While most of our callers don’t already have lawyers, since we will talk to anyone for free, we get contacted a lot by injured Illinois workers who are already represented. Some want to get a new lawyer. Some just have questions. Others want to vent. Whatever the situation we are happy to speak with you and help you figure out if what is going on with your case is normal or not.
This was the situation recently when I was contacted by someone who was very seriously injured many years ago on the job. This is what she had to say about her lawyer.
Was in a car accident going to work in a company car. My attorney has his assistant talk with me most of the time. They keep saying they are negotiating. I’ve actually only spoken to my attorney make 3 or 4 times since 2015.
Now I’m not saying you should talk to your attorney every month, but to almost exclusively have your clients speak with your assistant is absurd. This is some of the worst customer service I’ve heard about, and it comes from what is a well regarded Chicago workers’ compensation law firm. It’s one thing to have your law clerk or secretary call to follow up on some issues. It’s a completely different story for them to be the ones you talk to when you need legal guidance or have questions.
On top of all of that, the alleged “negotiating” has been taking place for almost two years and there has not been a settlement offer. It seems like a good case, so I’m beyond confused as to why the lawyer hasn’t motioned the case for trial at some point in order to get things moving. It’s the opposite of aggressive lawyering.
You are the client. You have a right to demand customer service from your attorney. They don’t have to do whatever you want, but they should return phone calls, let you talk to an attorney and be an advocate for you. If they don’t think you have a case or think you might lose at trial they should explain why.
And if you don’t get the service you deserve and have tried to work it out, but can’t or realize you hired the wrong firm, you have the right to get a new attorney. The last thing you want to do is wake up one day and realize your case was a disaster because you picked the wrong attorney and know that you didn’t do anything about it.