I recently had an online chat with a very seriously injured worker. He was upfront that he had a lawyer and wanted to know my opinion as to what his case was worth.
I explained that I couldn’t answer it because I didn’t have a copy of his medical records or know about his job duties, age, wages, work history, etc. He went on to tell me that he still needed back surgery. At that point I let him know it’s impossible to answer his question about what the case is worth. I said that because we don’t know what his ultimate recovery will be. Whether or not he has any medical restrictions or can return to his job will greatly impact the case value.
The conversation led me to ask why he wasn’t asking these questions to his lawyer. I also expressed concern about whether or not he had the right lawyer for such a big injury. He told me, “I can call my lawyer, but don’t want to bug him.”
My reply was to tongue in cheek ask this injured worker why he was alright with bugging me. I let him know I was kidding, as I’m happy to talk to anyone, any time.
In the bigger picture though, your attorney is there to help you through the case. If you have information about your claim or questions about what is going on, you should call or email them. Doing that isn’t bugging them, it’s asking them to do their job.
Customer service or the lack of is one of the biggest issues of the legal profession. If your attorney doesn’t tell you when you sign up with them that you should reach out to them any time you have questions, it really makes me wonder if they care about you or your case.
What you shouldn’t do is call multiple times a day on a repeated basis. But calling today and then a few weeks from now and then emailing a week or two after that is really normal, especially early on in the case. And if you are going to an IME or have some other big event, I would expect that you’d call them before it happens as well as after. Same if you have a surgery.
Whatever the situation, you should never feel like your valid concerns are bugging the lawyer. They aren’t special. They work for you and this is how they earn their 20% fee. I assure you that if you are calling too much they will let you know. But if you don’t expect customer service from them, you probably won’t receive it.