We’ll talk to anyone for free at any time about Illinois workers’ compensation law. We are happy to do it and will always give you an honest answer even if it’s not what you want to hear. Telling you the blunt truth helps you and is the right way to practice law.
I’m amazed at how many lawyers lie to their clients because they don’t want to have a “hard” conversation about why the client might not have a case or what the case might actually be worth. Others for whatever reason simply don’t answer questions by either not returning phone calls or telling the client not to worry about it.
I just don’t get it. That’s what a lawyer is getting paid for! If we won’t give advice, what’s the point?
A nice woman called me because her lawyer wouldn’t or didn’t answer her questions. She had an arm surgery and her doctor gave a deposition in the case. Her lawyer wouldn’t tell her why the deposition was needed (it’s to get his medical testimony in order to go to trial). He wouldn’t tell her what compensation she’d get if she won at trial. He wouldn’t tell her what the next steps were after the deposition.
I was able to answer all of these questions except the one where she wanted to know the likely outcome. Since I don’t know the possible defenses that’s one I couldn’t help her with.
The only question I had for her is why are you staying with this lawyer? Some attorneys are great at trial, but terrible at customer service. More often than not though it seems that the lawyers who are disorganized or rude with their clients don’t do much better when it comes to the actual trial. I can’t imagine that the lawyer she has is inspiring confidence.
You don’t have the right to expect your attorney to be on call for you 24/7 and drop everything for you at a moment’s notice. That’s unreasonable.
You do though have the right to expect that your questions will be answered even if it’s not what you want to hear. You have the right to expect that your phone calls or e-mails will be returned within 24 hours. You can expect that you won’t be belittled or talked down to or screamed at. You should expect that your lawyer will fight for your benefits if your case is improperly denied.
If your expectations aren’t being met you should meet with your lawyer and try to correct the problem. If that doesn’t happen then you can and should get a new firm. It doesn’t cost anything to switch. And if your lawyer won’t answer basic questions then you don’t really have a lawyer at all any way.