident about winning your case. But it should never be presented as a guarantee. Personal injury cases can have unexpected outcomes, especially when the outcome is left to a jury and/or judge to decide. Your lawyer should always have realistic expectations, but shouldn’t be overly confident in securing a “victory” for you.
- “I’ll speak to the defendant directly.” There are ethical rules that all lawyers must follow, and speaking directly to a defendant that’s represented by a lawyer is highly unethical. There should be no direct contact between you and the defendant, nor between your lawyer and the defendant. Similarly, if the defendant’s lawyer attempts to contact you directly when you have representation, that’s a no-no. Never speak directly to opposing counsel; always have your lawyer communicate with them.
- “I made the decision to ____ for you.” Your personal injury shouldn’t be making decisions without consulting with you first! You should expect them to keep you informed and to give you expert advice, but ultimately, final decisions need your approval.
Honest and transparent communication should be the cornerstone of the relationship between you and your personal injury lawyer. Make sure you’re always factual about your case, and keep them in the loop about any new evidence or information regarding your case.
A Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney You Can Trust
If you’re from the Phoenix area, hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in handling personal injury cases, like Mike Lyding, can be an invaluable asset during this stressful, emotional time. With decades of experience, there’s no one else you should want in your corner other than Mike. Contact Mike today.